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Saving Client's Skin--And Your Own

By: Jane Wurwand
Posted: September 25, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
woman getting green facial mask

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Also, be sure you have sample sizes of these products to give to clients at no charge—just hand them over if you sense the slightest hesitation to purchase full retail sizes. Chances are, they will be back within the week to buy the larger size.

Starting over

You may want to retire your old menu—maybe for awhile, or maybe forever. Seriously. This calls for a re-education of both the therapist and the client. Spa clients have been conditioned to ask for a menu when coming to a spa, accustomed to reading about an exotic array of preset services in detail. The trouble is, none of your preset menu items may really address what is going on with a client’s skin at that time. The challenge is to offer only one treatment that’s different every time you give it depending upon what’s happening on the client’s face at that moment. It really is what skin care should be, but it may take some getting used to.

And speaking of starting over, if you are still one of those diehards who clings to manual recordkeeping, the shock waves rippling through the industry are your absolute wake-up call. Drop that pencil and pick up that mouse. Begin by getting all of your records into a computer database program. Many excellent software programs are now available to make the process easier. Learn to use these programs to track sales and other trends, and promote online booking by offering something extra—not a discount, but an added benefit, such as a 10-minute reflexology on the hands or feet.

Perhaps most importantly, pick up the phone. Don’t make clients cringe by trying to pin them down for an appointment—invite them to a product party or a sampling soiree at your sampling bar, an area where guests may be seated, enjoy filtered water or another healthy beverage, apply and remove products with the aid of mirrors and personal steamers, and learn how they can make the most of their skin even without frequent visits to the treatment room. Invite your regulars to an informal gathering at the sampling bar, complete with skin-friendly snacks—veggies, almonds and berries—samples and a raffle every eight to 10 weeks. Emphasize your retail products, and with a purchase of $100 or more, present the customer with a voucher that can be redeemed for a 20-minute mini treatment. This keeps all of your business elements in place even as circumstances shift.

A new direction

Your message, now and always, should not be about how tough times are, but about how great the client’s skin can be. While treatments may be less frequent, your expertise will continue to be the guiding force that keeps their skin healthy and on track—while also doing the same for your business.