Tuesday, 01 April 2014 16:40

Coaching, Engaging and Promotions: How to Attract and Retain Your Target Markets

Written by   Celeste Hilling

Who is your target market? Moms and daughters? Business workers on a lunch break? Athletic club members? Everyone in your community? Think broadly about your market. How can you expand it and keep current clients coming back? Education. Regardless of whether you are treating men, women, teenagers or seniors, when you educate, you earn your customer’s loyalty and bottom lines are boosted. A loyal clientele offsets the high costs of constantly acquiring new clients. This will help you salon or spa to be profitable, to make real differences, and to avoid being a one-time experience.

eventsMake a Real Connection by Coaching
When you are trying to appeal to so many markets, there is no narrowly set demographic. It is important to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach in messaging a service delivery. Instead, build a customer service model based upon personalized, one-on-one customer service and coaching. Strike an emotional chord in that first consultation. Do not just look at a form. Have a free form dialogue. Ask questions, show your expertise, and initiate a healthy skin lifestyle discussion. Change your team’s mindset from executing transactions to building relationships. There are endless ways to make a connection from social media to texts, e-mail, videos, snail mail, phone, in-person consultations, and the power of human touch. For example, at Skin Authority we take the passive process of selecting skin care products and turning it into a high-touch, socialized, personalized value-driven experience. Our team did over half a million coaching consultations in 2013. We also extend this service on behalf of the professionals who sell our products to enhance their businesses. It takes an organization-wide commitment to build the systems and processes necessary to deliver consistent support; but people see, hear, and feel this difference – and it makes them loyal.

Educating Teenagers on Skin Care
Your education and approach will vary depending on your client. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that nearly all young adults between the ages of 12 and 17 are affected by acne at least occasionally. Teenagers want quick results that create an instant, visible difference in their skin. Engage teenagers by providing quick, easy-to-digest information in a non-threatening way. Keep the basics in mind: cleanse, exfoliate, sunscreen. It is also important that the routine fits into their lifestyle, so I encourage a minimal amount of products that can be put into a locker or backpack.
And, get your young clients to have support from their parents. To keep them informed and educated, ask that a parent be present during the initial consultation and for periodic treatment appointments. They will have to be the one policing to make sure the cleansing and protecting steps happen regularly.

seasonalEducating Men on Skin Care
Men care about their skin, but they may know very little about taking care of it. This presents a great opportunity for you to build, educate and maintain a loyal customer base. With global sales of male toiletries (not including razors, blades and shaving cream) at $17.5 billion in 2013, men’s skin care is a viable market.1
It is important that men see and feel results. Men want to hear about the health benefits of treatments such as: a monthly massage helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress, and releases toxins from the body. They are not as motivated by a desire to pamper themselves.
Men are very loyal clients and a good way to encourage that loyalty is to have your front desk personnel pre-book appointments before they leave. Help them continue their skin care at home. Men often do not want to look around for products, so pick out the products and tell them why they need them.

Engaging Events
One way to thank existing clients is by partnering with a local business and offering half-hour facials, given in a festive atmosphere with your spa’s owner. This will provide clients with on-hand education and guidance with selecting products recommended by the aestheticians. Attendees will be sure to leave asking when the next event would be.
Your team should enjoy hosting events like this. There will be a lot of cross-selling on the day, which helps everyone’s bottom line. Events also help the team come together. Your spa can center these events around certain holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day. Even date night themes or something for the fall would be great themes.
“Events make people aware of the spa for their well-being and they are a great way to get your name out,” says Tammie Woodruff, vice president of Skin Authority. She suggests that an event with 12 attendees is the perfect number. She also emphasizes that one of the most important things in creating a successful event is to have a participating vendor bring knowledge and be a partner with the team.
Approach every event as a partnership, which has a positive halo effect for all parties. The attendees get a sampling of what the venue offers, which whets their appetite for a return visit. The locations benefit from the retail sales and booking of future visits. The partner connects with the team on-site and is the facilitator of a great, educational experience.
There are many reasons skin care events work: They offer a physical connection; you have to experience the product and service to understand it. They are experiential. They are educational.

1 Euromonitor International

Celeste-Hilling 2014With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the founder, CEO and product formulator for Skin Authority. Hilling is a respected speaker and media resource on skin care, healthy lifestyles, self-esteem and business. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook @Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.


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