Driving retail sales

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For the inaugural Professional Beauty Roundtable eight industry experts discussed, among many other topics, key strategies that had proven effective in driving retail sales.

Our skilled professionals agreed wholeheartedly the beauty industry needed to rethink its definition of selling.

Dermalogica’s Suzette Cassie said it was important to focus on customer engagement, while HÜD Skin + Body’s Gry Tømte, said she preferred to refer to selling as “prescribing”, not unlike a doctor.

DMK’s Daniel Dickson said it was important to have confidence in language and to learn to overcome the fear associated with hearing “no”.

Skinside Out’s Robyn McAlpine said it was crucial to take your role seriously as a skin therapist, while The Paddington Beauty Room’s Anna Field said we needed to stop being frightened of the word “selling”.

Professional Beauty Solutions’ Matt Williams said it was necessary to put yourself on the high end of the selling spectrum, while Derma Aesthetics’ Reika Roberts said men were a growing market when it came to retail skincare.

Angel Touch Skin Boutique’s Rebecca Daniel said you had a duty not to let your clients down by letting them buy supermarket skincare products.

Read their edited responses below or watch the video for the full discussion.

Suzette – Focus on customer engagement
“The more interactive and the more inviting your retail space can be, the better it is for the consumer. Even just small things in visual merchandising your area can be beneficial, like listing the key benefit of the product, or having the price on display. Engagement in the retail space is absolutely paramount.”

Gry – Love the product you’re selling
“We don’t like to call it selling; we like to call it prescribing. And I think if your staff love the product they’re selling, or prescribing, it’s going to come so naturally. All of our therapists have no problem selling, or prescribing, because they love the product – they’re obsessed with it. This shows through to the clients.”

Daniel – Have confidence in your communication
“The most feared word is ‘no’. Human beings don’t like hearing ‘no’. So, if they don’t ask the question, they can’t be let down. The biggest thing is having confidence in language. A 23-year-old gorgeous girl who doesn’t have a line to bless herself with finds it very difficult to talk to a 50-year-old lady who looks 78 about glycation, premature ageing, extrinsic ageing. By teaching them how to work with communication, not just how to sell a number of products, they feel empowered.”

Robyn – Take yourself seriously as a skin therapist
“It’s having that sense of authority and knowing within you that you are the expert. If someone’s come to you with an expectation of a result, the only way to do that is to work with retail skin care. It’s showing your client that you care enough about them to give them the results they’re after. We have to take ourselves seriously as skin therapists. [01:05:30]. Retail is such an important aspect for getting the results and really serving a client.”

Anna – Don’t be scared to sell
“We need to be stop being frightened with the word selling. When we think of selling, we think of used car salesman and dodgy real estate agents. That is an example of bad selling. With good selling, you don’t even feel it. Good selling is a great recommendation. Think of the last time you said, ‘Here’s a good restaurant, go to this good restaurant’. That is a sale. That is a good sale.”

Reika – Men are a growing market
“People want to buy – especially men. That’s often underestimated in terms of new business.”

Matt – Put yourself on the high end of the selling spectrum
“Think of two ends of the selling spectrum; we’ve got the ones that aren’t successful, which look at retail as asking ‘You want fries with that?’. They’re the ones that fail dismally. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, go all the way to an authority, not unlike a doctor. Do you think a doctor ever sits there and says, ‘Oh, I can’t possibly prescribe this medication for this person’s ailment’? No, they give them a script and say ‘Go fill it now.’ The strategic level is rethinking my role as a therapist to be like a doctor, not like a person asking if I want fries with that.”

Rebecca – Don’t let your clients down
“I was one of those therapists that was scared to sell until I was told by a business coach earlier on ‘How dare you let your clients leave after spending all that money on a beautiful treatment and buy products from a supermarket’.”

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