Body Language to Close Retail Sales

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Many aestheticians have a love or hate relationship with selling retail. There are certainly some people who are naturally gifted at sales. Ultimately, anyone can learn to improve their sales techniques by finding tools that feel natural and implementing them. One of the easiest ways to improve sales quickly is to improve your ability to read a client’s body language.



Being able to “feel” out a client will help you decide on the best approach. Greet them with eye contact and a smile. Introduce yourself and let them know you are happy to assist them. Be sure to start off by asking an open-ended question such as, “What are your skin concerns?”


How does their body language change as you approach them? One interesting tell is the positioning of their feet. Are they pointed towards you and the retail shelves? Or do they have one foot pointed towards the exit? That could be a sign that they are in a hurry, just browsing, or uncomfortable with the interaction.


Does the client seem relieved to speak with you? Reciprocal eye contact, relaxed shoulders, and open posture (body facing you – arms aren’t crossed) are signs of a willing customer. Pay attention to their facial expressions, as well. A raised eyebrow can be an indication of skepticism (if they are a neurotoxin patient, check for pursed, tight lips instead). Slightly parted lips and affirming head nods are indicators that they are eager to listen and the conversation is going in the right direction.



Education sells. You went to school for this. You read DERMASCOPE every month and follow industry leaders and aesthetician icons on social media. You watch extraction technique videos on your phone in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. You spend your hard-earned money on continuing education classes. You began asking the consultation questions necessary to recommend the right product to your client. And that is the key – you are making a recommendation. They may not know glycolic acid from oleic acid or why a serum can cost more than a moisturizer. Being able to educate and empower a client will not only help close the sale, but it will make it feel less like a sale and more like a solution to the problem they wanted solved.


Stories sell. Personal referrals and testimonials are some of the easiest ways to close a sale. Don’t be afraid to share which products are in your regimen and why. If you have a client who has seen results from a product, be sure to tell that story. When comparing two items online, user reviews are a huge factor in the decision to buy. You can translate that message into real life by letting a client know, “That is our number one selling cleanser. No one has ever returned it. In fact, people love it so much, one of my clients bought six bottles for bridesmaid gifts at her wedding.”


Appeal to their inner toddler. Product tester bottles are a standard in the industry for a reason. Once we feel, smell, and hold a product, we are more likely to see ourselves owning it. Whenever possible, demonstrate the product on the client. While you are educating them on the benefits of the product, put the product box or bottle in their hand and let go. The more they study it and turn it in their hands, the more they feel an innate sense of possession. Soon enough, they will declare, “It’s mine.”



Reading a client’s body language throughout your interaction will help gauge their experience. Sometimes, even with the right approach and sales pitch, you can experience push back from a client. This is a good time to check in on their body language. If they are no longer making eye contact, and they have turned their feet and shoulders away from you, it may be time to end the conversation. If their body posture remains open and towards you, then it’s a safe bet that they are asking you to help them overcome the objection, so they can make the purchase.


It may be helpful to keep a list of objections you hear from clients. When you have some free time, review the list with other aestheticians and practice responses. Then, when you hear that same objection again, you will be better prepared to give an informed answer.


When you greet a client with an open, relaxed body posture and approachable confidence, they feel at ease and confident in your ability to answer their questions. A quick analysis of their body language will help you assess their comfort with the situation and allow you to make the necessary adjustments to your approach, so you have higher odds of closing the sale.






Briana McKee is a Texas licensed aesthetician since 2010 and founder and moderator of Texas (A)estheticians Circle on Facebook. Her passion is providing support to spa industry professionals through education and networking. She currently works as a senior business development manager for a leading aesthetic device company. 

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