Building a clientele is one of the most difficult challenges that you face as an esthetic provider, and once this is accomplished, you must ensure that you retain your clients in order to have a successful career. It is six to seven times harder to gain a new client than to retain one, according to McGraw Hill Publishing; Business Review and Bain & Company . Especially during a sluggish economy, clients are more hesitant to spend money on cosmetic services. Your job is to make sure that you are providing what they need without overpowering them and upselling them for services that aren’t needed. Of course, being fairly compensated for your services is important, but it is equally as crucial to do it ethically. If clients feel taken advantage of or believe that you’re just trying to sell something, they will not return. It is important to remember that without clients, you would have no business.
Consider your CLIENT
Keep in mind the following simple steps in order to help build and maintain a strong client base. Try using this mnemonic aid to remember that it’s all about the CLIENT: Consult, Listen, Inform, Execute, Nurture and Thank.
Consult. Proper consulting is the first step to building a strong client base. This is where the client/esthetician relationship begins. At this point, a medical history form should already have been completed. This will protect you from any miscommunication that may occur during the discussion. An initial client consult should be scheduled for at least 30 minutes before the appointment. This is the make-it-or-break-it stage where you determine the client’s personality type, go over anything questionable on the client’s intake forms, and determine the client’s needs. Without a proper consultation, you cannot give an effective treatment. (Editor’s note: For more information about determining the client’s personality type, please see “Make It Happen: Reading Your Client,” in the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.)