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Consultative Selling Starts With Conversation

Tell the truth — does the idea of “sales” make you instantly feel icky? If so, that’s because your mindset and approach to sales needs a major shift!

Rather than looking at sales as an aggressive or off-putting piece of business that is a “necessary evil,” it’s crucial to reframe your outlook and sharpen your sales skills so that the process feels natural and of-service to your client or customer. 

Not only will this shift benefit your clients since you’ll become better equipped to  guide them toward the best solution for their problem, but it also helps your business (yes, we’re in this field to empower, heal, and nurture other people, and our businesses still need revenue to continue that work!). 

And this kind of sales process is called consultative selling — an approach that prioritizes relationships and opens dialogue to identify and provide solutions to a customer's needs. 

Let’s break it down so you can learn how to start loving sales (and they’ll start increasing):

Listening As the Foundation 


Even if you immediately and intrinsically know what your client needs at first glance of their skin, refrain from jumping into your recommendations (even inside your head…internal dialogue is powerful and can pull us away from being mindful and present when we’re with clients). 


Instead, start by asking questions and lean into listening. 


Starting with a conversation allows the process to become hyper-focused on the customer and what they’re sharing versus the thing you’re selling. 


So, what questions should you start with? So glad you asked! 


Shy away from “yes” or “no” questions, and dig into the bits that will provide you with more clarity as the esthetic professional. For example:

  • What brought you in today? 
  • What are areas you would like to see improvement and how would you like those areas to improve? 
  • What is your current skincare product regimen?
  • How much time are you able or willing to invest into your skincare practice? What’s your routine and lifestyle like? 


Having insight into what areas are specifically of concern for them, what they desire, and with a clear picture of what they’re currently doing and what they can do, leads you to exactly how you can map out their treatment(s) & home care plan.

But remember, listen fully as you move through these questions. The more your client talks, the more insight you’ll gain! 


You’ll notice that the more you listen, some of these questions may get answered without you even needing to ask. 

Determine Their Buying Style


Next, you need to know what kind of buyer you’re talking with. 


The good news is, when you’re listening to the answers from the questions you asked in Part 1, you can typically pick up on what kind of buyer someone is and cater your recommendation specifically to their style. 


When listening to your client, look for hints from the following three Buyer Styles: 

  • Analytical

 Analytical buyers are known to be notorious researchers and like to know all the details. We’re talking — ingredients, benefits, pros vs. cons and they tend to be the “let me sleep on it” folks, which means they may not be making a sale with you that day, and that’s okay.


There are three things to do with an Analytical buyer:


1 - Load them up on the info. Give them the stats and details they need to make an informed purchase…this is where you can let your skin geek flag fly! Giving them information that’s a little more scientific will aid in their decision making and more importantly, position you as the expert. 


2 - Because Analytical buyers are researchers, they can also be fence sitters. Try to help guide them toward the other side of the fence by letting them know what’s on the other side. For example, if the product is something they can go buy for less somewhere else, inform them of why it’s beneficial to purchase from you (the expert). Also, use the info you got from your conversation to appeal to them — i.e. tell them precisely how the products you’re recommending are going to work to solve the specific problems they described (in their words) and what they need to do to get it to work for them. 


3 - If you can get the feeling they “still need to think about it” - let them know how they can reach out to you with questions and when you follow up, ask if they’re still in need of the recommendations you made. 


  • Impulse

Impulse buyers need little to no persuading or educating as they are black and white with their thinking around problems/solutions. 


If you can adequately show that you clearly understand their problem (repeat it back to them by mirroring the language they used to describe their problem) and you have a product to solve it, they are likely to buy.


The best ways to demonstrate that your product will help solve an Impulse buyer’s problem is through sharing stories and testimonials that highlight results — when to expect them and how to achieve them. 


Signs of an impulse buyer is someone who may be brief in explaining their problem, uses slightly emotional language, but doesn’t dive too deeply into their story, but communicates that they “want” or “need” something (even if they say they don’t know what that is…that’s what you’re going to show them). 


  • Emotional 

An Emotional buyer is someone who purchases based on how acquiring the thing they’re buying is going to make them feel. 


For example, if someone is hoping to diminish the appearance of stretch marks and indicates high levels of emotion around having them (for example, they feel embarrassed, not confident, etc.), you’ll want to appeal to those emotions when making your recommendations. 


One of the best ways to do this is by sharing stories about other people who were in a similar boat being able to achieve real results (feel free to share your own stories), and educating your client on how to properly use the product with a heavy emphasis on the result being how they’ll feel once they achieve their results.  

Make Your Recommendation and Educate 


Once you know your client’s problem and their buying style, now it’s time to present your solutions to their problem in a way that’s sure to stick and land you the sale.


Perhaps you’ll emphasize research and statistics, or maybe you’ll lean toward education and demonstration, or maybe you’ll appeal more toward emotional storytelling. 


With this approach of listening first and analyzing swiftly, you’re able to tailor your recommendations specifically to your client’s needs and in a way that appeals to their psychology. Once you’ve done that, ask if your client would like to go with your recommendations today, and the ball is in their court; no pushing necessary. 


And that’s really what sales is…fixing problems and doing so in a way that your client or customer sees the value in what you have to offer because you’ve made it clear that you’re the expert to purchase from, have their interest in mind, and the immediate solution to their problem. 


See? Sales doesn’t have to be so scary! 


When you look through a consultative lens, sales is really just serving your people well.

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