Selling Without Pressure, my article for the July/August edition of Skin Deep Magazine, made the cover! The art of sales is a fascinating one. My audience and intent is to help educate the spa and salon owner, manager, or technician. Here is an excerpt:
“The spa is one of the few places where a person can escape and relax, away from today’s constant bombardment of advertising—a place where it’s all about the client’s needs and desires. Sales practices need to be handled in a way that feels compatible with the esthetician’s identity as a professional healing arts practitioner who considers and respects the customer.”
The ideas I present in this article are not limited to my industry however. An inspiration for the piece was Sharon Drew Morgen, author of Selling With Integrity (Berkley Books, 1999), she teaches a system that uses helpful and facilitative communications in place of the traditional sales tendency to push, convince, persuade, and influence. The process of selling, in and of itself, is irrelevant. According to Morgen, effective communication is all about helping clients discover a solution so that they can organize their own buying decision.
The average consumer needs answers, choices, and results before she can comfortably accept a professional’s recommendations. She may decide not to buy, no matter what you do. But if she does buy, she will buy when she has reached a clear understanding that what you’re offering fits her needs. The only way to ascertain her readiness, or her need for your solution, is to ask questions.
The other day I was in a salon asking about a jewelry display piece. The clerk went off on a spiel of how awesome the jewelry line was (which was probably true), but he completely missed a “relational moment” with a customer and went right into his sales-shtick. I was completely uninterested in the retail offering and just wanted to know about the display. Hmm, pretty sure I’ve done this to people too.
In the end, I know that customers aren’t just showing up so that I have the opportunity to sell. However tempting “my own agenda” is, I’ve come to believe that serving my guests – and understanding their needs and desires is the one-and-only reason for being in business.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
See you at the spa!