Are you educating your clients but having them walking straight out the door empty handed afterwards?
Frustrating isn’t it?
Can’t figure out what you have done wrong?
But the industry says, educate and they will purchase right?
Hello, and welcome to some Skin and Beauty Industry controversy… It’s Chrissy Alger – Senior ZING Coach at The ZING Project here to deliver you some truth bombs about sales psychology and the art of influence..
I am a Melbourne skin clinic owner, a psychologist and, a hair and beauty industry coach who specialises in sales psychology.. I am hoping to debunk some myths about your consultation process that will have you wondering HOW you never came across this information before…
I came from the Allied Health profession being a psychologist, into the skin industry, and it is fair to say that I came with some major assumptions about what skin specialists were doing in their consultation processes, in ensuring the client had everything they needed.
I assumed that to make recommendations and provide prescriptions to clientele, a really solid understanding of what the client’s hopes and dreams, pains and fears, barriers and uncertainties was gained prior to doing so. WRONG!
I assumed that clients were presented everything they needed to know about their home care needs (including all products they needed to get the results they were seeking) and their path of treatment planning was clearly mapped for them. WRONG!
I assumed that equal importance was given to the consultation process in understanding and listening to the client’s needs, and clinically assessing what they needed (the technical consult).. I was WRONG AGAIN!
My conclusion was that skin specialists were not seeing themselves as skin professionals. Their understanding of what their purpose was, was not understood or adhered to. This was when I commenced my mission to empower skin specialists to see themselves as health professionals and to understand the role and importance they played in influencing client’s motivation to change habits, and to invest in themselves to get the results they desired.
I saw that Psychology played such a big role in influencing change, in getting the client to change habits and form the belief that they could look and feel better if they trusted the Skin Specialist and the journey they were about to embark on.
Here is what I know contributes GREATLY to the willingness of the client to commit to the skin treatment journey… and it has very little bearing on how educated they are on skin product ingredients and the ins and outs of machinery used to combat their concerns..
INTENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TECHNIQUE
There are four key essentials to the consultation process that make the difference between a client investing in homecare and treatment planning versus telling you they will “get all of that next time”.. These are the key features of a consultation process that were MOST neglected when I started investigating why clients were walking out the door empty handed.
1. A Thorough Consultation Builds Trust
If you do not have the trust of your client, you have nothing. Trust is built on your ability to speak with professionalism and confidence, and also to truly understand what it is that your client needs. This is the consultation that does not focus on what the client did on the weekend, or how many dogs they have, this is the consultation that prioritises above all- understanding the concerns of the client and unpacking their feelings about their concern. What are their greatest hopes in embarking on a skin journey? If they could achieve those outcomes how would it make them feel? What are their biggest pain points when it comes to their skin concern? What has prevented them from investing in a skin journey in the past? There are so many questions that can be asked to explore in more depth, what the client is seeking. However, when I was privy to consultation observations about what was being done in skin consultations, the level of engagement in this manner was superficial at best.
2. The Consultation Works for Both the Professional and the Client
As a Skin Specialist, you have needs. Believe it or not, your objective is that the client leaves with everything they need to get results. The client also has needs, often that is to feel listened to and heard, to have a prescription that targets their concerns and gets them the outcomes they are seeking. A lot of the time in consultation, if you ask silly questions and you get silly answers. If the wrong questions are being asked, this prevents most skin specialists from reaching the core concerns of the clients, or making major assumptions about what the client needs in order to achieve results. I have often witnessed there being very little structure to consultation, or consultations being limited to lifestyle and homecare questions- which unfortunately leads to these major assumptions being made that I just mentioned. The client as a result does not see the value, they do not connect with the outcome and leave empty handed. The main reason why a client says they do not have the time, nor the money to invest in skin treatment, is because you have failed to show them the value of the desired outcome. Or, you have attempted to articulate the value in a way that makes sense to you as the skin specialist and not them, as the paying client…
3. The Consultation Truly Targets the Needs of the Client
Too often, major assumptions are made by the skin specialist about what the client needs. This is predominately impacted by a lack of exploration into the concern being stated. On countless occasions, I have observed skin specialists ask what the client skin concerns are, which are responded to simply as ‘acne’ or ‘pigmentation’. And then they move on to the next question. But what does this truly mean for the client? What does acne mean? How does it present? Does it get better or worse at certain times? On some occasions I have observed a client state their concern, and very little technical analysis is completed in actually confirming the concern actually exists, or whether the concern is in fact something else. Imagine going to the doctor and stating “I think I have a virus and need some antibiotics” and the doctor simply hands over a script and sends you on your merry way, without even investigating or clinically appraising anything you had just said. It would make you a little nervous wouldn’t it? Clients do not know, what they don’t know. Is it up to you to lead as the professional and analyse what is being said and check if this aligns with the presenting ,symptomatology. You are a health professional, this is your job.
4. The Service Provides Absolute Value
A client books in for a specific service most times. Whether this is their first booking, so they book something that they think they need. Alternatively, they rebook consistent with the treatment plan recommendations. Each and every time your client books an appointment, it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate that they have everything they need, not just keep going with what was proposed 5 sessions ago. Skin changes, people’s needs change, and your objective is to ensure that absolute value is provided by assessing and reassessing what is needed for the client every single visit. They need skin assessments, each visit… They need skin photography, each visit. For every seasonal or lifestyle change, they need a review of prescription or treatment plan. On some visits clients will require additional services prescribed according to what is happening in their skin, that may have not been apparent on the last visits. An LED enhancement perhaps? Or a more customised serum or mask application? Whatever the need, your ability to provide value to the client is directly correlated to how well you continue to evaluate their needs.
For more salon strategy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, listen to ‘The Salon Hustler” podcast on all your major podcast platforms and follow me on Instagram; @chrissyalger_zing and Facebook: @chrissyzing