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Retailing Results are More Than Skin Deep

By: Jenny Hogan
Posted: September 24, 2010, from the October 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
client shopping for spa retail products

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“Your clients trust you to recommend products that they need, that are professional-grade and that you know will benefit their specific requirements,” explains Gartland. “In fact, clients actually expect you to give them recommendations, especially if they have been with you for two years or more.”

Client loyalty and retention are increased when spa professionals retail products. It increases your credibility and commitment, showing that you really care about your clients’ results and success. The PBA reports that 71% of spa clients are not offered product recommendations; however, 44% will purchase products if they are recommended. “Clients view spa professionals as the best source for product information, and 83% say that professionals should provide retailing information to clients. If you put three products in a client’s hands, there is a 78% chance they will make a purchase. If you put nothing out in front of them, then they will definitely take home nothing,” Gartland stresses.

To begin your retailing plan, first grasp the reality of what using the right products means to your clients. If your professional products were taken away from you, could you still finish your skin care services effectively? The answer is usually “no.” Your clients also won’t be able to perform their skin care regimens successfully at home without your professional product recommendations. “It is not about selling; it is simply about completing the service,” says Gartland. “You have a responsibility to educate your clients and show them what they can achieve for their looks and for the health of their skin.”

Consider your markets

Always conduct a thorough client consultation before your skin care services for new clients, and every season for your regulars. By determining your clients’ needs, goals and lifestyles, you will be better able to recommend professional products that reflect their specific conditions. Consider your target markets and keep your product lines consistent with them. You may need several lines to reflect different markets, depending on your client base. These may include a line for the younger, more economical consumer, a practical men’s line, an organic eco-conscious line and an elegant, prestige line.

At the very minimum, always show every client a good basic cleanser and moisturizer. These are items they will definitely be purchasing somewhere, so it may as well be from you. Don’t sell; educate your clients about the purpose of the products that pertain to them, as well as the value of using professional-grade lines. Incorporate retailing into every step of your normal services and don’t wait until the end of the appointment to awkwardly squeeze it in. Memorize a 30-second script about every product, and let clients know what you are using during their services and why.