So, you’ve begun to execute a strategic marketing plan for your spa, and it’s starting to bring in the inquiries.
While you’re well on your way to success with gaining a new client, there’s still one more critical piece you need before getting a spot filled in your books: the consultation.
Knowing how to conduct a consultation properly is essential to your success, after all, the consultation is the best place to close the deal with a new client or patient.
Now that doesn’t mean your consult should be one big sales pitch - actually quite the opposite.
The consultation is a way to establish rapport with your prospective client and educate them on your services and your practice. And if you present your consultation correctly, you’ll have gained a new patient - all without seeming pushy.
Here are the three how to successfully close consultations for new clients:
Properly Greet Your Client
So, first things first, your greeting. We know first impressions are everything and it’s critical that we start off on the right foot with our appearance and greeting.
Regarding appearance, you should look professional and well-pulled together. After all, we are experts in the beauty industry, so we should be a walking billboard for our services, namely healthy, glowing skin.
Whatever your expertise is, make sure you’re representing it well with your appearance.
Not to say everything is about appearance, but due to the industry we’re in, it is more of a factor in the way we build trust with our clients. You don’t go to a hair stylist with bad hair, right? So staying diligent with your skincare regimen and care is crucial. Let your beautiful skin shine!
When it comes to greeting your consult, being warm and friendly is a given, but there are a few other things I like to do to make a lasting impression.
After greeting them, shake their hand and make warm, friendly eye contact, and introduce yourself with something I like to call a power introduction.
It could be something like:
Hi, I’m Daniela, I’m the patient care coordinator for Dr. Smith.
Hi, I’m Daniela, I’m the lead aesthetician here at the relaxation spa.
Once we are in the room, I take a moment to give a little background about myself, the spa or practice, and the physician that I’m working with - if you’re in a med spa.
I’m always sure to include all of the services offered before jumping into the reason that they are here for the consultation in the first place.
Why do I do that?
Because often clients don’t realize the services you offer are even possible. They look for the specific service that will solve their particular problem or concern at the moment, and they may not be aware how another could service benefits them better.
Even if some of the services that we offer are not a good fit for their needs, they may know someone who would be a good fit.
Once you invite the client to share their concerns, the reason for their visit, it’s time to switch into listening mode. You want to truly understand their needs so that you can provide them with the best service possible.
Being a great listener also allows you to steer the conversation in a way that provides the best value for your consult by addressing their most pressing concerns or honing in on the areas of the service they want to know more about.
For example, if a patient is talking about concerns with a dull complexion, fine lines, and anti-aging, you have a lot that you can talk to them about. Start with educating them on the importance of a home skin care regimen, what treatments you offer to address their specific concerns, and finishing with what treatments need to be done to maintain the results.
And something that is vital for converting your consult into a client is to keep the conversation focused on them. You can add personal anecdotes occasionally to illustrate a point, but make sure always to tie it back to their question, comment, or reason for the visit.
Using Positive Language In the Consultation
Next, sticking to positive language is going to be a big plus for your consultations. We have to keep in mind that our patients are coming to us and being vulnerable.
They are letting us know things that they don’t like about their appearance and things that cause them pain either physically or emotionally, and we’ve got to respect that and create a safe environment where they don’t feel judged or embarrassed.
So, when they tell you that they currently use bar soap as their cleanser, keep the “OMG commentary” inside your head and say something nice like:
“Alright, well I’ve got a great cleanser in mind for you that would help you reach your skincare goals” - and feel free to insert whatever their specific need is.
You’ll continue to weave that positive language through pre- and post-care instructions, contraindications, investment, and when explaining their customized home care plan, treatment plan, and maintenance plan.
And I suggest writing everything down and sending them home with all of the information the two of you just went over.
Again, it may seem like everyday language and knowledge to us, but it is likely a massive amount of potentially overwhelming language to our client. Keep it positive and focused on them, and you’ll find that you’ve set the stage on a strong foundation for a client relationship.
Selling Through Education
Finally, let’s talk about selling through education.
First I want to address that this has a lot to do with mindset. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard aestheticians say “I don’t want to sound pushy” or “I don’t want to take advantage of my patient” or even get worried about the investment of the treatment plan for the patient.
Well let me start off by making something clear: You’re not your client's accountant, and you’re not their financial advisor.
And you can not be the judge of how much one should pay for their treatment plan.
You are their skin care specialist. Their aesthetician and aesthetic expert. It’s your job to provide them with your knowledge and your skill set.
If they are coming to you to learn how to address specific concerns, you need to give them that expertise and share what you genuinely believe is the best home care and maintenance plan for them to protect their investment in their skin.
If you’re not doing that, you're not serving your patient fully.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s talk more straightforward strategy on selling through education. I’ve already touched on the key points of selling through education, and it’s truly as simple as it sounds.
If you take the time to be present with your patient and listen to their needs, and write out all of their recommendations in detail (including the AM/PM regimen for their homecare, the treatment plan and the maintenance plan along with pre/post care instructions and consent forms for them to read through, and finally a detailed document of their investment), the ball is in their court.
All you have to say is “I’d be happy to get your appointments booked for you now if that is more convenient” and the majority of the time the response will be yes.
Aestheticians that I know that use this method have a very high closure rate. And do they feel pushy? No. Are they giving a sales pitch throughout the consult? No.
What they’re doing by educating their patient during the consultation process is:
1) Showing that they’re an expert in skin.
2) Displaying that they’re incredibly thorough and detailed.
3) And showing that as a client, they will never be rushed through and treated like a number.
Those are all very important unspoken messages, and by using the three keys above, they can easily be conveyed throughout the consultation process.
So there you have it, the proper method of a successful consult so that your client will book their service before ending their conversation with you.
If they don't schedule, don’t worry. That just provides you with another opportunity to show the high level of customer service that you and your spa can offer by following up with them in a reasonable time.
Remember, we are in a service-based industry, we have to focus on providing above-and-beyond service first. The sales will follow!