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Your Back Bar is Not a Backdrop

Your Back Bar is Not a Backdrop


How to Sell Without Selling

Your client has just finished enjoying a relaxing facial in the hushed serenity of your thoughtfully appointed treatment room. The last thing she wants is a sales job. So you let her go hoping that on her way out, she’ll notice the beautiful display of home-care products available for purchase and decide to stock up. How’s that working?


We get it. Hitting your client with a sales pitch feels pushy and intrusive in the context of the calming personal experience you’ve worked so hard to provide. That’s precisely why you shouldn’t do it.


You are a skin care professional. You don’t sell products. You solve problems.


First rule of selling is don’t sell. Your clients come to you for specific treatments, but also for your advice and recommendations on how to maintain healthy skin, improve its conditions, and prevent premature aging. You’re the expert, and as such, your clients expect you to provide guidance and solve their skin care problems. Home care recommendations are part of that guidance. So your advice is welcome. However, if you wait until the end of the treatment and to introduce the concept of home-care products, it will feel less like a personalized recommendation and more like a box you’re ticking.


Start not selling the moment your client arrives. A friendly greeting, the offering of a beverage, a comfortable waiting room are more than pleasantries. They set the tone for the entire interaction and may determine whether or not you get a sale or even a rebook.


In the skin analysis, start not selling in earnest. Examine and discuss the condition of the skin. Listen to your client’s concerns. Explain the root problems. Display your expertise. Does your client have some misconceptions, i.e., dry vs. dehydrated, t-zone vs. oily complexion? This is the time to correct them. This is also the time to begin establishing yourself as a problem solver.


End your skin analysis by mentioning the products that will best address their skin issues.


Is it their first visit? Keep it brief. Just recommend the basics. You could also mention a few things that will they may want to try in the future. “When you are ready to push your results to the next level, we’ll talk about (A, B, and C), but today, these (the basics) are enough to get you started and see a real difference in your skin.”


No pressure.


Is your salon or spa located in a resort? Your client wants to indulge. Make a splurge suggestion.


During the exfoliation, continue to not sell. Explain how weekly exfoliations will slough off dead skin cells and enhance product absorption for better results. After the exfoliation, use a mirror to show the initial results. Seeing immediate improvement is a great motivator for maintaining the results at home.


Full steam ahead. While your client us under steam, determine the best product for your client’s skin issues.


Put it in writing. During the mask, write out your recommendations including the basic treatment and products they will need in the future. There is a page provided in the back of Vivant’s “What To Expect” booklet expressly for this purpose. (Need some extra copies? Give us a call.)


Close your non-sell sale. Have your recommended products at the front desk along with Vivant’s “What to Expect” booklet. Briefly review your recommendations and show the client the page in the booklet where you have written your recommendations and instructions. Whether they buy product or not, give them the booklet to take for reference. They’ll be back.


But what if…


The client is using other products. Review the skin problems and note (gently) that those products are not correcting the issues. You may need to note the difference between what they are buying and the professional grade products that you are recommending.


The client has no skin problems. Advise how to maintain that healthy skin condition. A great cleanser. A boosting mask. A toner to clarify and enhance product absorption. Or preventive care like an eye cream. Be sure to explain the reasons behind your suggestions. And keep it to one or two products.


The products are outside the client’s budget. Explain that professional grade products are more expensive because they are formulated with higher quality ingredients at higher percentages to bring greater results.



The entire process should feel organic, seeded throughout your client’s visit. Bits of advice, recommendations, product placement. If you make it part of your treatment process, rather than the culmination, you will retail efficiently and effortlessly. Ultimately, your success is not in whether or not you make that sale, but whether or not you make your client happy. The long-term relationship and trust that your cultivating is more important than the day’s tally and will pay-off in rebookings and future sales.