Would you like to make more money and keep more of it?
As a business owner you not only have to pay your bills and therapists on time, but you still have to have enough money left over to invest money back into your business and to take home a worthwhile paycheck for yourself.
I’ve yet to meet a salon owner who went into business for herself because she wanted to struggle to make ends meet, or to make less money in her own business than she did working for someone else.
And yet, many salon owners are in exactly that position.
They’re working longer hours, with more stress and worry and making very small profits; if any at all.
Working for yourself should be a rewarding experience.
It should be rewarding as a professional, so you can develop and deliver outstanding treatments to your clients and also rewarding financially so that you can enjoy a better life for yourself and your family.
More stress and less money is definitely not the order of the day!
Because of this, you must master the art of selling to increase not only your turnover but also your profit.
Without the ability to sell, you will struggle to grow your business financially.
But let me be clear – selling is not just retailing product to your clients. It’s the ability to promote yourself, your salon and your services to existing and prospective clients.
To do this effectively, you need to have a “selling” mindset, and more often than not, to move yourself and your team members right out of your comfort zones.
FACT: On the whole, selling is not a popular pastime for many therapists.
They often feel uncomfortable in the role of salesperson, and would undoubtedly prefer to be providing just the services that the client has requested.
This is not unusual or unexpected.
After all, most therapists become therapists so that they can care for and pamper others.
Just gather a group of therapists together and ask them why they chose to get into the profession of beauty therapy, and you’ll learn just how right I am.
The only time I ever see this change happen by itself is when those very same therapists become salon owners and assume responsibility for making ends meet.
No sooner do the first month’s bills arrive than they realise that they have to be able to generate as much money as possible from their business.
This means being able to sell their products and market (another word for sell) themselves successfully.
The mindset transformation begins just about immediately.
This is a good thing if you’re now a salon owner who suddenly understands the importance of not just providing relaxing and pampering services, but of actually making sales…but what about your team of therapists?
What is driving them to have a change of mindset, and a willingness to step outside their “minimal selling” comfort zone?
Step 1: Change the mindset
To break your therapists free of their limiting mindset, it’s vital that they understand how selling additional services and retail can benefit not only the salon but their clients and themselves as well.
Clients who aren’t being offered additional results-driven services and products are actually being denied the opportunity to purchase something that will improve their lives, and give them the outcome that they want to achieve.
A client who isn’t getting their desired results will often begin to look elsewhere to have her services or purchase her home-care products. So how does withholding a beneficial product or service help the client?
Put simply, it doesn’t!
These are five great reasons for therapists to become experts in selling. They will enjoy:
- better job security,
- happier clients,
- greater professional satisfaction,
- a less stressful working environment, and often
- performance bonus payments.
- Ensure your team of therapists understands the full impact of being able to sell your services and products to their clients.
- Hold a team meeting and have your team to discuss ways to improve their selling outcomes.
- Have your best salesperson share with the rest of the team how they make selling fun and easy.
- Set team and personal targets, and provide an adequate reward if they’re reached.
- Make sure that your therapists understand what’s in it for them by becoming an expert in sales.
- Schedule regular sales training for your team.
Step 2: Learn the technique
Whether you’re selling a product or selling a service, the same technique applies.
When products are being sold, most people make the mistake of trying to either sell the ingredients (tea tree, AHA’s etc) to their clients and then follow this up with the generic benefits (which I am going to refer to instead as “advantages”).
They cannot be classified as real benefits to the client unless you first understand what it is that the client wants from the product.
For instance, if you have a client that tells you she is concerned with wrinkles; it’s pointless to sell her on a product because it can lighten age spots and has a sunscreen. These things aren’t important to this client.
To get your client’s interest to the point where she will buy, it’s vital to address her real concern, which is wrinkle reduction.
So instead of promoting a moisturiser by saying something like “this moisturiser contains alpha hydroxy acids and an SPF 30, and all my other clients really like it”, you would achieve better results by saying “this moisturiser contains alpha hydroxy acids which can increase the rate of cell turnover, and that means you will see a noticeable reduction in the depth of your wrinkles”.
By defining how the product can address your client’s specific concern, you can move your chances of making a sale from 20% to 90%. The secret lies in knowing what the client’s concern is and then making sure you tell her how your product can improve it.
So simple and yet not done the majority of the time.
So how do you know what your client’s real concerns are? The most straightforward way to achieve this is to ask relevant questions that will allow you to identify them. You are then able to focus on talking about the benefits that they are most interested in receiving.
By simply talking to your clients and asking them questions that are centred around their concerns, you’ll quickly discover what matters most to them.
Selling services uses the same technique.
For instance, you may sell a wonderful facial which has numerous generic benefits. It may be hydrating, it may be relaxing, it may be anti-aging, and it may also be firming. All in all, lots of benefits to be had.
But by knowing which of these benefits your clients want to receive, you are able to “sell” this service to them much more successfully.
This is where the consultation process is invaluable in finding out what you need to know.
I am a great advocate of the brief consultation even for a returning client.
This kind of consultation doesn’t have to be as formal or lengthy as the initial consultation, but it does have to be in-depth enough to be able to pinpoint what your clients really want from the treatment.
If you have a client that is stressed to the max and is looking for a de-stressing type of treatment, it would be fairly pointless to talk about how hydrating and firming the particular treatment is that you are recommending.
Many therapists fall into the deadly trap of trying to sell a product or service to a client for all the wrong reasons.
It doesn’t matter to your client if it’s your favourite product/service, or if all you other clients love it.
If it doesn’t meet her particular and special needs, you will probably not make the sale.
Train your therapists on how to focus on finding out what it is that their clients are looking for by asking great questions before making any recommendations.
Ensure all of your returning clients receive a brief consultation prior to their service
Use the FAB statement which goes like this…
- Because this (product or service) contains/involves (feature)
- It can (name the advantage)
- Which means that (sell the benefit).
Here’s an example:
The client concern is fine lines and loss of elasticity
Because the XYZ facial includes hydration and firming ingredients (feature)
It can plump up and tighten your skin(advantage)
Which means that you will gain a smoother, softer and firmer skin tone after having this treatment. (benefit)
Now you know how to change the mindset and implement the technique. Are you ready to take 2 steps outside your comfort zone to start generating greater profits in your salon today?
If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. Thomas Edison.