“No thanks, I’m just looking.” “I’ve got stuff at home.” If you’ve been an aesthetician for any length of time, likely you’ve heard those responses from clients after you’ve attempted to sell them homecare products.
You know they need it. You know their skin will be so much healthier if they use the appropriate, high quality skin care. But, they don’t seem to know it. Would you like to be more successful in retailing skin care for clients? Do you feel hesitant to confidently recommend skin care products? Do you struggle with how to go about doing it without being “sales-y?” Let’s talk about the challenges we feel when trying to sell retail and how to change our mindset.
Focus on educating the client instead of selling to them. To begin, retailing should never be about sales. Remember, you are the professional. You know skin conditions inside and out. You really care about clients’ skin and want them to take good care of it between their valuable facials, laser treatments, microneedling, and so forth.
Make it easier for yourself. Begin the conversation in the treatment room. Always ask “what are two things you’d like to change about your skin?” Imagine they respond: “Fine lines around my eyes and puffiness.” Then, when you examine their skin, you observe a massive amount of hyperpigmentation on both cheeks and old acne scars. Yet, all they are bothered by is the fine lines. Even so, you still need to first acknowledge their concern, and then tell them your observations. People feel validated when you agree with their concern, whether small or big.
Next, ask what steps they use in their skin care regimen currently, not talking about brands, just steps. For example, they use a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen daily. Now you know they could benefit from incorporating an antioxidant serum and regular exfoliation. Know the client. Let’s be real; some people love to put on everything from serums to primers to weekly masks, but other people can barely wash their face with bar soap. It is what it is. Find the right at-home skin care routine for each person or they’ll tune you out.
After finishing the treatment, pick up the conversation again by educating them about one or two products which will directly address their skin conditions, as well as fill a gap in their regimen. Use buzz words: talk about two to three key ingredients, what they are for, and why their skin would benefit.
Focus on the first two products that will make the biggest change in their skin right away. I like to tell them that, down the road, they can add X, Y, and Z, but I’d rather get them started on just one or two really key pieces of skin care right now. Once they try and love their new serum, they’ll be more likely to follow your recommendations in the future.
I find that standing next to my client instead of facing them directly is helpful. It shows that we are on their side, talking with them and not at them. Use phrases like “I like this serum because…” or “Just for future reference, if you ever want to switch up your cleanser, I’d recommend this one because...” Now, you’re not pressuring them into buying anything today, you’re educating them on a future purchase. Often, they’ll go ahead and want to try it right away because they sense you’re educating them, not trying to make commission for the end of the week.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
The big question: how much is it? Many people may wonder but do not ask, afraid of what the answer might be. So, after describing the benefits of the product, be upfront and show them the cost and then tell them how long it will last. Often, they will be surprised because, although this new product may or may not cost more, it will actually last them longer than what they are currently using and, of course, get them much better results.
So, be the sincere, caring aesthetician you are and don’t be afraid to educate your lovely client on how to improve their skin. After all, they came to you in the first place.
Susannah Courteau, an advanced practice aesthetician and spa director at Sunbear Salon and Medspa in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, has been treating complex conditions since 2004. Courteau partnered with BREVENA as a skin health consultant to further develop the brand’s line of clinical skin care products. She has a passion for treating complicated skin concerns like acne and sensitized, irritated skin. As an aesthetician, she loves the hydration that BREVENA products provide her clients.