AS SKINCARE PROFESSIONALS WE CAN GET VERY EXCITED ABOUT A NEW TREATMENT, TECHNOLOGY OR PRODUCT COMING OUT. WE LEARN ABOUT IT FROM OUR BRAND VENDOR, AT A TRADESHOW, SOMETHING WE READ, OR FROM A COLLEAGUE REFERRAL. WE ORDER THE PRODUCT, ADD THE FACIAL TREATMENT OR EQUIPMENT, AND THEN IT DOESN’T SEEM TO SELL AS WE HAD ANTICIPATED. THE PROBLEM? OUR EMPLOYEES MAY NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE TECHNOLOGY BUT WON’T ADMIT IT.
When I opened my first skincare clinic, after renting a room for a year, I was very encouraged by my steady clientele and retail sales. I expanded to six treatment rooms, hired two estheticians in addition to myself, and at about year three decided to bring in a second skincare line and several new treatments. Up until this point we had focused solely on clinical skincare products and treatment facials and we were busy. My team was trained by me, so we all were in sync.
This new skincare brand offered some solutions that my primary line did not have. It was from France, and I was in love with the amazing fragrances and oils. It had elegant packaging and beautiful marketing collateral as well. I happily placed my $3,800.00 opening order.
We all got basic training, set up the merchandising, got lots of samples and we were excited. So, what happened? Well, we began selling the new products and new facial, and it did well for about the first three months. Then sales went down. We liked the product line, but most of our clients went back to our primary line and treatments. Some clients would get the luxury treatments and purchase an eye or neck cream from the line, but sales of that line dwindled.
I thought we were trained well in the new line, but the truth was that we only knew the surface benefits. We rarely did a deep dive into the brand, tested ourselves or reviewed details about products because we were busy. My staff, while incentivized for retail sales, were not as confident with the line, or as well educated. Sales languished and we ended up letting go of the line.
Years later, when I began to distribute another French line, and I got deeper training, continued to pursue my education within the line and really understand the philosophy, the differences in the products and the WHY for each one, I could see the mistakes made earlier in my career.
Your team really does need additional, ongoing training. Sales reps are excellent at helping you or finding out the answers to your detailed questions. But as the owner, it is your responsibility to do some more homework and set priorities and goals for your team.
Whether you do quick, weekly product updates, group discussions, or internal electronic communications, the education must be ongoing. You can always assign your lead esthetician to take on this responsibility and incentivize that person for the product or treatment being focused on when they educate the team.
We all get busy and often product knowledge gets sidelined, particularly for new hires. From my experience most estheticians sell what they are comfortable with themselves. Look at what SKUs are selling more than others. Do your estheticians need more education on the new products or treatments before you “assume” they are not good for the spa? What you focus on grows. Take the time out of your busy day and work with your team to be more educated and confident, and sales will start to increase.