After this discussion, you should assume the patient wants a premium lens unless they indicated to you that they were not interested. Next, carry over the discussion to the cataract counselor so he or she knows what you discussed with the patient. At this point, it’s up to the counselor to take the doctor’s suggestions and convert the patient to a premium service.
The cataract counselor
As an ophthalmic consultant working in dozens and dozens of practices nationwide, I can tell you a solid cataract counselor can make all of the difference in the world. They will take the doctor’s recommendations and do everything possible to help the patient move forward with those suggestions.
Common objections could be:
- It’s really expensive.
- Gosh, for that amount of money, I could buy a lot of reading glasses.
- I’m not going to live another 30 years, so it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.
- I’m OK with wearing reading glasses.
Most objections are either “I’m fine with glasses” or “It’s too expensive.” Well, if people are truly fine with glasses and fully understand the benefits of a premium lens, then we shouldn’t be overselling a premium lens to them. But if a premium service is something they want and if cost is the issue, then this is where a good counselor can shine.
A solid cataract counselor helps reinforce the benefits of a premium IOL, femtosecond cataract surgery and intraoperative aberrometry. Most importantly, they show the value of a premium service and help the patient find a way to overcome the financial hurdle so they can get the result they truly deserve. Financing is always a reliable method of overcoming the financial objection.
With a parting note, the best line I have ever heard a counselor use is:
“Mary, you deserve to have this done. You deserve clear vision. You’ve sacrificed your whole life for others. Now you need to give yourself permission to move forward.”
Because a premium service is indeed something a patient will use every waking moment for the rest of their life, it is up to the doctor and counselor to do their absolute best in showing the patient the benefits, while being upfront about the risks and side effects. It is the counselor’s duty to help the patient find the value and help them over the financial hurdle.