Converting 'Browsers'

If a member of the public is ‘browsing’ your range of frames, they’re telling you they’re interested in what you have to offer

The rise of the ‘Browser’

In the majority of cases, patients who want to buy spectacles will have already had an eye examination in your practice. However, more and more people are realizing that they have a choice when it comes to purchasing new eyewear. This means that you’re more likely to see more ‘browsers’ than you’re used to, which is a GREAT opportunity to gain new patients.

Today’s consumer shops around more, that’s no secret. You’re a consumer, and you likely ‘look to see what’s about’ before making a small investment. Well, because the public is becoming more style conscious and better informed about the products and services available to them, it has subsequently increased the number of browsers in optical practices. This in turn has expanded the possible opportunities for you to convert them from potential customers, into long-standing clients.

It’s important to remember that browsers in optical practices are not like browsers in clothes shops.

Generally, when someone visits an optical practice to look at specs it’s because they have already decided they want a new pair – they may even have a copy of their latest prescription with them.

However, browsers in clothes shops may just be ‘looking’ with no intention of making a purchase.

Interacting with browsers

As previously mentioned in article 2, you should NEVER pre-judge how much a client is going to spend with you. That being said, you should accept that browsers are interested in the products you have to offer, and therefore be confident in approaching them and engaging in conversation. But be mindful to the way you approach clients – be sensitive. You know what it’s like to be approached by a store assistant and asked ‘Can I help you?’ Your answer is most likely, ‘No thank you, I’m just looking.’

Greeting browsers with open questions such as ‘Hello, how are you today?’ will typically lead to conversation, thus building the rapport necessary for a potential customer to become receptive to further suggestions and information. This technique is easier to achieve if you are not behind a reception desk which could act as a ‘barrier.’ You should therefore make sure you are on the shop floor when engaging with browsers – perhaps arranging or cleaning frames – as this will be perceived as a lot less threatening.

Remember: It takes just 15 seconds for someone to decide whether or not they feel comfortable in your practice.

A customer’s objectives can be established with a little probing through the use of more open questions. Initially, if you’re uncomfortable with open questioning, you can be proactive by offering advice about certain product ranges or current promotions, or pointing out when the different frames ranges are explaining pricing structures.

Then, once you have built a little rapport, you can encourage the customer to try on frames and advise them about how their current spectacles can be improved (thinner, lighter, smaller etc.).

Top tip: If the information you gain indicates the customer could benefit from contact lenses, now is the time to mention them.

Finally, it’s a good idea to talk to the customer about their existing glasses and offer to check their fitting and adjustment – this shows you’re not just interested in giving a sales pitch. By implementing these techniques, it will be easier to obtain even more information about your ‘browser’s’ objectives.

If you have noticed that you are seeing more and more browsers, and would like to discuss the best ways to convert them into clients, get in touch with your STORM guru, who will be more than happy to help.

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