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The Key to Successful Selling--Become a Priority

By: Nathan Jamail
Posted: December 1, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

"The customers love our products and services, and they want to buy from us, but right now they are handling some higher priority situations. However I am sure right after that they are definitely going to buy from us!” If you constantly hear yourself or one of your spa team members making this statement, and find that the clients still have not purchased after several months, you need to understand something: You are not a priority to the customers and need to become one. If your skin care products or services help clients, they like them, they want them—then why would they not be a top priority?

The answer is simple. Your skin care products and services cannot become a client’s No. 1 priority until you understand the customers’ priorities. There are several things you can do to move buying your skin care products or services up on the customers’ priority list without having to offer a financial incentive or limited-time offer.

Avoid the limited-time offer

Many organizations create a sense of urgency or move up their customers’ priority lists by trying to offer a financial incentive or a limited-time offer. This works in many retail environments, which is why retailers have weekly specials and advertisements in newspapers, but what about retail sales that are not based on a weekly special? Selling on price alone devalues the product; it is about selling the value and the benefit, not the price alone. The difference is found when you start to focus on becoming a priority to clients. When you focus on the priority in the beginning by asking the right questions, you are able to influence the clients to buy now without resorting to desperate tactics. The question is: How can you get clients to view your skin care products and services as priorities?

Become a priority

When developing your qualifying questions, consider those that will allow you to understand the goals and current priorities of prospective clients. The better you understand their skin care goals and priorities, the more likely it is that you will be able to show how your products and services will help benefit the client as their top priority. This is a lot more than asking open-ended or leading questions. Ask questions to truly understand the client’s responsibilities until you’ve gained enough knowledge to directly show how your products and services can help them with their immediate goals or priorities. A good sample question is: “What are your top three skin care priorities this year?” Ask this to truly understand the “why” and the “how” of those priorities. The better you understand the clients’ perspectives, the more likely you are to help them make an immediate and beneficial decision.

By asking the right questions, you’re able to determine how your skin care products and services can become a top priority or, sometimes just as important, after asking all of the questions, you find out that your products and services cannot immediately benefit the clients’ goals and priorities. In this case, you are able to plan accordingly, giving a more accurate forecast of when the clients will be doing business with your facility.

More than just a close