A Return to Professional Skin Care

According to Professional Skin Care 2010 Global Series: Market Analysis and Opportunities, a newly released series of regional reports from Kline and Company, consumers are still holding on pretty tightly to their money; however, they are willing to stretch and spend extra on products that will show visible improvement to the skin.

As a result, more consumers are coming back to professional skin care products and have increased the frequency of their visits to skin care facilities, spas and medical spas.

This influx of new customers will undoubtedly continue to raise the hopes of a long-lasting recovery to the market, which registered substantial drops in 2009. The American market has seen positive gains in 2010: Sales in the United States have increased by 2.7%, according to the reports. However, the skin care facilities that have survived need to continue to market and promote to consumers in order to ensure that a steady stream of new business continues to emerge.

And now for the age-old question: How do you find new consumers to convert into clients? We asked our audience this very question in the March online Vocal Point survey (www.SkinInc.com/survey), and many of you had some interesting suggestions that definitely are worth sharing.

“Client education about ingredients and skin care facts is crucial. Empowering clients with knowledge has consistently fed the word-of-mouth referral process at our spa,” says Steffanie Hahn, owner of Essential Spa Services in Vista, California. “I am 85% booked every week with new clients calling. We offer a reasonable price point per service with a discount for re-booking at every appointment as well. In addition, I work at maintaining a specialty service with networking to other businesses that already serve my target group. Finding my niche in a down market has increased my traffic and re-booking percentage.”

Letoya Williams, owner of Trubeautyskincare Anti-Aging Spa in Sunny Isles, Florida, also partners up with other local businesses. “I partner with a lot of different business that share a similar interest in the field of skin care or makeup, and even women-only groups and gyms,” she shares. “This outsourcing seems to work very well in obtaining new clients and in our marketing efforts, as well. Also, offering gift certificates and frequent buyer programs generates clients.”

Education is key when it comes to working with consumers. “We host informational/educational classes; connect with other business owners by cross-marketing and networking; attend, vend and speak at various community events and trade shows; host our own events; attend business owner-type gatherings; and engage in print articles, ads, e-mails, social media, client referrals, direct mailings, websites, newsletters and media talk shows,” says Lisa Weeks, owner of Love Thyself Day Spa in Richardson, Texas. “We have every staff member contact and hand out a certain number of marketing materials per person every day of every week, comb the Internet for ways and places to advertise, get listed with various organizations and referral sources, make face-to-face contact with our business neighbors and leave information in their businesses as well. We like to treat people as though we already know them, as if they are friends, connecting with their spirit, which leads to knowing their needs. They, in turn, feel comfortable with us already. They know that we care and that there is trust.”

Networking also is critical, according to Cindi Wanta, owner of Oasis Day Spa in Mosinee, Wisconsin. “I belong to a couple of networking groups such as Business Networking International (BNI) and my local chamber office. I recently sent out press releases regarding a certification that I received in oncology esthetics—this has also opened me up to top cancer care units, support groups, mastectomy shops and women’s wellness groups,” she states.

These are only a few great ideas shared by your peers about how to keep a constant flow of new customers coming to your skin care facility. To read additional responses, see www.SkinInc.com/survey/?question=35. Educate your clients and your community on the importance of professional skin care. Spas are no longer about pampering … they are all about skin wellness.

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