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Laying Down Luxury

By: Jane Wurwand
Posted: June 2, 2009, from the June 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Start at the beginning, by getting back to what your clientele does actually want. When you really start asking, you’ll learn they want results that are confidently shaped by your expertise. Clients typically are most concerned about fewer breakouts, more elasticity, less evidence of sun damage and more evenly distributed pigmentation.

Your first step must be to accurately discern their key priorities. Next, you must examine and evaluate the client’s skin, as well as lifestyle factors. Finally, develop an integrated plan of action for both the treatment room and the client’s home regimen, with an emphasis on effective products. There’s no great mystery. The only real mystery is why more skin care professionals don’t do this, as it is truly the approach that builds solid loyalty and revenue.

In fact, with this in mind, you don’t really need to offer a preset menu. Base your recommendations purely on what’s happening with the client’s skin at that moment—not what happens to be on a preprinted menu. As part of the skin analysis process, a skin care therapist must note existing conditions as well as products used and purchased at each visit, but this is by no means a rigid blueprint for the future. Each time the skin is examined, it will reveal new information. This evolving information is the basis for genuinely customized prescriptive product recommendations and treatments, and customization uniquely empowers you to deliver the expected results.

When clients ask if they can see your menu—and they will ask—train yourself and your staff to say, “We have no preset menu. We customize every treatment to address exactly what your skin condition requires at the time you visit us.” Now that’s fab—not prefab.

Printing menus also can become costly, especially when the tool is not highly effective. Brainstorm with your team about better ways to spend those marketing dollars. Ongoing education is, of course, primary, and creative sampling beyond foil packets is also a wise investment. However, something not recommended is discounting, as it damages your brand integrity. Instead of reducing the price, add value, such as a 10-minute aromatherapy touch treatment as a gift-with-purchase.

Client-shaped business