We spoke to Deb Farnworth-Wood on how to improve your staff’s sales performance.
“You know the feeling – you’ve employed a brilliant therapist; the clients love her and specifically request her time after time. Her treatment knowledge is exceptional, but she simply doesn’t meet the fee earning requirement of the role.” – Deb Farnworth-Wood
This is a problem many clinics face says Managing Director of Issada Cosmetics Deb Farnworth-Wood. Not to worry, she also says the fix is easy. With the right knowledge and training, your therapists will be converting new clients into regulars in no time.
Deb says the main reason why therapists can’t nail a sale is that they make assumptions about a customer’s ability to spend in the clinic. The first step is to remind your therapists that customers have made a conscious decision to step into your clinic.
“Our salons, clinics and spas are not places that you accidentally stroll through. We are generally not open plan like Supré and Kmart which you may wander in and browse around. In fact, walking through our doors takes a conscious decision and usually a whole lot of research, discussion with friends and reading of google reviews first,” Deb said.
Instead, Deb says you need to get your therapists to listen to what the customer is saying. Are they unhappy? What type of results do they want to see? Asking these questions can help you gain a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve from a trip to your business.
“Only by understanding all of this can a therapist consider appropriate recommendations, and at this point, the question generally becomes more about speed and efficacy than cost. It’s easy to sell a more expensive treatment if the results are faster and better than a less expensive treatment,” she said.
From here, potential customers look for three boxes to check says Deb. They will look to see if:
- You are a professional business, and do you look like the type of establishment they are comfortable in? First impressions count in this instance. If a customer is seeking treatments like injectables, hygiene will be a high priority. Do your surroundings match this expectation?
- Will they receive an expert service? Your staff need to be able to rattle off information about products and treatments like they are reciting the alphabet. They should need to be able to communicate to a range of customers on a range of issues. “Empathy is important, and one of the difficulties we have in the industry is that the average 20-year-old therapist has no grasp of how it feels to look in the mirror and see a 50-year-old face,” Deb said.
- Are you friendly, engaging? Deb says the potential customer needs to like you to gain a sale. She says the easiest way to improve on your approachability is by asking this question; how can I help you today? “From this simple line, as long as the therapist is in thinking mode, not talking mode, the conversation should flow.”
If these measures aren’t helping with your staff’s selling ability, Deb suggests that more training is in order. In her clinics, if a staff’s conversion rate is less than 85 per cent from consult to treatment, they are not allowed to see new clients without more training.
When training a staff member with a low conversion rate, she recommends working in the following topics.
- Passion & Knowledge – “Does the staff member understand the product/treatment fully – from how it works, to who are the best candidates for the treatment and the answers to all the likely questions from clients. It is important that the team member has witnessed results and has a good reason to enthuse about the treatment.”
- Confidence & Empathy – “Can the staff member articulate all of the above in a clear, coherent and persuasive manner or are they stammering through, uncertain what to say? Is there a formal consultation format for them to follow? Can the therapist show empathy and understanding and relate to the client’s problem in a caring manner?”
- Practice & Reinforcement – “From there it is a simple question of practice which is done by various means such as random quick questions, sitting in on consults with experienced staff and in role-play scenarios.”
And there you go, she’ll be making stellar sales in no time!