USING TECHNOLOGY TO SELL EYEWEAR

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Today’s eyewear consumers are technology-savvy, making it easier than ever to focus on it to make a sale.

While the fashion aspect of frames usually takes center stage during the frame selection process, there is no shortage of useful technology in today’s eyewear frames. Just how do eyecare professionals use this technology as a selling technique? I asked three seasoned optical veterans to share their ideas.

THE PARTICIPANTS:

Martha Pullen Daddato, LDO, Rappahannock Optical, Fredericksburg, VA

Steven Lantz, LDO, Eyear One Hour Optical, McAllen, TX

Kevin J. Count, ABOC, Corner Optical, Glenview, IL


What do you look for in new frame technology features?

New technology-driven frame lines like Charmant’s Line Art go outside the box (Style No. XL 2019 RE shown here).
Aspex’s EasyTwist kids’ frames
with Turboflex 360° hinges also feature spring hinges and flex titanium.
Daddato: When seeking a new technology-driven frame line, I pursue those that go outside the box. This is what the Line Art collection from Charmant Group, A Division of Charmant Inc., has accomplished. Its unique temple design, flexibility, styling, and colors are what drew me to it, which has made it the best frame line I sell. This includes Line Art drill mounts as well. When I select drill-mount designs, I only choose pressure mounts because they seem to hold up the best for my patients.

Lantz: I look for the most commonly requested and fundamentally important features that benefit my patients—adjustable nosepads, spring-hinged temples, and durability, especially when providing eyewear to children. These features are important because they are tested, tried and true, and all lead to happier patients in the future. The Twister Line of eyewear by Zimco Optics is popular because it’s made from flexible memory metal, which makes it great for active kids.

Count: A frame with a reason. I’m not interested in another name on a temple, I already have enough of those. If I’m going to carry a product, it needs to have something the other pieces in my collections don’t. I like to offer products because of their unique designs, like the uncommonly beautiful ones from Ronit Furst. I’m also on the lookout for the ability to customize and create one-of-a-kind eyewear. Tom Davies’ Bespoke service is a good example. Davies can modify and remake one of his frames based on how I want it to appear on a patient’s face.


What are your biggest selling frame technology features?

Daddato: One of our top-selling eyewear technology features is actually an accessory—magnetic clips. Revolution Eyewear’s clips, for example, are for the patient who wants the most bang for their buck by having the magnetic sun clip included with their eyewear sale. This adds value to their purchase. The styles I offer use the strongest magnetic hold you can get to avoid complaints about the clip falling off.
Having a magnetic sun clip included with their eyewear sale adds value to the patients’ purchases (Revolution Style No. REV693RDLS shown here).
All Zero G frames (Nolita shown here) are hypoallergenic, 40% lighter than stainless steel, and laser-cut from a single sheet of surgical-grade titanium.

Flexon technology by Marchon Eyewear is definitely a popular technology-driven choice. These frames return to their original shape, even after accidental bending. Their advanced material technology provides greater comfort, durability, and functionality.

Lantz: Spring hinges may not be the most exciting frame technology, yet this is one of our most requested features. While the technology may be mechanical, the styles don’t have to reflect that. Vivid Eyewear, for example, uses a technology that is durable and the styles are really fashionable. The patient receives good-looking, quality eyewear that will last.

Count: Our biggest selling frame technology features are based on crafting and construction. For example, Robert Marc frames are handmade in France and feature a trademarked hinge that wraps around the temple and is nailed securely into place. The combination of design and function on these frames results in fewer trips for adjustments and repairs.

Zero G Eyewear is created with style, balance, comfort, and weightlessness in mind. All Zero G frames are hypoallergenic, 40% lighter than stainless steel, and laser-cut from a single sheet of surgical-grade titanium. There are no solder points to break, and no screws to loosen and fall out with the screwless hinge system.



What’s your most successful technique for helping patients appreciate frame technology?

Daddato: Assisting patients to understand the technology benefits of frames. My most successful strategy for doing this is to demonstrate all the benefits like the flexibility of spring temples, flex titanium, and 360° hinge movement in Aspex Eyewear’s EasyTwist kids’ frames with Turboflex hinges. The majority of my patients want value in their eyewear and are willing to pay the price for the quality it takes to get it.

Lantz: Teaching technology to the patient. Consumers are more educated today and many are already knowledgeable about new frame technology because of the Internet. The average patient knows what is new and expects to see a lot of it when they come to one of our locations. To help promote and support new eyewear technology, we use examples they can understand and relate to. For example, the Minimal Art line from Silhouette Optical, Ltd., is slim because its strong titanium material can be crafted thinner. Sometimes less is more. Our sales associates and opticians remind patients of the “brick” cellular telephone they used to carry around. Nobody wants old technology, everybody wants the latest. That’s why we focus on new frame technology features.

THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB I am from the school that subscribes to the idea that using the correct tool for a specific task is the only way to adjust frames, especially frames that use advanced technology. Manipulating strong metal materials like aluminum, surgical-grade stainless steel, and titanium requires firm holding pliers along with a task-specific adjusting tool. Using tools that are not strong enough or choosing the incorrect tool may harm the frame or worse, break it. And when applying heat to plastic frames with adornments, designs, and materials, just the right amount of heat will be needed, especially when an isolated part of the frame needs attention. Frame warmers with consistent heat or variable heat do this well.



Count: Engage the patient and talk not just about a great brand, but about the technology that makes it so appealing. Explain and demonstrate the technology features, then put the product in the patient’s hands to let them feel the quality and the artisanship. Encourage them to try on the product and experience the technological features you’ve just explained and how they promote good fit and comfort.


Jackie O’Keefe is a licensed optician and a writer, lecturer, and course preparer in the Virginia Beach, VA area.


WHERE TO FIND IT:

Aspex Eyewear
800-277-3979 • aspexeyewer.com

Charmant Group,
A Division of Charmant Inc.
800-645-2121 • charmant.com/us

Marchon Eyewear
800-645-1300 • marchon.com

Revolution Eyewear
800-986-0010 • revolutioneyewear.com

Robert Marc
212-675-5200 • robertmarc.com

Ronit Furst
888-835-9763 • ronitfurst-usa.com

Silhouette Optical, Ltd.

800-223-0180 • silhouette.com

Tom Davies
630-499-7955 • tdtomdavies.com

Vivid Eyewear
800-631-0188 • Vivid-Eyewear.com

Zero G Eyewear
805-375-3295 • zerogeyewear.com

Zimco Optics
718-646-1221• zimcooptics.com

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