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Friday, 04 March 2011 15:59

Do Not Sell Home Products to Your Clients!

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Most practitioners of skin treatments, (and I include doctors as well as aestheticians), are lousy salespeople. The reason being: People, who truly want to change a skin, thus change a life, are passionate about their work and often do wonders in the privacy of the treatment room. This is an “art” and like most artists, these types of people fear rejection. Rejection can be in the form of a client saying “no,” after a treatment, when the client is asked to buy the home products recommended, to which they often respond, “No, I have just spent $300 dollars on products at the store and I want to use those first!”

Scientifically speaking, any professional treatment depends on its home prescriptives for ongoing, real results. In today’s market there are some highly effective professional products that really do initiate a chemical ion or “change” in skins suffering from various anomalies. Any other product, (mostly OTC products), could very well negate the effects of the professional treatment thus wasting the therapist’s time and the client’s money.
For decades I have been advising practitioners globally how to avoid this “rejection.”

  1. The very first visit of a client to your clinic or salon is your only time to take control—and this means using the ‘fear factor.’ If they are not afraid of you and your superior knowledge, you have little credibility and end up being more like a “servant” than an expert. Many people nowadays have read articles or have a relative that is a plastic surgeon, or look at everything on the Internet and feel they know it all. You have to convince them that they know very little—which in fact is often the case.
  2. Technical terminology is your number one tool—all those boring words you learned in the theory portion of training are the very tools that used in your initial diagnosis of their skin, scares them—leaving them open to accepting whatever you prescribe.

You have on your uniform or lab coat, even a mask over your mouth, and of course latex gloves. You have your clipboard with their chart nearby and as you look over the surface  of their skin, talk ‘to yourself’ audibly using words like “hmm, I see redundant cuticle build up all over the frontalis and compacted comedones in the preauricular area” (instead of “you have a few blackheads in your upper cheeks and a lot of fine lines on your forehead”). This professional terminology is your ‘doctor-speak’ and they will think “I am in a lot more trouble than I thought!”

  1. After the fear factor has established your credibility, then you can explain in layman’s terms, everything you observed and what are the major causes. It is then, that you establish the treatment protocol and then put them on their home products just like a doctor would do when he gazes down your sore throat and says “hmmm, you have strep throat, I am putting you on ampiciillin 500, or Ciproflaxin,” or whatever drug he deems suitable. We do not argue with our doctors, we go straight to the pharmacy and get our prescription filled. Your clients’ home products are your prescription, you are not asking them if they would like to buy them, so the selling factor is removed.
  2. As radical and theatrical as this seems, it has worked for thousands of therapists all over the world. Personally, I always go a step further when I see a first time client. I ‘pre-prescribe’ other treatments to them even if they have come in just for face work. This is accomplished by examining every aspect of their body during the initial diagnosis. Many women with aging hands, arms, thighs, décolleté, et cetera. think little can be done in these areas. By diagnosing them and audibly stating your observations (writing it all down on their chart), you are letting them know that treatments are available for everything—maybe not on that day, but they remember what you have said and will eventually book for other treatments. You have ‘pre-sold’ multiple treatments just by professionally prescribing to a client the additional treatment options when they came in just for their face.
  3. Constantly studying textbooks on anatomy, chemistry, physiology, or histology and upgrading your information will keep your tool box full and raise your credibility level higher and higher. Remember: knowledge is power and many therapists get into a comfort zone by doing the same old thing all the time—but their clients are not in that zone. In these days of economical stress, the skin revision business is actually booming. But people want to see real results for the money they spend. Falling back on the same old treatments just because they are popular or trendy is not going to increase your client success rate. If you are using the same things everyone else is using and depending upon brand name recognition, as well as product knowledge seminars  designed to  put money into manufacturer’s pockets you are missing your full potential as a para-medical dermal technician.*

You must use your peripheral mind—not tunnel vision. Think about skin as “structure, cause and effect.” Know the root cause of most things and the chemistry of the body involved. Study the increase of cortisol levels which in stressful times can result in many strange and chronic skin disorders. These things alone can elevate a therapist or skin practitioner to a very high level of success and income.
People want to look better and feel better in this era. They may not buy a new home or a major appliance right away but they will spend money on look good and feel good treatments. My grandmother taught me that when she came to the U.S. in the late 1920s during the depression. She was selling beauty creams door to door and said that even “in those days a woman would save up  a weeks’ salary to buy a lipstick or a mascara. It is no different today!

*Para-medical definition: para-a greek word implying complimentary or auxiliary and medical meaning to remedy

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