Learn What Your Clients Really Want
Written by Monique Enriquez, C.N.H.P.
When it comes to skin care needs and solutions to skin issues, the professional needs to find out what a client actually “wants versus needs.” In our industry, the focus will be a skin care product or treatment that is needed to solve a problem that fulfills a want, such as glowing skin. But first, the difference between a want and a need should be understood.
For the most part, a “want” is something that is desired to a great extent but may not be exactly what it is needed to solve a problem. Wanting something in the skin care and beauty industry is often wanted after seeing an advertisement in a magazine, television commercial, or social media source. It can also be desired by hearing other people’s conversations, recommendations, and satisfying personal experiences from using certain products or brands. But how do we know what a client really wants and how does this translate for the skin care professional taking action to fulfill that want?
A client will often have in mind exactly what they want to buy and may ask for a professional’s opinion if they feel unsure about the product. Psychologically, we tend to create personal attachment or get emotionally connected to things and people in a very quick and easy way. So how does this affect somebody’s “purchasing power” and decision to buy a skin care product or service? There are ways a skin care professional can persuade a client to make the best choice that will satisfy what they really want.
Approach the Client with Open-Ended Dialogue
First off, the skin care professional needs to connect with the client by creating an “open-ended dialogue,” which will position the professional as an expert in the industry. Taking on the right personal approach and asking the right questions is the key to building trust and recognition, thus allowing the professional to persuade the client to buy the products and services needed to get what they really want. This, in turn, will facilitate more flexibility on their part and more opportunity for the professional to upsell, gain a new client, or get a referral after the purchase.
Once the client is interested in the proposed recommendations and ready to purchase, the skin care professional’s next goal should be about discerning whether the purchase that is about to take place is based on “impulse buying” to quickly satisfy an immediate want, or the right product to meet the client’s need. This will oftentimes require quick thinking on the skin care professional’s part and may not be an easy job when the work is in a fast-paced, busy environment that involves doing various tasks simultaneously. The professional may also find themselves with limited time for conversation in between clients. What is an effective system and personal approach that will give clients what they really want?
A Holistic Approach
I recommend taking a customized, holistic approach to “skin health” versus just a commodity, mass-brand type of selling approach. By having a system in place, professionals can successfully take care of their clients’ needs and give them what they really want. The client then receives educational and valuable information that provide results and solutions to their problems. There are four main questions to include in a client’s purchasing experience:
First, what is the skin health issue or problem? Find out what the main skin care problem is. Focus on one issue at a time and provide product and service benefits and features. Eighty percent should be placed on benefits and 20 percent on features.
Ask about the client’s current skin care regimen and how long they have been doing it. Become aware of any contraindications or allergic reactions to product ingredients. Find out what their favorite products are and why they love them. Discover if they are willing to commit to a customized home care program that requires three to five products to give them the results they really want. Create urgency, provide realistic results, and do a thorough demonstration on how to use and apply products.
Second, what are the client’s main concerns and symptoms? People will not seek a solution until their pain is no longer bearable, or they have just had enough of what they really do not want in their lives. Learn to become an effective listener, not judge, and be compassionate and careful with your words during conversations with clients. Focusing on the visible symptoms of a client or prospect is a good start to solving the root cause of the problem. Knowledge about skin types, conditions, and active ingredients will facilitate a prompt decision on the skin care professional’s part with the right choice of products and services for the client.
Finding a solution together is a great way to build trust and a relationship with a client. Getting the client involved in the decision making of their products will ensure they have made the best decision and their problems are solved.
Next, what is the client’s self-care and lifestyle like on a daily basis and what role does the skin care professional play in this case? Doing a general nutrition, lifestyle, and mental state of mind assessment of a client can always shed light into what is going on inside their body and why they are suffering from it. If a skin care professional’s understanding of what a client is going through is within their scope of knowledge and expertise, the professional should kindly offer advice and tips that the client can take home and practice. As an added bonus during the assessment, I recommend building a strong network of related health care practitioners and therapists that, if needed, can be recommend.
Going the extra mile in any product or service-based business is a bonus a clients appreciate. It is also a great way to stand out from competitors offering the same products or services.
Continuing education is mandatory to stay on top of current trends, products, gadgets, and services that can better the lives of clients and increase a business’ sales. Such information can easily be accessed online through various means of social media outlets and by engaging in webinars and blog posts. A few key skin care and beauty industry influencers should be followed online and they can subscribe to the professional’s weekly or monthly newsletters for articles and tips about skin care, beauty, wellness, health, and nutrition.
Finally, what is the client’s ultimate expectation of the product or treatment? The answer is simple. The client is hoping that it works and does what it was promised to do. Skin care professionals may be hesitant about a client’s homecare routine, but at this point, it is the client’s responsibility. It is sometimes unpredictable whether a client will use all the products or if they will not follow the instructions correctly and have an adverse reaction instead. But in any case, skin care professionals should always suggest that they reach out to them if they have any questions. And as every skin care professional knows, a follow-up call after a few days is a good way to touch base and see how the client feels about their purchase.
In point, the longevity of a skin care professional’s work, combined with the right attitude and industry experience, will dictate their own earnings and the profitability of their business. By learning what clients really need versus what they want, a professional can stay above competitors by making more profits, keeping existing clients happy, and obtaining new clients through referrals.
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