Do you know what you really want? What determines the choices you will make? Do you know people who act on compulsions, emotions or habits that fail to provide the results they want? Understanding motivation is one of the most empowering factors in achieving goals. And whether you are pursuing your own agenda or managing that of many, it is an indispensible tool. Our motivation not only helps us achieve goals, it also touches everything from intent to result. It influences the outcome in every area of our lives and ultimately defines us.
Aesthetics is a wonderful and rewarding career but, as many experienced professionals know, it is not one where growth and security is a sure thing. It takes much dedicated hard work and patience to finally see a busy schedule of reliable clients. In the meantime, and certainly after you are in regular demand, you will need to deepen and widen your customer relationships to avoid loss of interest and, ultimately, business. Skin care and makeup product sales are possibly the best and most profitable way for you to protect the trade you have earned.
There is a saying in business that nothing happens until someone sells something to somebody. If this is true, no business can be successful, or even survive, unless all efforts are directed at serving the people who do the buying – the clients. Unfortunately, where many aesthetic professionals fail is by not thinking of themselves as skin care technicians and salespeople.
It is important for you to put your time and energy in the treatment room into giving the client the best in skin and body care, but once you have them hooked on your services, do not risk not retaining them by your lack of series sales.
Compliment traditional aesthetic services with quick and easy add-on treatments. By doing this, you can show your clients new treatments they might not have experienced before - all while adding a few extra bucks to your day's progress. Below are a few examples for you to try in your practice!
Are you experiencing growth or is your practice or spa maintaining an internal status quo that actually puts it at risk for extinction? By expanding your menu of services, you can stay competitive – and even take a lucrative step ahead of the pack.
According to the 2008 Global Spa Summit in New York, "The global spa economy is estimated to be over $250 billion." And in spite of the economic downturn, the industry continues to grow at a breakneck pace.
In an ever changing profession, each day brings a new type of product, service, and treatment protocol. Body services have grown with increasing popularity, and not just for simple relaxation purposes, but for overall health and wellness benefits as well. Body services include: Wraps for detoxification, firming, and toning; Exfoliation; Cellulite reduction; Skin smoothing and softening; Scrubs; salts, sugars, loofahs, brushes, and shells; and massages - generally limited in the aesthetics profession to the application of beneficial ingredients to the body in order to improve the condition and beautify the skin.
All of this is information that you already know…
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!”
How do retail stores entice you to enter their doors and linger over their shelves full of irresistible products? Visual merchandising is a skill that department stores, shopping malls, and chain retailers have spent many years perfecting. Retailing and merchandising is an important part of your overall business plan and it will dramatically increase business profitability at your skin care center, salon, day spa, or medical spa. Lauren Gartland is the president of Inspiring Champions, a business training and coaching company specializing in the beauty industry. Gartland, along with Salon Spa Cash Flow expert Gary Ahlquist, regularly advise business owners on how to instantly boost their profits with retail.
Most of us know the advantages of selling retail products well, so for the sake of argument let us look at the dark side of not selling our clients their home care products. In other words, what are the consequences of our failure to play the role of expert in recommending products for the day-to-day maintenance of our clients skin?
First, clients will end up buying department store products, drugstore, or infomercial brands. Not only will these products typically under-perform, they will generally not be suited to our client's skin type or needs, and thus, will fail to provide proper results. Our client will become frustrated.
The true value of a product can only be determined by the consumer, however it takes a passionate advisor to present the benefits and features of a product that establishes the worth. Think about it.
The rule of sales states it is better to have 100 satisfied customers than 1000 prospects! More sales are made with friendship than with salesmanship. This and another old business adage says “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends” and if you have fostered your skin care business to care and help people, garnered trust based on your skills, personality, and client follow through
Sinking down into the soft Frette sheets for my one hour signature facial, I relinquish all my worries to Anna, my aesthetician. After a thorough cleansing, she begins to analyze my skin and says, "Ms. Hanson, would you like me to clean your brows. It is only $10?" "Of course yes, thank you, I reply." And as her hands touch my skin, she recommends that I add on the collagen-fleece mask for an additional $25 to take care of my dehydration issue, and I say, "Great." Here is a classic example of an upgrade and an add-on, so well done that "it did not hurt a bit."
Summertime can be a wonderful opportunity for spa therapists and technicians to become busy with summer-inspired upgrades to treatments. By combining your awareness of your client’s needs and preferences with knowledge of the products you offer, you can easily “up sell” a treatment. You help a client decide to purchase a little extra something or “upgrade” a level before starting the treatment. It does not have to be a major change, just an adjustment to the plan.
In some areas, summers tend to be a slower season, mostly due to the migration north of those spa clients who are snowbirds.
Is your goal to be an expert in your field? Do you want to provide services that your clients can’t duplicate at home? If you answered yes, it’s time to break into the world of machines in the field of aesthetics practice, and harness these new trends to foster a competitive advantage.
Machines can ramp up your services and provide a level of results not otherwise possible through a conventional, non-machine facial. Many of the new technologies today are developed to not only have benefits inherent to their respective capabilities, but also to penetrate targeted active ingredients deeper into the skin, allowing better absorption of your skin care products.
I purchased my first skin care center just a little over a year after taking my state boards. I barely knew how to be a good aesthetician, non-the-less a good business owner! But for some wonderful reason, running a business came naturally to me and my business grew very fast. But hiring staff? That was a totally different experience! I was not a natural at all. There is definitely an art to interviewing and hiring the right person. Here is what I have learned from trial and error over my 25 years in this industry.
You have invested in the most comfortable aesthetic table available, selected a sleep-inducing soundtrack, and adorned your treatment room with calming colors and décor… You have created the consummate tranquil environment. Clients will surely slip into a deep relaxation the moment they set foot in your treatment room.
But there is still one component that could thwart your efforts. Clients, particularly first-time clients, typically come in with a host of worries and self-deprecating thoughts that will most definitely impact their experience. From lumps to bumps to stubble to wrinkles, they are subconsciously focused on their skin or body condition. It is also common for first-time spa visitors to experience some trepidation. Part of our job as aesthetic professionals is to ease any of these discomforts and eliminate anything that might be keeping the client from relaxation.
Building Strong Relationships to Create Strong Sales
What is your ethic? The word means "habit", and what we do every day, in work and at play, deeply defines who we are.
Every business these days says that it is in the "relationship"-business; this claim has become part of the marketplace jargon. And while it is trite to say, it could not be more true. It is also never been more important, as our marketplace becomes more and more crowded with parity commodities.
The most effective businesses today create what I call a "community of value" – based on both touch and technology. It is a cultural evolution which requires integration of left and right brain functions.
We are gadget-mad these days, and as a skin therapist or spa owner, it is essential that you be fluent in the language of the next century. But what is even more critical than artificial intelligence with you and your hardware and software is creating emotional intelligence between you and your clients. This E.I. is the basis of customer connectivity, which builds loyalty.
Theory of Corporate and Business Planning, Conflict Resolution, Human Resource Managers, verbal and written reprimands and warnings, OSHA, ADA, and ACLU are all important topics when it comes to owning a business. After pondering these topics for oh… 15 seconds, I came to realize that the main reason we became business owners is because we love the industry and are passionate about our work. The employees that we surround ourselves with at our place of business, although with many differences, are all practicing the same end philosophy, 100 percent customer care that is physical, social, and therapeutic.
My journey as a solo aesthetician began four and a half years ago. That time in my career was both scary and exciting. I thought long and hard before I made the leap of faith. However, I felt I wan ready. I look back on it now and realize how naïve I was.
I have learned a lot along the way. I made a lot of foolish mistakes as well as some great decisions that payed off. Luckily, my business has thrived and it continues to grow each year.
There's nothing nicer for a customer or employees than visiting a new spa. Everything about it says "new". It's exciting. There is shiny new equipment that works. Freshly painted walls and new floor coverings. Unstained linens and robes. Its clean and neat with everything in place. But just like people, spas age. And many times as spa owners or managers the daily tasks of running the business gets in the way of paying real attention to maintenance, upkeep, and in general, the spa's image. In fact, when we're busy working and in the trenches every day, we sometimes lose perspective and get used to things, accepting things the way they are—same ol', same ol'.