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Value--What Your Clients Really Want
By: Nathan Jamail
Posted: August 29, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
How many times do you hear: “Clients only care about the price?” However, price is only an issue when it is presented as the only benefit—or primary benefit—of a skin care treatment or product. If a skin care facility wants to increase sales and margins, it needs to teach its team how to establish real value and, once this is taught, the spa team needs to practice doing it over and over again. The difference between amateurs and professionals is that professionals practice their skills; they don’t just play the game. The key to overcoming price is not a scripted catchy phrase; rather, it is learning how to create a real value partnership and, in order to do that, practice is crucial.
Identifying client values
Selling value is more than making statements such as, “We offer great customer service,” “We have experience and expertise,” or “Our people make the difference.” When asked about the value offered, these are the most common answers given. This is no different than a person going on a job interview and telling the interviewer that he should hire her because she is a self-starter, team player, people person, motivated and loyal. All of these answers are generic and do not differentiate you from the next person.
Value is determined by the prospect. To determine what the client perceives as value, spa professionals must ask a prospective client purposeful questions. The more you learn and understand, the more likely you will be able to establish value for that client. Although many skin care professionals know this, very few truly implement it. Too many flood a client with information about what they have to offer without knowing whether or not what they are saying will be of value to a client. It cannot be emphasized enough: Ask questions first before explaining the value you bring.
Following are three easy steps to make sure you’re able to sell on true value and not price.
- Write down your questions. This does not make you less of a professional or expert. In fact, this will allow you to show clients how important it is to fully understand their needs and desires.
- Help the prospective client understand what makes you and your spa successful. It is important to share with prospective clients what makes your treatments and products successful without making it difficult or inconvenient for a prospective client; instead, highlighting the why and value for both sides.
- Practice every day. Your team should practice value marketing every day.
Success for the best price
If the spa owner or manager does not mandate ongoing practice and get involved herself, then team success will never happen. This is just like a professional sports team that will not practice if the coach does not require it and work on the field with the team. If the client cannot truly afford the product or service being offered, then do not lower the price and the perceived value. Instead, find a new client for the higher-end product or service, and work with your current client to find a lower-cost alternative within your skin care facility. By admitting that your product or service is not a fit, you will gain more clients long term than force-feeding a product or service and losing value along the way. Lastly, every client wants the most for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing once your team learns how to help clients understand they really want success for the best price.