Sunday, 24 March 2019 01:07

Stop Selling and Start Prescribing: An Innovative Approach to Retailing

Written by  

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Everyone loves to buy, but nobody likes to be sold.” If this statement is true, how do you grow your retail revenue without having to sell a thing? Is it really that easy to stop selling and start prescribing?


If you own a professional skin revision clinic you may already be incorporating this into your spa, but if you or your team have been retail challenged, then it is time to make a change for the better.


Here are the five steps to stop selling and start prescribing: choose a brand you believe in, know your product, begin with the consultation, match treatments to retail home prescriptives, and utilize needs-based prescribing.

This is the most crucial step to ensure your future sustainability and profitability. This step involves defining your core values as a business and identifying with suppliers who share these same core values. Your core values ensure you are using the proper map to achieve your end goal.


For example, if you are a professional skin care clinic providing high-touch, bespoke services and treatments to clients, naturally you would value a true professional-only supplier who trains and supports spas like yours. With many suppliers now selling directly to consumers online or through their own websites, cutting into the profits of professional skin clinics, finding a true professional-only supplier has not only become more difficult, but almost impossible. Do not worry, after a quick Google search, it is very easy to discover if your current supplier aligns with your core values of professional-only.

After finding the right partner, it’s all about increasing your knowledge. Knowledge is power, especially when prescribing the proper homecare to clients. It is important to ensure your supplier offers either in-person or online training to increase your familiarity with your new-found partner. Additionally, they should provide the proper marketing brochures, digital assets, and before and after photos to share this knowledge with your clients. Knowing your products and treatments are like knowing the best route to take on your GPS to get to your destination.

This is where the magic happens. Once you have the tools you believe in and are armed with treatment and homecare knowledge, this step uncovers your clients’ expressed and unexpressed needs. A full consultation is the foundation of a successful customer-therapist relationship. Just as we are very thorough when selecting our life and business partners, we should be just as thorough in selecting and consulting our clients.


A thorough client consultation takes time and consideration. For example, a client may come in expressing concern over post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but, upon further examination, their greater concern is they have a wedding coming up in the summer and want to look their absolute best. Once you learn the greater “why” behind the initial expressed concern, you understand your clients’ needs, not just their skin conditions. Additionally, as you examine all areas of your client, you are positioning future body treatments. What better way to get ready for a big event than to improve a client’s whole body? Clients’ needs are the compass that give direction for the proper professional treatments and retail home prescriptives.

After the consultation is complete, guiding the client down the correct course of treatments and homecare is vital to the success of the business. If a client does not commit to the treatments necessary or the client is not compliant with their home prescriptives, then it is best to turn them away and recommend them to another professional until they are ready. In fact, this is recommended to all spa owners to ensure the best client selection possible. There is no way to ensure the efficacy of services if the client is not willing to commit to your expert guidance. Matching the proper treatments and homecare is like making sure you put the proper fuel in your car. If you put diesel fuel in a gasoline engine, it’s not going to take you very far.

Matching your clients’ needs to the solutions you provide, sustainably and profitably, is the perfect recipe for success. During your consultation, uncover the immediate requests and dig deeper to find the client’s underlying needs. From there, prescribing is not an event, like selling, but is a part of the natural needs-based relationship.


Instead of experiencing the fear of rejection that comes with selling something, needs-based prescribing restates the client’s need and then recommends the proper home prescriptives based on the established need.


For example: “Ms. Smith, you mentioned you were concerned about the age spots you have been seeing over the last several months and you want to look your best for an upcoming wedding. Between the next few treatments, I’m going to put you on XYZ home prescriptives which will help lighten the area naturally for long-term results. It is imperative that you use this morning and night to ensure we extend the benefit of today’s treatment and set you up for success for the next appointment.” Taking the time to understand your client is what needs-based prescribing is all about. It is like you are becoming their expert navigator on their skin revision journey.

Let’s recap the five steps to stop selling and start prescribing. First, choose a brand you believe in. If your current supplier is selling directly to consumers, is this something you believe in? Make sure you are using the right map. Second, know your products. Knowledge is power. The better you understand your treatments and home prescriptives, the more contagious it is with clients. Set your GPS. Third, begin with the consultation. A full consultation is the foundation of a successful customer-therapist relationship. Calibrate your compass. Fourth, match treatments to retail homecare. There is no sense in taking on a new client if they are not compliant with the home prescriptives. Use the proper fuel. And fifth, incorporate needs-based prescribing. Prescribing is not an event, like selling. It is a part of the natural needs-based relationship. Become the navigator.


Skin revision is a journey and the industry needs more expert navigators. Turn around your growth – stop selling and start prescribing.


Drew ColemanDrew Coleman is the vice president of education and sales for DMK Internat­ional. His professional passion is to help business owners maximize their potential by benchmarking and identifying growth opportun­ities. Coleman’s 17-year career has been dedicated to helping businesses grow. He loves the aesthetics industry because of the passionate business owners he works with every day.

Want to read more?

Subscribe to our "Pro Membership" to continue reading this article.

Login to post comments

October 2021

Business Blogs

Brands of the Month

  • Celluma by Biophotas, Inc
  • Alexandria Professional
  • DMK Skin Revision Center