People frequently decide on a career in the service industries because they don’t see themselves selling goods to others all the time. The beauty industry is very well known for therapists who provide excellent service to their clients, but do not think of selling a product that can improve their clients’ lives.
The reality is that part of a superb service to your clients, is to introduce products and other services to your clients that will improve their lives. The good news is that you do not have to be a salesperson to do this. All you need to be is a problem solver. And introducing solutions to clients is a learnable skill.
When you follow the ten-step plan, describe below you will never again have to sell a client anything and yet you will grow your client list to be a prosperous resource.
Step one: Context matters.
This is more subconscious than conscious. You need to represent the image your client has in her head of a problem solver for the specific type of problem she needs a solution. If you think a bit about it; will you be comfortable to consult a doctor who wears a blue overall and has some dirt under his nails? Even if the overall is spotless, and he wears the highest quality of gloves when he touches a patient?
The answer for 99% of people is NO. They will rather go to an inferior doctor who wears a white coat and has clean finger nails.
This is just an exacerbated example, but the same is true for your clients. This does not mean that you have to be another generic puppet. The contrary, you should always add something to the picture that reflexes your uniqueness. Just make sure that this something does not shatter the image your client has in her head.
Do the magazines in your waiting area tell about the latest celebrity scandals or the latest aesthetic procedures? Does your outfit say this is a professional that values what she has to offer? Or it is not really what it should be, but maybe I’ll get a new one next month?
Step two: Know your outcome beforehand.
Your desired outcome must be mutually beneficial for both you and your client. If you feel forced to provide a service at your expense, it will show and your client will not feel appreciated. If your client feels forced to accept a solution, you will not see her again.
Most people will say no to a solution the first time. Having to make a decision in itself is another thing you add to her already overfull plate. Show her how easy it is to make the right decision.
Step three: Empathize.
You cannot convey a solution to your client if you don’t have empathy for her. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is the ability to comprehend what your client feels without being cough up in her emotions. It allows you to look past the problem and see the solution. Then it allows you to present the solution to her in a way she connects with it.
Step four: Defuse resistance.
Your client is probably so focused on the problem that she has a difficult time seeing the solution. It is a normal first reaction to say no to anything new. At this moment she is unsure if it is not just adding to her overfull plate.
It is your responsibility to educate her and guide her to understand the solution you have to offer. You can do this by telling her how you felt at first when you learned about this treatment or product and how it proved to be a good solution. Remember people will not go searching for what you have taught them.
With this I’ll end this post. Next time we will continue with the rest of the ten steps. Try introducing as many as possible of these steps into your client interactions over the next week, and please let us know if it was useful for you.