Retailing and Sales Techniques by Expert Marie-Louise Coster
I want you to read this article and make the decision to work smarter......not harder!
Ever since the various lockdowns I work less hours than I ever have in my career, but I earn more money and have a better work/life balance. How have I achieved this?
I retail to everyone! I remember a trainer on a course saying to me once it doesn't matter what treatment the client comes in for there are retailing opportunities everywhere. Even if she comes in for a wax you can still sell her a foot cream.....she has feet! Whilst it made me laugh she was absolutely right, you don't just have to limit yourself by selling to the client products based only on the treatment they are booked in for,
Stop with all of the limitations!
We all know that the easiest way to make more money, without working more hours, is to retail, but beauty therapists often shy away from retailing - almost embarrassed and terrified at the thought of ‘trying to sell' something to someone. We put up boundaries. We make assumptions about the client - mainly about what we think our client can afford and whether that client is interested in buying products. We also put our own boundaries in place and question our own abilities to sell which knocks our confidence and we generally don't bother trying as it is easier not to. It becomes more important to us to get the client to re-book and fill our columns, and although this is the right thing to do, as this is very important, retailing is AS important.
And there lies the problem.
The approach and mindset is focussed on trying to sell and the fear of rejection, and that comes with pressure. The minute you change your mindset and focus on the retailing aspect of your treatment to be exactly that - part of your treatment service - you will relax about it and find retailing much easier.
There are 8760 hours in a year. If you client comes to see you for a facial every 3-4 weeks you are spending about 17 hours with her. That leaves another 8743 hours where she needs to maintain her skin and treat it herself......how will she do that without your advice and any homecare?
If a client is going to the expense of having regular facials she will be using something on her skin at home. Whether it is a basic high street cosmetic product or a higher end one she will be spending something, somewhere, and she won't be getting the best for her skin because she hasn't bought a salon quality product specifically designed for her to use at home and you will be missing out on potential sales. Not only that, why would she come to you for your brand of facial month in and month out and not want to use the products at home? She must like the products, and consider them effective, otherwise she would try a different brand of facial.
It is you job, as a beauty therapist, to advise your client on how she can treat her concerns. You are there to provide a solution to her problem, and if you aren't advising - and ultimately retailing the items that are going to be the solution for her - then (in my opinion) you aren't doing your job properly. A client can have a bash at doing a facial on herself at home, the added benefit of coming to you is your skill and your KNOWLEDGE.
So how can you retail?
Here are some tips for successful retailing:
• Carry out a thorough consultation with your client, find out about her/his lifestyle, concerns and current routine. If she is busy with a full time job and 4 children you need to consider her limited time and not try to oversell.
• Look for gaps in the client's current routine – the easiest sale to make is by filling the clients gaps in her routines. Does she have a cleanser but no toner? Has she just bought a new cleanser and toner but not have a day and night cream? Does the client currently exfoliate and mask? If not maybe you could recommend these two. Whatever is missing try retailing first as the client is more inclined to buy something they don't already have – after all no one wants to be wasteful and duplicate products. You still need to tell them about the rest of the range because as time goes on and she runs out of her current products she can replace them with the other products you recommend for them from the range.
• Focus on 4 key products – If you only recommend 1 or 2 products the client will easily say no, if you recommend 4 the client will at least buy 1. Anymore than 4 products and I think it starts to become a little intense and over powering – unless of course the client has no routine whatsoever and needs a full routine.
• Sell to your client's needs – clients can easily tell when you are just trying to sell them anything so sell to her/his needs according to what you have discovered during the consultation.
• Create an emotional connection between the client and the products - Clients will buy emotionally, they will relate the product to how it will solve the concerns or problems they have, be it with their skin, their nails etc. It is always advisable to use the same language as the client and relate the products to the solutions it will provide to solve the issues that they are seeing as a problem. By providing more facts about the product and how it will help that justifies the emotions they are feeling. But the clients also wants to know what is in it for them so talk about how the products will make them feel - this gives them more reasons to buy. Although you can't put a price on a feelin your client is going to be looking for value. Emphasise the USP's of your products, the investment in the innovation, the result driven ingredients, the value of how long it will last etc. Always give the client the product to hold.....it becomes an extension of them then and they are less likely to want to part with it. When you describe the product talk about it as though it is already hers/his.
• Do your retailing in the treatment room – it is a common mistake to wait until the client has dressed and made her/his way to reception to attempt to retail. By this point, in the clients mind the treatment is over and she/he is now thinking about what else they need to do that day – buy some bread, collect the children from school, pop to the bank etc. Whatever it may be, their mind is no longer on the treatment.
• Don't offer samples until after the client has decided on what she is going to purchase – if you offer samples first the client won't buy anything. Samples are a selling tool and if you recommend 4 products to your client and she buys 2 by all means give her samples of the other 2 products but don't offer them first as you will lose a sale.
• Ensure that you give your client a prescription sheet of what you recommend she uses at home and how to use them. Make a note on there what you consider to be their priority products, what they bought and anything you gave a sample of. In my experience clients keep these like a bible! When I worked for Clarins, after I first qualified as a therapist, I had ladies who kept their prescriptions in their purse and every time they came in out it would come. Years after leaving Clarins they still used to stop me in the street with said prescriptions asking what I thought they should buy next! Accompany your prescription with a product brochure so as the client has something to refer to.
Follow these simple tips and you will experience great success and once you get into a routine it will become second nature. Look at the advising and retailing as part of the treatment routine in the same way cleansing would be in a facial or after wax lotion would be in a leg wax….you wouldn't carry out either of those treatments without it so don't carry them out without retailing either!
Retailing and Sales Techniques By Marie-Louise Coster