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Become Your Clients’ Go-to Retail Destination
By: Rose Fernandez
Posted: September 3, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Competition is fierce in the world of retail. With so many places available to purchase skin care products or tools, how can you make sure clients will purchase their skin care necessities from you?
If the product is the same and each retail destination has comparable perks—such as free samples or a loyalty program—it really comes down to one thing: you. Clients will shop with you because they like you. It sounds too simple to be accurate, but it is true.
Clients see value in good service. The average skin care client is a sophisticated woman, educated and discerning in her choices. Although price is an important element, it’s more important that she receives a genuine recommendation based on her individual needs from a personable and knowledgeable skin care professional.
Clients will shop in multiple places—daily life dictates that sometimes it’s more about convenience; however, the reality is that people are loyal to those they like. Even if a client occasionally makes an online purchase, or she picks up a product in the specialty store that she happens to pass on her way home, if you have made her feel like a valued client, she will continue to purchase from you.
Estheticians have a huge advantage when it comes to retailing product—they have a captive audience. How many other retail locations provide an environment where clients let their guard down? They are in a relaxed state, have shared their concerns, and now trust their esthetician, the expert in the room, to make the best choices for their skin health. When the service is complete, clients see beautiful results and are ready to purchase whatever is needed to maintain those results.
Ideally, clients want to buy from you, simply because it is inconvenient not to—if they don’t purchase from you, it is just one more thing to add to their endless list of tasks. If you make qualified recommendations based on your client’s concerns, chances are very good that she will purchase your recommendations.
Once the client has purchased, make sure that you continue the relationship. Provide a sample of something she didn’t buy. If for some reason the client doesn’t buy anything that day, there is still an opportunity to complete a future sale though a sample. Follow up to find out how she likes the sample in two to three days, and offer to send it to her with free shipping. By making this offer, you are reducing the chance that she will purchase it elsewhere, because you’re providing the same product, but with personal service. Make sure that the items are packed beautifully for shipping. Details are a key part of the relationship—don’t forget them. A client’s sense of value comes from the actions you take:
- Refer to people by their preferred name;
- Be engaging, but most of all listen to what clients are saying;
- Provide specialized treatment;
- Remember important facts about your clients;
- Fulfill your clients’ needs;
- Stay in contact; and
- Be sure to genuinely let them know how much you appreciate them as clients.
Clients may not remember everything you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. In a business where money is exchanged for services, it’s important that the client always leaves feeling special—it is that feeling they will remember and look forward to every time.
Rose Fernandez is the vice president of sales for North America with Jurlique, and has been in the skin care industry for 20 years. She has developed a diverse skill set in sales, marketing and operations focused in the skin care arena within retail and spa.