All too often I hear people talk about sales as this magical thing that not everyone can do. Either that or people pretty much devise scripts that are meant to satisfy every client. These are then passed to the sales team as the ‘de facto’ way to sell. But, two big points on that:
- Every client is different – Age, circumstances and beliefs built up over a lifetime of experiences means that we are all very different people with very different ideas when it comes to buying something.
- People are savvy – They also have more options from where to buy, whether it be the Internet for products, or voucher sites for salons and spas.
Ultimately, it’s obvious to me that…
There is No ONE way to sell
Now, this may be a hard idea to pass onto your beauty salon manager, especially when there are still sales courses out there that say different. But, remember, no-one sales technique will work for every client. And, if you follow these tips and act upon them, I am confident you will improve your levels of re-bookings, your salon retail sales, which in turn will increase your commission and ultimately your value as a beauty therapist to your employer.
1. Treat Sales As A Game (Or Experiment)
Depending on your salon manager and the pressure you face to improve your sales quickly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Simply set yourself the goal of improving your sales performance over time.
You won’t suddenly wake up to be the best selling therapist – it takes time, plenty of bad experiences and lots of ‘experimenting’ to develop your awareness of improving your sales. So, imagine yourself as the top performing therapist a year from now. Or perhaps set yourself a target to improve your sales by 20% over the next six months.
This will take the immediate pressure off, but will also allow yourself to accept that you will improve your sales over time. Then, remove the pressure of immediate results and simply focus on…
2. Try Different Techniques and Fail Regularly
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Be prepared to try new things and experiment. More importantly…
Be prepared to fail
These two things combined will allow you to (a) not focus on immediate results and (b) help you to play with different techniques with different people in different circumstances.
3. Do Your Homework
The more you know about the products you use or the beauty treatments you offer the more confident you will find yourself naturally talking about them. Again, set yourself small targets to learn one or two new products a week. By the end of three months you’ll have covered between 12-25 new products at least.
4. Take Away The Sales Pressure
If you think about what sales actually means in terms of the process, it is simply creating a situation where the person you are talking to becomes willing to hand over money for a treatment or product. From their point-of-view they need to know they are getting value for the money and they will use some sort of logic to justify it.
So, just talk about stuff. Take the pressure off yourself that you are selling. You are NOT selling. You are simply talking about something trying to reach the point where the clients mind clicks into YES mode. You can’t force it – the only thing you can do is give them the right information to help them make the choice. Which means you must…
5. Listen To The Client
Perhaps this should be the number one rule. The reason someone buys a product will probably not match your assumption of why they need it.
For example, a busy mum comes in for a treat – a facial. Traditional beauty salon mentality says, right, “let’s sell her toner, moisturiser and cleanser at least”. Now, if you think about it, has a busy mum got time to do a skincare regime in her busy day?
Simply by asking the right questions AND listening to the answers you may be able to offer a more practical solution.
6. Use Aids
We find prescription pads work great. It takes more pressure off you and also gives you something to talk to the client about and lots of brands offer them as part of their marketing.
Here’s your personal skincare / nail care prescription.
It also shows the client that you are willing to invest in them and gives them something specific to focus on moving forward. Don;t forget to keep a copy for yourself so you can mention it when they come in next time.
7. Build Rapport
Rapport is that thing you get with people when you just get on. You may not even be able to explain it but you know you like someone (or dislike them).
If you are flexible enough, you can build rapport most people. Mirroring body language, using words the client uses, loudness and speed of the way you talk all help to develop rapport.
For example, I have seem timid people walk into the salon before to be greeted with a very loud welcome. Even though the client carries on speaking quietly, the therapist continued to be loud. If they had quietened their own voice to match the client, they would start to develop rapport.
8. Understand Who Your Perfect Clients Are… And Get More
Following on from rapport building this is the perfect solution. Focus on attracting clients you get on well with. Sit down and go through your best clients – are there any similarities?
One of my most consistent and best performing beauty therapists once said to me:
The thing with me is, I like doing the older ladies. They’re more interesting so I find it easier to keep asking them questions so they get to talk about themselves more.
9. Build Relationships
Finally, if you are finding it harder and harder to sell products to clients in the salon, focus on up-selling your treatments and building longer lasting relationships through re-booking.
You will do this by creating a fantastic personalised experience. This is especially effective if you are working with other beauty therapists who aren’t as dedicated as you. Want your clients to want you!
10. Push Yourself
Back to the beginning again but you must want to improve as a beauty therapist. If you don’t you won’t put in the effort. If you are nervous about what others think about you when you are talking to clients, or don’t even try the chances are you will fail.
You have to be prepared to experiment. Try things that your colleagues do that work for them and see if they work for you. And be prepared for them not to.
By slowly (or quickly) becoming better bit-by-bit, putting more effort in and trying new things you will improve your sales. Notice the successes and pat yourself on the back that you are moving in the right direction. It might be that you start trying to make one product sale a week. It might be that you want to get at least five people re-booking in a week. (Three re-bookings every week is 260 people per year – around a full months worth of clients).
By challenging yourself to improve your sales as a beauty therapist, you will be learning new skills every day. These should deliver more sales and more commission. You will also make yourself more valuable to your employer if you want a pay rise or make yourself more attractive if you go for another job.
Go on… give it a year of effort… and reap the rewards