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Change Your Perspective

By: Linda Burmeister
Posted: November 29, 2012, from the December 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Editor’s note: This column is based on the author’s presentation at Face & Body® Northern California 2012 in October. For more information on the Face & Body events in 2013, log on to

The idea of selling may send shivers up your spine, or bring visions of an overly aggressive car or cosmetics counter salesperson. If this is your perception, you’re not alone. You are reading this column because you are hopeful that it will offer the answers or some enlightenment on how to overcome your reservations and anxieties, and be the best ever. Don’t discount the lessons you have already learned about retailing. Past seminars, workshops and articles are very helpful, and there is always a take-away to add to what you already know.

However, take a step back and revisit what being in this branch of the service industry is all about. The initial motivation for anyone entering into the skin care industry is most likely to help others look and feel better about their skin. Upon entering and starting on your career path, you were amazed and captivated by how much there was to learn and how great an impact you made in helping your clients have healthier, more radiant skin. How magical is that? Of course you quickly learn that it takes more than magic to gain and keep your clients, and to build a clientele that makes you successful both professionally and financially. Therefore, the goal has to be that you must address the challenges that keep you from your overall success. Retailing is a big part of that equation. Retailing is not a challenge if it is simply viewed from a different perspective. Your passion is skin; your goal is to connect with and help your clients, and to have relationships that are built on mentoring and trust.

Simple formula

It starts from the moment you see and touch the skin of a client, and determine that you can make a positive change or improvement that will delight both of you. That connection and dialogue has to happen at a point in your treatment that is the most natural and comfortable. Your job as the skin expert begins with—and is always focused on—your client. What are her concerns? Can you correct or improve the skin condition within this and future treatments? What will the client need to do, or take home, to make sure you are both on the same page, tracking the progress through return visits, and monitoring the outcomes on an ongoing basis during future visits. The terms “treatment series” and “client home-care program” now come into play.

Now, doesn’t that sound and feel better? Absolutely. Simply because it is what you already do. But the minute this is abandoned and you start “selling” only for the sake of increasing revenue or other necessities, you may lose yourself, your passion for helping clients and, eventually, clients will drift away.