Sunglasses For Fun – 9 Keys to Success

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Many years ago, I had this sunglass conversation with another rep. His comment ‘You’re either in the sunglass business or you’re not.’ still holds true today. What it means, that if you are going to sell sunglasses- carry a big selection, train your staff, and know your products.  The best part about selling sunglasses, they spice up the inventory, their fun to sell and everybody needs to wear a good pair of sunglasses-

Sunglass Trivia

  • The most expensive pair of sunglasses on eBay were: Elvis Presley’s personal Madison Square Garden Sunglasses @ $250,000
  • In the United States every 14 minutes someone loses, breaks or sits on a pair of Sunglasses
  • Mens Sunglasses sell every 90 seconds on eBay

Keys to Success

Market Knowledge + Product Knowledge + Selling Skills + Fun = Success and Satisfied Customers.

Industry Stats (From 2001)
• 2.1 Billion Dollar Market (non-prescriptionl)
• 86% of all sunglass sold exceed over $30.00 Retail
• 24% exceed over $100.00 Retail
• 11% exceed over $150.00 Retail (Fastest Growing Segment of Market)
• Average price for frame and lens sunwear = $216.60
• Average price for sunglass frame = $116.25
• 54% are Rx Sunwear
• 24% are Plano Sunwear
• 13% for contact lens wearer
• 8% are impulse buys

Why the Optical Professional should Showcase  Sunglasses

  • Increase patient satisfaction and customer services levels
  • Today’s consumer is more active and aware of the need for sun protection
  • Today’s consumer is more aware of the health benefits of wearing sunglasses
  • Strong movement toward sunglasses as fashion accessory and performance qualities
  • Patients appreciate it when you take the time to explain and demonstrate what is available in modern Sunwear
  • Patients who order prescription Sunwear seldom, if ever, have buyers remorse
  • Patients enjoy their first pair of sunglasses and tend to show them off to friends and neighbors, usually mentioning where they purchased their sunglasses, thus promoting referrals.
  • Buying cycle shorter, 1 pair sunglasses every year  vs. 1.8 years for Rx eyeglasses.

Why should the consumer buy from the optical professional?

• Personal Service/ Better value/ Professional guidance
• More knowledgeable in lense options
• Can make prescription sunglasses
• Assurance of ophthalmic quality
• Assurance of better fit
• Sunwear is technical
• Warranty

Why Don’t they purchase from the optical professional?
•    Not enough selection
•    Frames outdated
•    Not enough knowledge re; lenses
•    Not offered or suggested

Common Myths About Sunglasses
•    Sunglasses are only sold during the summer
•    A label that says ‘UV Protection” is not gurarantee of UV protection
•    Darker lenses do no mean more protection
•    All Sunglasses are created equal
•    People only need one pair of sunglasses

What the Consumer is looking for

  • UV coating that stays on
  • appropriate for activity levels
  • strong frame where they won’t bend when hooks in a jeans pocket
  • sturdy lenses- Stratch Coat
  • nosepads that don’t jiggle or leave marks
  • don’t look dumb

9 Keys to Selling Sunwear:

#1    Make It A Habit To Offer Sunwear To Everyone!

#2Ask Questions

  • How sensitive are your eyes to the sun?
  • Which sports do you wear sunglasses to participate in?
  • How often do you wear sunglasses while you drive a car?
  • How often do you wear sunglasses for casual leisure activities that do not require physical exertion?
  • What interests you the most- prescription or non prescription sunglasses?
  • Tell me about your contact lenses experiences?
  • How does glare effect you?  either on the road, water, ice and snow?
  • What type of sunglasses do you wear now? If so, may we see them?
  • Which of the following are important to you?
  1. To protect eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun
  2. To prevent wrinkles around eyes and tiny ‘Crows feet’
  3. To enhance ability to see well in bright light conditions
  4. To reduce glare on the road while driving
  5. To enhance performance in sports?
  6. To Lessen stress

#3    Promote Sunwear In The Chair

  • Write 2 scripts, one for sunwear

#4     Merchandise All Year

  • Carry Sunwear all year, provide a good selection.
  • Display Sunwear Prominently: When you devote a substantial portion of your frame display to sunglasses, you provide a subtle but effective reminder of the importance of quality Sunwear to everyone who visits your office.
  • Signage: and Educational Materials should be predominately displayed
  • Lense Options and Tints – should be discussed with every patient

#5   Know the Product Knowledge

  • Lens options, performance factors and lifestyle are important to your patients.

#6    Price

  • Package sunwear with Contact lens (80% will buy sunwear within 24 hours)
  • Offer free ‘cord’ with purchase of
  • Offer 2nd pair discount

#7   Talk performance and fashion

  • People buy when it looks good on them

#8   Answer Objections with confidence

  • I never wear Sunglasses: How can you wear them if you don’t have them? Are you aware of the benefits of wearing sunglasses? How sensitive are you to light?
  • This is too expensive and I don’t think I need all this: Discuss lifestyle needs
  • I always lose my sunglasses:This is usually the consumer who buys cheap sunglasses, therefore has no knowledge or investment into their Eye- health. This is rarely heard from an Rx patient. Remember : There is a strong correlation between dollars spent and rate of loss. This is also an opportunity to educate the patient and sell add on’s such as fashion cords or chains.
  • I only need them for driving: Of course, that is when most people wear them. These patients are the best candidates for Sunwear. If not for a pair of sunglasses, then for frames that have sunglass clip-ons

#9  Have Fun Selling!

  • Sunwear is glamorous and fun to sell. Many customers will buy trendier looks in sunwear than everyday wear. It has to not only feel good but look Fantastic. It’s fun, it’s exciting and the best of all can be performance driven.

What Consumers Say and Resources

Claire Goldsmith MidPage

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