Your main objective as an aesthetician is to book clients. If you do not have a client, then you will not have a treatment to perform. If you do not have a treatment to perform, then you do not have a supporting income. All the educational hours given in clinic providing services for your school’s clientele should not be in vain. You earned your license by taking both the practical and written state board exams and you are confident in your skill as an artisan for the skin. Now it is your turn to reap the rewards.
In school, the business-side of aesthetics was touched on briefly but at the time it was not your main concern. You were merely interested in learning your trade to the best of your ability. A client would show up at school for a treatment and you would evaluate their skin, then retrieve the products for the correct treatment from the dispensary. Too concerned about making sure you were doing everything right – cleanse, tone, extract, massage, mask, moisturize – the last thing on your mind was re-booking the client before they left the premises. The school you attended was a great foundation for you to gain hands-on experience, but more than likely it did not teach you the necessary skills on how to thrive in the workplace. As a result, unfortunately, you leave school with rose-colored glasses thinking that once you start working, the clients will be there and the money will be pouring in. In reality, however, you are thrown into learning a new trade – selling your craft.
Your skin is your number one seller. The first thing people do when you tell them that you are an aesthetician is look at your skin. Your skin has to be as close to flawless as possible. People do not want to receive a treatment if you have clogged, dirty-looking pores – skin so damaged from being exposed to excessive sun tanning. People prefer the more natural look so when an aesthetician’s face appears plastic, clients may fear that they could eventually take on the same appearance if they were to seek treatment from them. Therefore, aestheticians need to portray their looks in a classy, timeless disposition. There are some aesthetic jobs that call for an extreme appearance, such as a makeup artist, but for the most part, taking a minimalistic approach is your best portrait.
Besides looking the part, aestheticians need to smell the part. As an aesthetician, the aroma that emits from your body should be a very pleasant and subtle scent. Keep in mind that some people have allergies to perfumes and too much applied can cause a client to leave before or during a treatment or to not return. Moreover, most individuals have an innate allergy to body odor.
For each treatment, an allotted amount of time should be delegated. Ergo, leave that used gym bag scent at the gym; do not bring it to work or not only could you potentially lose clients, but you could also be typified as a sweaty, body odor perspiring person. If the client does not feel comfortable in your presence during that time, due to hygiene issues, they will not return. No aesthetician should lose a client because of their own poorly practiced personal skin care – you should always be clean. Cleanliness is of the utmost importance, not only your personal hygiene but the treatment room as well.
In school and even in some states, it is a requirement to receive continued education on sanitation every time an aesthetics license is renewed. The skin is the largest organ on the body, the filter for all contaminates. It is necessary to practice extreme sanitary standards while operating in your treatment room. When your client walks into your workspace, automatically they subconsciously begin to determine if they want to stay or leave – a clean or dirty treatment room reflects on your professionalism. Although they might not leave for that treatment if your room does not pass their standards of cleanliness, I assure you that they will not return. They equate a dirty treatment room to a dirty aesthetician. Therefore, take pride in your presentation. Your treatment room should set the standards of the quality of aesthetician you are.
Techniques and Skill Set
Once your client is in your clean and very sanitary treatment room, it is time for your hands to do the work. Another great seller of your craft are your hands. Touch is one of the greatest senses in the human body. The impact this sense can have on your client can be so pronounced that it can result in the client becoming a regular. When your hands touch a client’s skin, they simultaneously start reflecting on the sensation they are feeling. It could be good or it could be bad. That sensation will bring back lingering memories that they will link to your skill set as an aesthetician, and you want it to be a good memory. Certain scents that you used during the treatment will be associated to you and your abilities. For instance, with extractions they will remember whether you were too rough or gentle; your massage technique will be cemented as relaxed or choppy and not flowing; and waxing services will be recalled as gentle and soothing or as extremely painful. Ultimately, you must acknowledge that many sensations will be felt and a majority of them will be created your hands. That is why the techniques you apply to the skin with your hands will facilitate your success.
Your hands will facilitate your success and knowledge will empower it. Aestheticians need to receive continuing education throughout the years they are practicing skin care. The skin care industry is very vast and advanced. New products are being developed and technology is creating more and more top of the line machines to aid in caring for the skin. The more you know, the more your business will grow. Not only does knowledge help you to better assist your clients with their skin care needs, it also builds your confidence and reassures your vocal deliverance. When you are confident in what you are discussing, it is easier to book a client. You will be able to tell your client with an honest dialogue how they need to care for their skin. This dialogue will become a habit in your treatment routine because you want your client to have the best possible skin. Your main goal as an aesthetician is to provide great skin care that optimizes the best results.
While performing a treatment, analyze your client’s skin and know in advance the desired results that are looking for. Aestheticians know that the requests of their clients can be achieved most of the time, but not in one treatment. Sometimes the treatments need to alternate and even vary to get desired results. Our knowledge needs to be shared with our clients. Explaining why your client should be receiving a treatment is better than just saying, “You need this treatment.” They become more susceptible to listening to your professional opinion and because their skin care is in your hands, they trust that you will deliver the best treatments for them. Do not be afraid to recommend a treatment because you assume the price is too expensive for your client. If you believe that a particular treatment is the best treatment, then they will be willing to pay for it. One of the biggest mistakes aestheticians make is underselling their client – it does not benefit the client or the aesthetician.
If a treatment is not going to benefit a client, then why give the treatment at all? You would not want to pay for something that did not benefit you, so do not subject that to your client. This is why networking is important because not all clients need to stay with you. You served your purpose, got their skin looking far better than when they first came to you, but you no longer have the tools to continue their skin’s improvement. Therefore, the connections you obtained during networking become an asset. Getting to know other professionals in the aesthetics industry will greatly help you advance your career.
Within the aesthetics industry, you belong to a family of professionals that will look out for each other. Each connection will help connect a client to someone else who can better suit their needs. It is okay to tell a client that you are not able to deliver their desired results. Integrity is shown by you and respect is given from your client as you tell them that you know and highly recommend another skin care professional who can assist them. Word of mouth is your cheapest marketing tool and one that people trust the most.
Marketing is one of the greatest expenses for a business. Thousands, sometimes even millions of dollars, are spent every year on marketing. Once your business name has been registered, your mail will be full of marketing firms wanting to provide their services to your business, and your telephone will receive numerous calls from marketing companies knowing the best way to reach your clients. Fundamentally, you want to do the best marketing possible for your business, but can only do as much as your budget will allow; thus, word of mouth is one of the best options available to you. However, word of mouth can also be detrimental to your business if you lack people skills or you are not confident in your craft – it can result in negative reviews.
When prospecting for new clients, it becomes a challenge if negative word of mouth has gotten around about your services. You will be climbing a much higher mountain full of rocky terrain and horrible conditions if people do not have positive words to share with their friends, family, coworkers, and so on about you. Being educated as an aesthetician is the first step, but it will not take you far if you do not have the necessary people skills to obtain new clients. Being the best at your craft will get you far, however, having great people skills will take you further and get you noticed by potential clients.
Positive attitude, in combination with knowledge and skill, is what will keep you above your competitors. Nobody likes to receive treatments from “Debbie Downer.” As with the touch sensation previously discussed, clients will associate with you in their memory of a great treatment and this same memory will be interconnected with your attitude and outwardly projected persona. People enjoy the company of others who can uplift them. When your client walks through your door, you never know what they have going on in their personal life. For this reason, make your establishment a safe haven – a place where they can leave their day at the door. Providing a comfortable and cozy environment allows your client to let go and truly experience your treatment.
The floodgates of communication open once your client feels comfortable in your care. You are able to relax because your client is relaxed and this enables a fluidity of easy discussion. The verbiage you practiced on trying to pre-book prospective clients and re-book existing clients becomes mundane. You open your mouth to speak and words begin to pour out like a beautiful stream of water, flowing eloquently from your lips. You are able to tell the client about what their skin needs, how often they should see you, and also other treatments that you can provide to enhance their service at the same time. They are receptive to you and once again, they trust that you will only provide them with what will be best for their skin.
Trust is the key word. A client has to trust you. Be honest with your sales. If a client does not need a treatment, do not try to sell them one. Only sell what will be the best for their skin; by doing so, your client will know that when you speak of a need it is justified and they will receive it because you have been honest and earned their trust. Upselling during your treatment is not hard to do when you allow yourself to speak freely to a client in regards to their skin.
During the analysis stage of your service, you openly tell your client how their skin looks and what you are able to do for them to achieve the best results from the treatment. Most people need eye treatments and savor the possibility that their tired eyes will look revitalized – no longer drab or daunting. As a result, upselling an eye treatment is extremely easy. Sometimes the facial they booked is not the one they should receive, so you can upgrade to a facial that would be more beneficial to them. Eyebrow, nostril, ear, upper lip and face waxing are all upgrades that many of your clients need. It is your responsibility as an aesthetician to represent your defined meaning of the term aesthetic. Some clients do not know how a simple eyebrow shaping can change the presence of their face. Simple upgrades to a basic facial will allow your clients to leave your room more aesthetically pleasing in appearance than when they first arrived. There is no greater feeling for an aesthetician than to see the beauty of your work exiting out of your doors. You feel like you accomplished the best skin care for your client and that, within itself, is a gratifying feeling.
Confidence is Key
It is a satisfying experience when your client’s treatment is over and they are happy, their skin is glowing and visibly appealing to the eye. It is at this point that your confidence level is at its peak and you are able to look your client in the eye and ask when they would like to book their next appointment. This is the ideal time because both you and your client are on a skin-euphoria high. They will not hesitate to rebook with you for their next treatment, and they will be inclined to share their look with others, thereby becoming your showcase in prospecting for new clients. Their skin is your other tool for marketing. When they receive treatments from you and if there are noticeable changes in their appearance, people will ask them what they use on their skin. They will say they have a great aesthetician that they see on a regular basis. This is how the best form of word of mouth marketing begins.
People are curious by nature and when they see something that they like they become inquisitive. They want to know how they can get what the other person has and in this case it is in the form of beautiful skin that stands out amongst the rest. You want your clients to be approached by inquisitive people and your clients appreciate the fact that they are being noticed. They like to talk about their skin and what they are doing for it to make it so beautiful; they will not share all their secrets, but they will share your name and where you work. Congratulations! Your client just marketed you through word of mouth. They shared with someone else your information because you were honest in your service, executed your treatment to the best of your abilities and most importantly, listened to what your client wanted and then guided them through the process of receiving the treatment that would deliver the best results.
You should always strive to deliver the best results every time you give a client a treatment. Simply make your routine a habit by perfecting your craft, staying confident in the services you provide and communicating well with your clients, encouraging them to see you more often. Your best results will enable you to re-book clients before they exit your establishment and become your number one marketing campaign. Upselling your clients with add-ons will increase your revenue, and they are easily sold by educating your clients as to why they need particular treatments. Entering work begins the routine of your day and being in the habit of knowing how to keep clients returning will be your continued success.
Amra Lear is a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician. She has been working in the spa industry for 16 years, working for two of the most prestigious spas in the world. Her clientele consists of the stars, moguls and people alike. She has been trained by Japanese shiatsu masters and the founders who pioneered such wonderful modalities such as ashiatsu, mother massage and lulur. Skin is her ultimate passionate to where she has been dedicating the last six years to research and education of biochemistry to better understand the biochemical response to products used on the skin.