This week's post is 1 of 2 focusing on clients that might make you wince (hard to rebook, often don't tip, aren't all that interested in skincare) but who may be a big opportunity for new business. Today we're talking about the "gift card" client. They've received a gift card for your services over the holidays, probably from one of your devoted fans. And they not only aren't familiar with you and your unique skincare magic - they may not be all that interested in skincare services at all.
The following article is excerpted from Skin Care Literature membership website for estheticians (we encourage you to check it out - there is a treasure trove of valuable articles, downloads and videos when you become a member.) It might just change your thoughts about how you approach the gift card client!
The holidays are over, and in our industry that means a couple of things...
The biggest spending season of the year is over, and as a result, bookings and retail sales can really take a dip.
At the same time, you can probably expect an influx of new clients — in particular, people that were gifted a service over the holidays. And these people may or may not be familiar with or even interested in professional skin care.
While "gift card clients" are commonly complained about in our industry (we've heard it: they don't rebook, don't want to hear recommendation, and sometimes don't even tip!) — at Skin Care Lit, we happen to think these clients represent a huge, missed opportunity.
We've seen it time and time again: estheticians make the mistake of assuming a gift card client is only there for the service they were gifted and not at all interested in buying or rebooking — so they simply don't try as hard, avoid making recommendations, and generally minimize themselves and their expertise.
Anticipating rejection in this way is a surefire way to guarantee it.
That's why this week we covered our top 3 tips for making the most of these new clients and setting yourself up for success throughout 2023!
LEAD WITH CURIOSITY + ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS. A new client is an amazing opportunity to set the tone for a long-term relationship. Avoid hard selling them with long-winded and overwhelming sales pitches. Instead, make it your goal to learn everything you can about them and their skin. Be curious, ask open-ended questions – for example:
· What is your relationship to skin care?
· What do you love about your skin?
· What would you change about your skin if you could?
Focus on listening. By learning what is important to them and what motivates them, you put yourself in the position of helping them solve their personal problems or concerns — rather than selling them on something they don’t understand or don’t see the value in.
PROVIDE A NEXT-LEVEL SENSORY EXPERIENCE. Just because someone hasn’t invested in professional skin care services in the past does NOT mean they won’t in the future. Why not show them the most amazing sensory experience you can offer — so they simply must come back on their own? Change the narrative they have about professional skin care services from “it’s a nice gift, but I would never pay for it on my own” to “that experience is SO worth the price.” As we’ve said time and time again: results take time, but the experience is what persuades a client to rebook NOW.
FOLLOW-UP PERSONALLY + THOUGHTFULLY. New clients that don’t have experience working with a skin care pro may often respond with an “I’ll think about it” when it comes to product recommendations or rebooking. And this makes sense! After all, they haven’t yet seen the value of a long-term relationship with a skin expert, so they might have a little bit of sticker shock when it comes to pro skin care prices and need some time to understand the investment. That’s why it’s so important to never skip the follow-up — even if you feel brushed off during their appointment.
Bonus: If you’ve successfully followed step one, your follow-up is THAT much more likely to result in a rebooking or a product sale because you’ll be able to write a personalized follow-up that lays out a solution to their concerns — rather than a generic “please rebook in 4-6 weeks!”
Remember, January is also a time where people are more motivated than ever to set goals and commit to resolutions. So don’t miss the opportunity to really connect with the new faces that could become your favorite long-term, loyal clients!
Next week: The “I’ll Think About It” Client: A Sign of Someone not ready to invest in their skincare or a legitimate decision maker?
Article by Mara Jenkins, a global educator, product formulator, business coach, and internationally accredited CIDESCO certified medical aesthetician with over a decade of experience specializing in advanced skin care.
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