A big part of getting patients to feel confident in trying progressives is getting them to understand the benefits straight away. When patients can clearly see what’s in it for them, saying “yes” becomes much easier.
In part two of this dispensing series, we’ll look at five surefire tips to help you successfully present the benefits of progressive lenses to patients and set them up for success.
1. Align Benefits with a Patient’s Lifestyle
If you read part one of the dispensing progressive lenses series, you know how understanding a patient’s lifestyle can be very useful when presenting the benefits of progressives.
Once you’ve learned about their day-to-day visual and lifestyle needs, you’ll want to present the benefits of progressives as solutions to those needs.
In the following example, Mr. Wilson tends to prefer more modern frames and that he likes to look his best every day. He also made a comment about how he doesn’t want those “old man” lenses with the line in them:
“I noticed that you take pride in your appearance and I can understand why you wouldn’t like the look of bifocals. One advantage of progressive lenses is that you can see at multiple distances seamlessly without that unsightly line.”
2. Make Them “See”
To make a better connection to how progressives will improve a patient’s vision, it’s important to help them see how their daily lives could be enhanced with your recommendation. Ideally, you should be able to draw from their day-to-day and favorite activities to illustrate real-life scenarios in which a progressive lens will benefit them. In other words, show rather than tell.
Let’s say that you have a patient who mentions they love family board game nights at home. Because these games require vision for reading cards and the board itself, progressive lenses could make seeing at these multiple distances a much easier task. You could say something like:
“Now Mrs. Richards, when you play these board games, do you ever notice how often you have to move your head when going from the playing cards to the board itself? This is pretty typical for bifocals, and you may have gotten used to doing that. With a pair of progressives, you’ll have an easier time adjusting between these distances and your head movements will feel more natural.”
Think about activities mentioned in a patient’s questionnaire and ask yourself how progressive lenses complement those activities.
3. Use Positive Testimonials
If you wanted to find the best espresso maker online without a specific brand or model in mind, you’d likely search around a bit to see what other people online are recommending. Once you narrow down your choices, those product reviews probably play a big part in what you eventually buy.
There’s a reason why nearly all online retailers want feedback from their customers. Reviews and testimonials are very persuasive for people making a decision, because knowing that others have had great experiences with the product they’re considering takes a ton of anxiety out of the decision to purchase or not.
Going back to the example of finding a new espresso maker, a five-star review from a woman in Los Angeles who enjoys a perfectly brewed cup every morning could help steer you towards making a confident purchase. Progressive lenses are no different.
Whenever possible, incorporate positive testimonials to present benefits when speaking with a patient. And, try to use a testimonial that’s relatable and/or directly highlights a benefit that solves a patient’s specific problem. Here’s one way to do that:
“You know Ms. Smith, I had another patient in here a while back who also loved to paint. She was a bifocal wearer too and used to have the worst neck pain from constantly craning her neck up and down the canvas. We switched her over to progressives and she called us just last week amazed by how her neck pain was completely gone because she was able to just move her eyes rather than her head to focus on her work.”
4. Wear What You Recommend
How comfortable would you be recommending a pair of shoes you’ve never worn? What can you accurately say about the comfort, arch support, and break-in period without having experienced it yourself?
It’s far easier and more convincing to speak about the benefits of a product if you‘ve actually tried it. You can also better answer specific questions since you can discuss your personal experience.
Say you have a patient who has concerns with how long it takes to get used to progressives—the dreaded adaption period. If you’re recommending a premium progressive like Unity Via Elite and you’ve been wearing them yourself, you can offer true-to-life insight on how easy it was to adapt without the usual, lengthy break-in period.
There’s also a chance that you may not need progressives for yourself, so you won’t be able to speak about your personal experience. However, if you have a family member who has tried out Unity Via Progressive Lenses, interview them to see how their experience has been. Sharing a success story from a family member can be equally impactful.
In the following scenario, here’s something you might say if speaking about your father:
“My father had issues adapting to progressive lenses in the past, so I put him in Unity Via after our patients were telling us how easy it was to adapt to. He had no problem adapting and he’s been really pleased with the overall performance. I’m confident you’ll enjoy the same exceptional experience, Mr. Jacobs.”
5. Don’t Go Rogue
Doctors are professionals who always have a patient’s needs in mind, and you should always attempt to lean on their expertise for the good of patients. In your discussion with a patient on progressive lenses, always listen to what the doctor prescribes and reiterate some language from the exam to further support what the OD is recommending.
If you’re unsure what the doctor is recommending, try to take the extra step and get that information. Not every patient visit goes perfectly, but it’s worth considering improving something in the typical patient visit process to ensure this information is relayed across all points of their visit.
The following is an example you can use if you’re trying to align with an OD’s recommendation:
“Mr. Jones, I see that Dr. Adams has prescribed Unity Via Elite Progressive Lenses for your primary lenses. These are great for first-time multifocal wearers such as yourself because they provide seamless natural vision. Those who are new to progressive lenses will have a shorter period of getting used to them since your eyes will move smoother and more comfortably between prescription strengths. Unlike bifocals or trifocals which are more abrupt between the prescription strengths.”
There’s no doubt that life would be much easier if patients just trusted in every recommendation you make. But the truth is that patients need more when making a decision about how they see the world every day.
Here’s a quick recap of the five ways you can successfully present the benefits of progressives:
Patients who can appreciate the benefits of progressive lenses from the get-go will be happier with their decision and ultimately love what they’ve been prescribed. By presenting those benefits to patients in a personal and relatable way, you will help them clearly see why progressives are the right choice for them.
Keep an eye out for part three in this series where you’ll learn how to convert long-time multi-focal wearers into progressive lens loyalists.
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