As an independent practice owner I believe we should not only be excelling in clinical care but every step of the client’s journey.
Eyewear is a very important fashion accessory which sits in the middle of our face for everyone to see. Yet many optical practices still view eyewear only as functional devices. This can lead to patients rejecting the eyewear prescribed for fear of looking older, unfashionable, or even worse, avoiding a trip to the opticians completely!
Historically, the industry has done little to accommodate patients apprehensions when choosing eyewear. Becoming a Styling Practice is not only highly desirable for your clients, who can finally begin to enjoy their eyewear and the experience of choosing it, but it’s also the biggest income generating area available to your practice.
My 7 top tips
1.Colour is King
Try to move your client away from safe black/browns and tortoiseshells as this typically limits clients to one pair which “goes with everything”. Understanding your client’s colouring by looking at their combination of hair, skin and eye colour, and finding out colours they wear and feel great in is key to this! Opening up your client’s mind to colour is one of the biggest keys to multiple pairs!
2.Glasses: It’s Personal
Don’t inflict your personal tastes on your clients – find out who they are, where they like to shop, the sort of car they drive, where they enjoy going on holiday etc. Observe their clothing; if they like tailoring, they are more likely to be drawn to eyewear which is understated, elegant and high quality. If they are fashion forward don’t be afraid to show them your most extreme styles! Whoever they are, help them to look and feel the best version of themselves! Understanding the different style personalities and the corresponding eyewear is key to this!
3. On trend
It’s important to stay ahead of fashion trends in both eyewear and clothing. Knowing which colours, fabrics, prints and styles are ‘on trend’ each season helps you distinguish between those seeking high end fashion styling and those who prefer a more relaxed look. Each styling personality will have a different relationship with fashion but by positioning yourself as an expert, you can guide clients to their most suited styles!
4. Ditch the DO jargon
There’s nothing that kills a styling consultation like hearing all about the abbe value, or the technical details of a frame or lens. To sound like a credible stylist you need to release your inner Gok Wan! Initiate excitement for your client about looking and feeling fab in their eyewear. Speak like a stylist: point out how the frame highlights their best features and compliments their colouring style, rather than boring them with the technical detail.
5. How do your clients buy?
Are they emotional or rational? Emotional purchasers are often a lot more animated during the styling process and will buy something if they love it. They will often purchase on impulse and justify multiple pairs if it makes them feel good. Rational purchasers are much more considered and will need your help to justify how those two pairs for different looks are going to work for them.
As optical professionals we love being asked about our personal preferences as it makes us feel valued as an expert. However you may be losing out on a multiple pair dispense by giving away your opinion too soon. Instead of jumping in with which ONE you like best Why not try: “Well all three of those look great, this one works for x, this one for y and this one for z”. Very often your client will stop and consider all three. I’ve done multiple dispenses of 4 pairs or more this way!
7. Transformation x 2 – your clients and you!
The Client: Many clients are desperate for a new look in eyewear but are often afraid of change. Encourage them to consider their whole look.
We have a dedicated styling area where clients spend time adjusting to new their new look. We encourage clients to bring in accessories and outfits to help give them confidence to embrace their own individuality. If you can be the one to empower them to make a change, they won’t ever want to go anywhere else again!
You and your team:
Are you, your team and your practice inspiring your clients? If your whole practice is inspirational, colourful and stylish, your clients will trust you to help them on their journey of transformation!
Image and Eyewear Styling Expert
Eva Davé is a leading Image Consultant, Speaker, Eyewear Styling Expert and Optometrist. She is also the founder of the recently launched the Eyewear Styling Academy and business owner of the successful, multi-award winning optical practice, ‘Mincher-Lockett & Co Opticians’ which has been awarded achievements for outstanding customer services and recently crowned ‘UK Fashion Practice of the Year 2019’ at the National Optician Awards.
Eva has over 20 years working in the optical industry as well as developing her own unique consultations as an eyewear image consultant. Eva is also highly respected international trainer for one of Europe’s leading Image Consultancy’s and is also a professional speaker who runs regular presentations and events on eyewear and styling.
Her current mission is to empower and equip optical practice owners, dispensing opticians and retail staff in how to boost their income, increase their average dispense value and raise customer satisfaction through her brand new styling programme brought to you by her company the ‘Eyewear Styling Academy’.
To discover more about the Eyewear Styling Academy visit the website: