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Looking for a Few Good Men

By: Troy Fairchild
Posted: October 17, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
smiling man with face cream

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But don’t err to the other extreme, either. Not all men love sports. Blaring coverage of the game from a flat screen TV or a heaping stack of hot rod magazines in the waiting room may not be his thing. Ditto for the financial and business magazines—if they are of interest, he probably reads these at the office. Car and sports metaphors do click for lots of guys, but use these references carefully based on what you know specifically about your potential male client; he may see himself as more of a sleek, polished gentleman than a cowboy.

Armed with this knowledge, know that a simple, direct approach works best. Spell it out for him. He’s no dummy, but men are truly baffled by the expectation that they are mind-readers. This is why many men express genuine surprise when their Valentine’s Day gift of a kitchen appliance receives a chilly reception.

Rather than trying to create an experience for the guy, talk with him about results—how to get them and how to maintain them. Refer to the services as grooming and detailing—nothing fussy. Focus on no more than three specific benefits, otherwise his eyes will glaze over, and appeal to his practical side by discussing the benefits of using products in tandem.

Tell him what’s in the products you’re going to use, and how and why they work. Tell him what to expect, and give him the opening to rebook, but don’t push. One stereotype that does bear some truth is that most men are commitment-phobic when entering a new situation. They want to feel in control, and resist the hard sell. If the skin therapist has tuned into the client’s needs, though, no pushing will be needed.

Dodging obstacles

There are also a few key fears that are keeping men from booking appointments at the spa. By knowing what frightens them off and learning what to do about it, male clients will be that much easier to reel in.