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Thread: The world is changing.

  1. #1
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    The world is changing.

    Not a day goes by without a request for a spectacle Rx to be released.

    Yes, there's a million reasons why.
    Some of it is my doing.

    But never, ever before have we seen one or two walking EVERY DAMN DAY.

    And I haven't changed doing things "the right way" etc., so don't make me feel sad.

    I'm 100% vision care plans, essentially. That's just the way it is, for now.


    I blame a few factors (not that I have the guts to ask a patient...seems petty).
    1. I have a certain type of clientele. They're affluent as any. So they're kinda spoiled about choices, autonomy, are transactional, etc. (Blah. At least they don't smell bad.)
    2. I have a certain type of market. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting another optical provider. Choice, choice, choice! A pox on everyone within a five mile radius! Especially Costco
    3. DIY. The thing that bothers me the most. I hate Warbly Parkler.



    So, I have very few ideas, becaue I think I'm kinda boxed in. And I want to continue in the VCP mode because it's easier, really.


    The idea for your consideration: Make buying easier.

    When I analyze why patients walk out with Rxs, I think very frequently they just want to shop differently.
    Costco can't be fixed: it's a cult.
    But onliners are looking for cheap and easy, I think.

    I'm not going to street fight on cheap. That's a sure loser.
    But "easy" I may be able to do.

    I think "package pricing" and "transparent pricing" is the angle I'm going for.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by drk; 02-20-2020 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    Doc, aren't you already doing packages? Send me a note off list sometime if you want to chat.

  3. #3
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    No, I'm not.

    We are so heavily vision care, that we "build up" the price based on the plan (all of them are different), instead of having a package at retail and "tear it down".

    I'm thinking the package price just "seems" easier to buy.

  4. #4
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    I may not be the person you want to talk abou this, but here it goes.

    Yes. Onliners will Online. And Costco will grab them by their chains (I drop by my Costco optical EVERY damn time I enter the store. And I don't even want to buy glasses). Don't even try.
    Yes. Don't go cheap. You will lose as well.
    Yes. DIY bugs you, and will always do. And it's going to get worse (I was working on a portable at-home OCT that is coming up in couple years). Don't waste your time fighting it. It will happen (either from me or somebody else).

    Yes, go easy. Simplify the buying experience. It works.

    But more importantly. Go tailor, if you can. I can't stress enough how important this is. You should not be selling a "package" they can find online. And by package, I mostly mean your services, not your products.

    People will always pay low at Macy's, and always expect more (and will pay more) at a tailor. Cheap people go to McDonnalds, if they are lazy they order cheap from UberEats, people that want an experience go to a chef (and will gladly pay for it). And guess what? The same person can do all of them. They just need to be "in the mood" for it.

    The VCP limitation is tricky. But it may be the way you transition to a more premium custom service over time.

    Generally speaking, VCP is about volume. There isn't much that can be done. I have not seen a way around it. You want people in and out as quickly as possible. VCP is fast food. There's little time to add your value to the equation in a way that would differentiate you from Costco or Onliners.

    An extra point. People that buy expensive glasses are seen as losers with their group of friends. Everybody talks about how online glasses are cheaper, better and faster these days. If you don't explain why they paid what they paid, they will be bullied/shamed by their friends and will not come back. I have seen this over, and over, and over. You need to prepare the patient to defend himself to his friends on why he paid so much for your services. This is the hardest part of all.

    Imagine buying an expensive mechanical watch. They have to stand everybody that is laughing at them for paying so much. Buyers have to explain that they care about the mechanics, the design, the materials, the thousands of hours somebody put into it, etc. Whatever it is, they have to defend.

    I like to brag about my tailored clothes. On how they fit, how smooth they are, etc. I don't say anything when I am wearing GAP on the hopes that people won't notice (they do). Be a tailor, don't be a Gap.
    Last edited by vfpamp; 02-20-2020 at 03:57 PM.
    Vitor Pamplona
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    Come check our autorefractor, lensometer and phoropter.

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    I know insurance breaks down the price to the drill hole, but can't you look at a given plan a patient has, add up what all the "extras" cost and present it as one single price for what you're recommending for that particular patient?

    We don't take insurance and we give one price that includes everything we're recommending. We usually start by listing the benefits of these options, ( though we don't use any term like "option"), then give a single price, we don't do "add ons".

    As example, "your doctor is recommending a digital progressive in a light weight material with UV protection and a durable, warranted anti reflection coating. The cost is $xxx." When you get price resistance you just start down the list of things they can give up to lower the price, like " Well Mr. Smith, we can use an older plastic for your lenses that is thicker and heavier". Mr Smith; "Well I do want my glasses light in weight." "Ok, we can use an older lens design, though the usable areas are smaller and don't provide as comfortable vision as possible". M.S.; " Well, I want to see my best!"....

    99% of the time, if you did your job right, explaining the benefits of premium lenses and frames, the patient buys the package. They realize what they are getting, and justify the price themselves. Patients feel like your either bait and switching them or nickel and diming them when you present "add ons".

  6. #6
    Eyes eastward... Uilleann's Avatar
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    In a perfect nutshell - THIS! ^^^^^

    Well stated 24/7

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter lensmanmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilleann View Post
    In a perfect nutshell - THIS! ^^^^^

    Well stated 24/7
    +1
    not to mention sounding like a car salesman.
    I bend light. That is what I do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drk View Post
    Not a day goes by without a request for a spectacle Rx to be released.

    Yes, there's a million reasons why.
    Some of it is my doing.

    But never, ever before have we seen one or two walking EVERY DAMN DAY.

    And I haven't changed doing things "the right way" etc., so don't make me feel sad.

    I'm 100% vision care plans, essentially. That's just the way it is, for now.


    I blame a few factors (not that I have the guts to ask a patient...seems petty).
    1. I have a certain type of clientele. They're affluent as any. So they're kinda spoiled about choices, autonomy, are transactional, etc. (Blah. At least they don't smell bad.)
    2. I have a certain type of market. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting another optical provider. Choice, choice, choice! A pox on everyone within a five mile radius! Especially Costco
    3. DIY. The thing that bothers me the most. I hate Warbly Parkler.



    So, I have very few ideas, becaue I think I'm kinda boxed in. And I want to continue in the VCP mode because it's easier, really.


    The idea for your consideration: Make buying easier.

    When I analyze why patients walk out with Rxs, I think very frequently they just want to shop differently.
    Costco can't be fixed: it's a cult.
    But onliners are looking for cheap and easy, I think.

    I'm not going to street fight on cheap. That's a sure loser.
    But "easy" I may be able to do.

    I think "package pricing" and "transparent pricing" is the angle I'm going for.

    What do you think?

    When the mind is set, so is the outcome.

    I had no issue in this market selling multiple pairs of high end 2500.00 glasses. Many colleagues never learned how to sow a seed and let it grow for high end and multiple pairs.

    Get yourself impressive digital measuring equipment and learn how to use it then learn how to sell it. Making your mind believe it can be done is 90 percent of the battle.

    Some people buy Chevettes and some buy Cadillacs. Set yourself up for the right demographics. There is no profit in a race to zero.

    I had no problem converting onliners, you wont get all of them, but if you learn to sow the right seeds and recognize opportunity, you can convert them.

  9. #9
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Some sage advice!

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Simple:

    When they ask for the Rx, they’re transitioning to the world of eyewear...my world.

    Think like an optician at this point. Not an OD.

    You’re welcome.

    B
    Last edited by Barry Santini; 02-22-2020 at 07:34 AM.

  11. #11
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    You made me sad.

  12. #12
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    While I dont track these things with great care, I definitely notice a lot of new patients coming for exams. A meaningful % of these are people who have already decided to purchase online and could not possibly care less what I am selling in our optical. I could be giving Lunor frames away and I dont think they would even bother to look. They are buying a Zenni, a Warby, come hell or high water. In my opinion, if only 1 or 2 scripts a day are walking, you are doing a great job !

    Having a really good finishing lab on site, a big range of stock lenses, rapid service, bundled pricing for all sorts of lenses, transparent and posted prices for lenses, and the widest array of frames at various price points, heavy on the brands, is all Ive got. Its getting harder for sure.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by optimensch View Post
    While I dont track these things with great care, I definitely notice a lot of new patients coming for exams. A meaningful % of these are people who have already decided to purchase online and could not possibly care less what I am selling in our optical. I could be giving Lunor frames away and I dont think they would even bother to look. They are buying a Zenni, a Warby, come hell or high water. In my opinion, if only 1 or 2 scripts a day are walking, you are doing a great job !

    Having a really good finishing lab on site, a big range of stock lenses, rapid service, bundled pricing for all sorts of lenses, transparent and posted prices for lenses, and the widest array of frames at various price points, heavy on the brands, is all Ive got. Its getting harder for sure.
    In all of the above, you missed the most important ingredients.

  14. #14
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    personalized products also can help.... we need to differentiate ourselves from "optical shopping malls" with another products. And make a new client experience but it is hard

  15. #15
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    I think this piece deserves to be read: https://www.wired.com/story/defeated...made-peace-ai/

    “I always say I was the first knowledge worker whose job was threatened by a machine,” says Garry Kasparov. "I’ve made my peace with it. I think it's important that people recognize the element of inevitability. When I hear outcry that AI is rushing in and destroying our lives, that it's so fast, I say no, no, it's too slow."
    Vitor Pamplona
    CEO, EyeNetra Inc

    Come check our autorefractor, lensometer and phoropter.

  16. #16
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    And this post right here including many others is why I love this forum. Y'all are awesome.

  17. #17
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pneese View Post
    And this post right here including many others is why I love this forum. Y'all are awesome.
    Click- top right- "settings"

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    For a little as $50 a year keep this unique site alive or better still become a Gold member!!!

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  18. #18
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    This topic is more vast than optometry itself. It comes down to one word: branding. People go to WP because it's cool. They go to Costco because it's wholesale. They go to Zenni because it's cheap. Each brand owns a niche. What's yours?

  19. #19
    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    Warrior: I love it! Concise and to the point.

  20. #20
    OptiBoard Novice ogfullmelt's Avatar
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    field is being consolidated heavily and at a fast rate, you gotta be smart, efficient, and dedicated to survive now a days

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