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  • DanLiv
    replied
    Another option if you want to deny special orders without just outright saying no, is Eyemed and Spectera explicitly state frame benefits can be applied to any frame "in your inventory". I haven't found such language in VSP, but one can easily make a case that it is implied offices are not required to special order product, therefore if one does it is a non-covered service and usual & customary fees apply. That will stop the vision plan shoppers cold. But hey, if they really want it at usual fee, great!

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  • NAICITPO
    replied
    Originally posted by AngeHamm View Post
    It really isn't. I order a correspondingly lower amount when I see my reps.
    I mean that makes sense. The only issue I would have is usually when I'm buying frames I ask what color is selling the best. So when someone is ordering a different color to look at they are probably choosing the color that doesn't move as well. 2-3 times a week still seems excessive to me but I guess it would really depend on how much of your customers are cash pay. If you are running a boutique shop without a doc and mostly cash I can definitely understand catering more to the needs of your customers. But if you take vision care plans I cannot imagine not charging to bring frames in, or at least trying to to make it less desirable to do so.
    Last edited by NAICITPO; 02-29-2024, 10:27 AM.

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  • Uncle Fester
    replied
    Originally posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    DRK, There is only one way your patient knows that a frame comes in colors other than what you have in stock...your staff told them. Train your staff to sell what you have in stock.
    Patient: Does this frame come in other colors?
    Optician: We also have red, and purple.
    If they don't care for those colors, move on to another frame.
    I would usually ask them to commit to the display frame color if the special order is not to their liking. And tack on a $15 shipping fee somewhere in the lens charge.

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  • AngeHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    Your inventory must be way out of control.
    It really isn't. I order a correspondingly lower amount when I see my reps.

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  • iD
    replied
    Originally posted by CME4SPECS View Post
    Your inventory must be way out of control.
    define out of control
    whats the appropiate number of backstock?

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  • CME4SPECS
    replied
    Originally posted by AngeHamm View Post
    Sure. I can't carry every color I know looks great. As long as I add a couple more frames I know I'm going to need to the order, shipping is usually zero.
    Your inventory must be way out of control.

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  • AngeHamm
    replied
    Originally posted by NAICITPO View Post
    You special order a frame for a customer 2-3 times a week?
    Sure. I can't carry every color I know looks great. As long as I add a couple more frames I know I'm going to need to the order, shipping is usually zero.

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  • NAICITPO
    replied
    Originally posted by AngeHamm View Post
    We have to special order a frame for a patient only a couple or a few times a week. Usually we'll throw a couple other frames for stock by the same manufacturer in the cart in order to qualify for free shipping. Easy-peasy.

    How frequently does this happen? How much is it really hurting your bottom line? Insisting that every single transaction hits some consistent profit margin is a good way to drive yourself and your clientele crazy. I always come back to the idea that we do better to sell a relationship than a product; coming across as a penny-pincher for the one or two times a week that this comes up is a definite turn-off. Losing five or six sales a year to patients who chafe at your rules loses you more than you've gained by enforcing them.

    Occasionally eating a shipping charge is just the cost of doing business. Or you can try to capture those costs in another way that doesn't trouble you on a case-by case basis; at one office where I worked we simply added $5 to every frame price to compensate for increased shipping costs.
    You special order a frame for a customer 2-3 times a week?

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  • Optical Roy
    replied
    We operate under "sell what you can see. not see what you can sell", if they push hard enough, I'll order under "patient approval" and have them pay the shipping even if they do not choose that frame. Then I either have my rep RA for credit, or put it on the board.

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  • AngeHamm
    replied
    We have to special order a frame for a patient only a couple or a few times a week. Usually we'll throw a couple other frames for stock by the same manufacturer in the cart in order to qualify for free shipping. Easy-peasy.

    How frequently does this happen? How much is it really hurting your bottom line? Insisting that every single transaction hits some consistent profit margin is a good way to drive yourself and your clientele crazy. I always come back to the idea that we do better to sell a relationship than a product; coming across as a penny-pincher for the one or two times a week that this comes up is a definite turn-off. Losing five or six sales a year to patients who chafe at your rules loses you more than you've gained by enforcing them.

    Occasionally eating a shipping charge is just the cost of doing business. Or you can try to capture those costs in another way that doesn't trouble you on a case-by case basis; at one office where I worked we simply added $5 to every frame price to compensate for increased shipping costs.

    Leave a comment:


  • iD
    replied
    I'm pretty sure we've all had the patient who didn't like the special order frame and then went with another choice but you ordered to fill their curiosity and hopefully translate to word of mouth of great service. That is still our most valuable commodity in terms of getting new patients through the door.

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  • drk
    replied
    ID you have the right idea.

    VCP margins are really not for even "standard" service, but that's something you live with. But it's really not for "superb service".

    OTOH, if you happen to have a valuable customer/patient, even if it's under a VCP, you may want to treat them like they're paying normal retail, which in my office engenders excellent service.

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  • drk
    replied
    Danliv!

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  • iD
    replied
    it seems like you guys are hesitant to order anything outside of what's on your board. let say that makes or break the sale? how would you know if not ordering that frame leads to the person walking out with the rx? is your capture rate pretty high by not special ordering anything?

    I think you say no if the person is wanting to see the rainbow in a few different styles. I get that. But lets say you order 2 frames, is it that hard to put them on the board and sell them?(unless its a far fetched style or color or expensive like a l.a.eyeworks or cartier?) or even hold onto them until you meet the rep for your quarterly revamp.

    is there a margin that you are fine with ordering another color? let say you have to make xyz but if you make xy then tell the patient it only comes in that color.

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  • DanLiv
    replied
    • Do not offer additional colors, but show options on request
    • Special order product only with eyewear purchase. If frame prices differ we can adjust once final decision is made.
    • One frame can be special ordered with purchase at no additional charge (e.g. we have it in blue, and they want the eyewear just in black instead, done)
    • 20% restocking fee on any additional special ordered product after the first that is not purchased. (I had only one person take me up on this in 10 years. The point isn't to profit or even make it cost-neutral, it's to discourage it)


    This is my policy. Having it in place makes it easy to fall back on if I'm not really into going above and beyond for a customer, and provides clear guidelines and handy protection for my staff if they don't want to do extra; they just cite the policy and that's discouragement enough. However, I exceed it often, and allow staff to if they do want to do extra for their customer.

    I am a firm believer that if a policy is necessary, make it simple, conservative, and restrictive, and fair, but allow yourself and your staff the flexibility to bypass policy, with permission. I do find my staff appreciates both the policies and the permission, because it alleviates them of the pressure of making case-by-case judgment calls when they don't want to or are unsure, but gives them the power to do so when they do.

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