SELL is A Four Letter Word

SELL is A Four Letter Word

The word sell, sales, selling conjures up a picture of the proverbial car salesman with plaid polyester pants, a too wide tie and a bad haircut giving you the best deal available that will only last till the end of the day. If this is what you think, when your manager asks you to sell more products, it’s time to rethink how we view selling skin care to our clients. Our job as professional estheticians is to educate. Informing our clients of products that will give them the skin they want isn’t selling, it’s a service we provide. We give our client’s access to higher quality products than what is available in department and drug stores.

The last thing a client wants when they come to a skin care facility is to feel as if they are being “sold”. What they want is a skin care specialist, who cares about them and selects products that will solve their problems. Your goal is to help your client find the right skin care system for the issues that they present to you, and to inform them of issues of which they might not be aware.

With that in mind consider the following:


When you first meet your client, observe the condition of the skin, does it present as oil, dry, dehydrated? Are there obvious issues of hyperpigmentation or acne? Do you notice excessive redness? This gives you clues as to areas you may want to discuss with the client.


See what type of products the client is using currently. See if the client is happy with the results they are achieving from the current line. What do they like or dislike about what they are currently using.


Your client’s will tell you what they don’t like about their skin. Whether it’s fine lines, or age spots, or acne the client knows why they have sought you out. In some instances, a client may come to a spa setting to relax. A long discussion of product benefits in the middle of their treatment feels like an invasion of privacy. You want to understand what your client needs and tailor any recommendations to what they are seeking.


Sometimes we think we understand what a client wants, but a quick summary helps you make certain you are on the same page. Questions also help you determine other issues that may not arise. For example, I have clients with breakouts. My first question to these clients is, “How do you cleanse your skin?” Many people use their hands to cleanse the skin. Hands don’t give the skin a thorough removal of make-up, oil and debris and may be the cause of the breakout. Also the type of cleanser the client uses may not be appropriate for the skin type. Asking the question, “How does your skin feel after you’ve washed your face.” gives you information on what product might be a better choice.

Confirming the client’s concerns helps her feel heard and acknowledged. By summarizing or repeating back the key issues, when you offer a recommendation, she will perceive that you are on the same page.


Once you understand your client’s concerns you can begin to offer suggestions based on what you’ve heard. For example, if excessive dryness is a concern, select a gentle cleanser and moisturizer that will provide the hydration support she needs. Part of the issue, may be lack of exfoliation, recommend a gentle acid or scrub that will disperse the keratin for the moisturizer to do the job.


Inform the client of specific ingredients that address their issue. Be careful with this step. Sometimes too much technical information is overwhelming. Focus on one or two items. For example: “I chose this product for its anti-aging properties. This product contains growth factors and peptides. The growth factors are like adding Miracle Grow to the water you use to water your plants. The cells are stronger and look healthier. Peptides help stimulate new cellular development. Both of these ingredients help reduce the fine lines and improve the texture of the skin, giving you a more youthful appearance.” You’ve described the primary ingredients, given a visual image and provided the benefit of the product.


Sometimes all it takes for the client to make a purchase is for you to make the recommendation. “I know you’ll see the changes you’re looking for when you incorporate this into your regimen, would you like me to add that to your service today? Don’t worry if the client says, “Hmm maybe next time,” this doesn’t necessarily mean no. Maybe your client needs to budget for the purchase, or maybe she wants to finish a product she is currently using. At this point, provide additional information she can read at home. This helps remind her of the benefits you’ve discussed and at a future appointment she could make the purchase.

Don’t forget, our business hinges on long term relationships. A hard “sell” tactic is a four letter word. We are educators and as our clients understand how our products help them achieve their goals, they choose to purchase based on knowledge. These clients leave satisfied, with transformed skin, eager to learn more and purchase items to meet their needs.

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