Successful selling boosts value for Estheticians & how to use samples as sales aids!
A self-employed esthetician absolutely experiences an increase in their revenue stream as retail sales rise, so we are here to help you do just that. It's so easy to forget how sampling product inevitably leads to a bigger bottom line. Why is this important? Well, I think we can all agree that creating an income stream that self-perpetuates is a huge bonus that most of us would not turn down. Initially, yes, it takes a little time and effort to fit the right products to your clients' needs and skin goals, but when you do, the rest is really on auto-piolet. If they love it, they will continue to buy it. This is where sampling comes in.
The greatest opportunity to help you client reach their goals is at the end of a service. It's so important to verbally follow up with your client to see how skin is doing between facials. More often than not, you just ask "How was your facial? Gathering information on what happens between facials makes it much easier for you, the esthetician, to do your job at a level many other professionals miss out on. Information equals value and value drives incentive to continue doing at home care. Frequently, clients answer how great their skin felt for a couple of days and maybe even as long as a week, but then they notice skin seems to return to the very state that drove them to you in the first place. This is where the topic of at home care opens a beautiful new door and you need to help your client walk through it. Now you feel uncomfortable, right?
You begin to fear you're just a product pusher and that's downright painful. What you forget is that your clients came to you, the professional, because they had a desire for better skin and weren't accomplishing it on their own. They see you for the expert you are, which means your advice is not only welcome, it's expected. What happens on the treatment table is great, but it is only half of the journey and it's your job to help educate them as to what they can do at home to achieve even better results.
As an esthetician, you know that when clients use professional products at home, between facials, the results of what you do lasts longer and offers more significant and noticeable results. This is EXACTLY why they come to you. You also know that professional products are much more effective, because all of the good stuff, active ingredients, is at the top of the list, not tucked somewhere midway down, and for some, actually at the very bottom of the list. So, now you might be seeing exactly where we are going with this.
At this point, you've gathered their feedback, evaluated their skin during the service, and likely have already formed several suggestions before the conversation even started. Now it’s time to sample. We love this approach, because clients don't feel like they are being sold to. They recognize the effort you are taking to find great product fits for their needs and for their level of commitment to a regular at home regimen. Now it's time to sample them. Have a sharpy handy to jot down a bit about how and when to use it. A.M./P.M., 1 x per week, 2-3, or even 7 x per week. Maybe even a quick not about when to apply it, under moisturizer or after cleansing. Clients frequently get overwhelmed with samples and this is when they go unused. You'll also want to make a note of what you sampled, so when they come back and tell you how much they loved it, you don't have to play a guessing game about what is was they were ASKING to purchase. Just keep a list on the back of their client form. Maybe even a date when items are purchased. It doesn't have to be fancy, sweet and simple is best.
Here is a suggestion you might find helpful if you get a little resistance. Use this thoughtful analogy that they can relate to as an effective technique. For example: "Everyone goes to the dentist for deep cleanings, but they still brush and floss at home, right?" This comparison effectively conveys the purpose of a home care regimen between sessions without a lengthy back and forth conversations that begins to feel like a battle. Taking a concept that isn't part of their daily life and relating it to a regular routine may be all it takes to change one's entire attitude about an at home skincare regimen.
Here is another idea. Find the samples you want to recommend to them, line them up in the order of an ideal regimen from start to finish and have them numbered, for ease of use. Then, if you sense any hesitation, let them know the 2 or 3 most important ones to start with and star them. You can still suggest they try the complete regimen, but that they can start slow and easy if they decide they like what they see after trying the samples. This way they won't be afraid to come back to a huge product purchase all at once. Baby steps for some are best and for others, they will see the value and jump right in 100%.
Just remember, clients like to feel in control so don't be pushy or sell a product just for the sake of making a sale. If they feel like they are just a number to you, or that you don't really care about what they want or need, you will lose them. This is usually what holds back most estheticians from becoming solid retailers within their practice, thus.... the low-pressure tactic of sampling. You gain their trust and when they see results, they are more likely to purchase what you recommend and take immediate action when you suggest a product in the future.
We will finish with something that is almost as important, well maybe even more important than sampling, and rarely is it discussed. Find a product line you absolutely believe in and love. If you love it, your recommendations will ring more authentic and inspiring to your clients. Then, make a commitment to build THAT line. We have seen many an esthetician start with one line, build great client loyalty, then they jump to something newer and shinier and now have to explain why the previous line they bought into is no longer the right one, but the new line is absolutely the best. Sometimes an esthetician will even repeat this process multiple times. Each time, losing clients who became brand loyal to products you sold them delivered the results they were looking for. Do your research, know your ingredients, select a line that supports your beliefs and practices and grow it into something big. If you believe in it, it’s the best sales aid you can have. Now start sampling! 😊
We hope this was a helpful bit of information. The learning never stops in the beauty industry and we've only just began to share in the education process.