Selling children’s lenses requires providing patients with a consistent message.
Children are excellent candidates for Transitions Optical’s photochromic lenses.

Knowing how to recommend children’s lenses is an important part of an ECP’s practice.

If you’re an optical office owner or manager, you’re responsible for the performance of your team. This often means training them. One area that needs care is selling lenses to kids. Let’s step inside a hypothetical office known as Mid-Town Optical in a mid-size city where there’s an office manager called Sally, and let’s see how she’s handling this task during their office meeting today.

From: Sally, Office Manager
Subject: Staff Meeting Tomorrow at 11:00am. We will review how we, as a practice, recommend kids’ lenses.
Sally: “Good morning, and welcome to our July staff meeting. With the exception of Carle, our new receptionist, everyone here knows that we work together as a practice to provide our patients with a consistent message. Today I’d like to review the message we are giving about kids’ lenses.”

Sally: “Our rule is, unless the doctor orders something different, all patients aged 18 and under will always be placed in lenses that are either polycarbonate or made of Trivex® material (from PPG Industries). We do this because these lenses provide the highest level of impact resistance. Children can do some crazy things, and we want to provide them with the safest lens materials possible.”

“Is everyone using a version of our practice script? All children are provided with the lightest-weight, most impact-resistant lenses available. You know that kids do some crazy things, and we like to provide them with the best protection we can.”
Staff: “Yes.”
Sally: “Good.”

Sally: “Unlike adults, children are often outdoors for much of their day. This makes them excellent candidates for photochromic lenses that our lab supplies from Transitions Optical Inc., as well as SunSensor (by Corning Inc.) and PhotoFusion (by Carl Zeiss Vision Inc). Think back to when you were a kid, and played until well after dark on those long summer nights. Remember going to the ballpark, the fair, or the fireworks and going from full sunlight to darkness or darkness under the lights? Photochromics are excellent for sports-specific eyewear. Does anyone have a good selling technique for these lenses?”

Tamika: “I watch and listen for all the clues. The minute outside sports are mentioned, I almost assume that I will be selling photochromic lenses. Does the child just look like she lives outside? Again, I’m basically assuming that they will want photochromic lenses. As you know, I wasn’t a big fan of them until I got a pair myself but now I offer them often, especially to kids. That is what they are meant for, right?”

CHOOSE FRAMES WISELY A good set of lenses is only as good as the frame they are put in. Because of this, choose frames wisely. Consider tough, almost indestructible materials like grilamid TR-90 and bendable, twistable metals and plastics. These materials can take the punishment kids will give them. Perhaps more importantly, tough frames are made for tough lenses,which makes them the ideal combination for kids.

Dr. Rhodes: “Hey, my kids both wear them, so I talk them up, as well.”

Sally: “Yes, that is the way to do it! Your confidence in the product and your genuine belief that it is right for the child will come through to the parents loud and clear. If anyone here is struggling with your photochromic sales, listen to Tamika the next time she has a kid in here!”

Sally: “Non-glare makes a better pair of glasses for an adult, and it does the same for children’s glasses, too! However, here we need to do a careful review of the patient records. We should carefully balance the patient’s needs, our record of patient satisfaction, and our profits. If a patient’s record shows more than one remake for treatment failure a year, we need to reconsider suggesting it to them. However, keep in mind that as kids get older, sometimes they get more responsible. Anyone have any thoughts?”

Shatter from Liberty Sport Rec Specs meets the F.803 standard that recommends polycarbonate lenses with a minimum center thickness of 2.0mm.

Vasanthi: “I always mention non-glare, and I always review the benefits, but even with careful promotion, I find that parents shy away when it comes to the price. You know, as a practice, we agreed we would rather sell no anti-reflection (AR) than cheap AR.”

Sally: “I hear you. We have discussed this as a practice before. I trust you all to do the right thing by our patients. I printed out a table showing our AR choices, wholesale and retail costs, and the warranties. That may help you, as well. Notice that the Carl Zeiss Vision’s Carat Advantage has an unlimited two-year warranty. Robert, would you review this with Carle after the meeting? HOYA’s EX3 is our other premium AR treatment.”

Premium AR treatments, like HOYA’s EX3, are an important addition to kids’ lenses.

Sally: “If Mom and Dad are good with sunglasses heck, yeah! Kids need sunglasses, too. Polycarbonate is available in single vision finished uncut with a tintable hardcoat, and as you know, we use the Resolution series from Optima Inc. that gives us great results. The best thing about a tintable hardcoating is that the tint will be cosmetically matched, even when the prescription is quite different in each eye, as it often is for children. Trivex tints well and is another excellent choice for kids’ sunglasses. Keep your ears open for comments on upcoming vacations or camp, which might be a great opening to get a sunglass sale. Robert, you sell a lot of sunglasses to children. What is your secret?”

Robert: “If I have the parents’ attention and they seem open to it, I usually just come right out and say, you know, kids need sunglasses, too. With our package price and second pair deal, I can usually find something that will make both the child and the
parents happy.”


THE SPARE PAIR When filling a child’s prescription that is so high that you know they would be in danger without them, it makes perfect sense to expect to sell two pairs of glasses. There is often a duplicate pair which provides the advantage of a “spare parts” frame if necessary. Parents will often like a dress pair and a play pair. The dress pair may include non-glare for the family photo and Facebook Web sites and a play pair with photochromic lenses.

Sally: “As you know, we just added the entire new line of Liberty Sport Rec Specs, which are actually pretty cool. Rec Specs frames meet the F.803 standard that recommends polycarbonate lenses with a minimum center thickness of 2.0mm. As an office, we have always used Essilor Junior lenses in this frame because they are made with polycarbonate lenses and include a hardcoating and AR treatment. To ensure that every pair we sell meets all the safety requirements, we use Liberty Sport’s lab for all Rec Spec orders. I know it can be a tough sell, but remember that sportswear should be recommended for all children, including those wearing contact lenses.”

Sally: Tamika, please check with the local sports associations and find out if any of them require sports-specific eyewear? If they do, would you make up a sign for the front desk?”

Dr. Rhodes: “Sally, why don’t we add a coupon of some kind in the new contact lens wearer packet, maybe something like $20 off plano Rec Specs?”

Teaching your staff to sell children’s lenses really isn’t tough. Once you’ve established the procedures your office should follow, review them with your team periodically and train new employees to follow suit.

John Seegers is a licensed optician at Ryan Vision Center in Henrico, VA and the creator of


Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.

800-358-8258 •

Corning Ophthalmic
800-821-2020 •

Essilor of America, Inc.
800-542-5668 •

877-528-1939 •

Liberty Sport
800-444-5010 •

Optima, Inc.
800-621-1216 •

PPG Industries, Inc.
800-323-2487 •

Transitions Optical, Inc.
800-848-1506 •


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