Retailing: What you know about retailing needs to be re-examined!

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Right now, mastering the skills of retailing is relevant as never before. Life with Covid has forced us all to rethink how we do business.  We have had to embrace technology even more and learn how to connect with our clients when we cannot open our doors.  It has been a time of immense challenge and huge strength as we continue to grow, develop and broaden our minds to our new reality.  

With lockdowns a new normal, it is vital to find ways to boost retail sales.  Retailing is a skill that needs to be learned and nurtured.  The competition between beauty salons and international online sellers is getting stronger and stronger in our ever-changing industry.  Take Sephora as an example.  They offer not only products but also skincare consultations and skincare treatments – and it’s only the beginning.  To thrive, beauty salons need to remain relevant and, most importantly, increase their revenue.  With the right skills, techniques and attitude, we can turn retailing in our salons into a lucrative asset that will build and strengthen your client relationships along the way.

We had the pleasure of welcoming industry expert, skincare and nutrition guru, Fiona Tuck, to Vital Plus to talk all things retailing.

Fiona has over 25 years of experience in the professional skincare and wellness industry and is known in the media as ‘the myth buster’.  Her smart, savvy and intuitive approach to business makes her the perfect candidate to help you unlearn everything you learnt about retailing and take a different, more successful approach. 

This blog highlights some of the main points Fiona raised during her live discussion with us.  

Digital Presence is Key

Getting your business “Covid-Safe” is vital at this moment in time.  Reassessing how you can remain relevant during these downtimes is incredibly important.  Ensure your website is up to date, stay present on social media and look at your online shopping offerings.  While a controversial subject, online retailing is necessary in order for us to stay afloat.  Clients want to buy products easily; otherwise, they will go elsewhere.

Digital Retailing

Can Anyone Become a Good Retailer?

Fiona’s experience has shown her that those who are most successful at retailing are those who are the most passionate about what they do.  Scripts don’t work, and there is only so much that you can learn about retailing.  Learning to communicate effectively with clients is paramount.  We need to be gaining the client’s trust, not looking for the hook to pull them into a sale. Learning how to have an open, honest, transparent conversation with your clients in order to recommend a product is where success lies effectively.  As Fiona shares, when we are trying to retail, it usually doesn’t work.

How to Build Trust

When a therapist uses a spiel that is the same for everyone, it quickly becomes clear to the client that this is learnt behaviour rather than something genuine. But, as Fiona so aptly says, it makes all the difference when what a therapist says is “coming from knowledge, education and passion.”  

Fiona advises that therapists need to learn to listen well and not be defensive about their products.  If a client is using another brand and her skin is looking great, that’s okay.  There may be other gaps you can fill. However, becoming defensive will push your clients away, and the trust is lost.

It takes time to build trust with a client – you may not get immediate sales, but over time they will know they can trust you when you do recommend a particular product.

Fiona is passionate about holistic skin health and getting to the root cause of any skin condition.  That is why finding out about your client’s health, and wellbeing is so important.  This approach leads to long term skin results. It also means your clients will value your knowledge, and they are more likely to listen to your recommendations.   Selling product stems from how well you nurture your client relationships.

To achieve this, a consultation is crucial.  Of course, time is of the essence in any beauty business, so learning how to make your consults shorter and more effective is key.  Ensuring your client fills out a history beforehand so the therapist can read over it and prepare pertinent questions will save time.  Rather than engaging in idle chit chat while performing a treatment, therapists should be trained on how to talk about the skin, explaining to the client what aspect of the skin they are working on and giving tips they can use at home.  So, while the consultation is important, a lot of it can be done during the treatment itself.

Another very important point Fiona raises on building trust is to be sure to treat your loyal clients as well as any new client.  They are your bread and butter, and they will go elsewhere if they feel they are being sidestepped.

Fiona gives some wonderful examples and personal experiences to highlight the importance of connection and trust when it comes to boosting your retail sales.

Client Relationships

Sales Targets – Yes or No?

Fiona believes knowing your staff is paramount when setting any targets.  Different personalities respond differently to retail pressure.  While some can be bolshy and motivated to sell, others can become demotivated.  Find a balance that works for your team.  Provide incentives and targets that may include treatments as well as products.  Make sure your therapists are using the products they are trying to sell!  Having experience with a product gives your therapist an authentic voice when talking to clients.  If you’re passionate about a product, you’ll be able to sell it – it’s that simple!

Ingredients Over Product

Emphasise training staff about the ingredients of the products you sell.  That knowledge allows therapists to talk about the ingredients that are relevant to each individual’s skin needs.  It makes your client relationships personal and customised, and your clients will thank you for that.  Ensuring your team is experiencing skin treatments for themselves and that the more senior staff are role models for the younger ones will increase knowledge and passion.

Competing with the Big Retailers

Fiona’s straightforward approach to this issue is refreshing!  As she says, there is so much demand for skincare, which is a great thing for all of us. It’s time for us, in the beauty industry, to look at what these big retailers, such as Mecca and Sephora are doing.  Go into these shops and learn from them!  From customer service to product and ingredient knowledge, they are successful for all the right reasons.  They also understand retail’s value, ensuring they have a wide range of products that customers can pick up and touch.  Creating a friendly retail environment is so important to building your success.  

Wise Up to Social Media

Getting your salon onto Facebook and Instagram is the way to grow your customer base.  Learn how to do reels on Instagram; host Instagram Lives where you talk to different experts; or do a pre-record to discuss a product.  With beauty influencers and celebrities buying into the beauty world, Salons have a lot to compete with. Therefore, getting comfortable with social media is so important.  Your younger therapists will be of great help here and can assist and guide you to improve your digital presence.  

Thinking about the look of your salon is also relevant – people want instagrammable environments!  Does your salon need a revamp to make it beautiful?  With the amount of competition out there, we need to step up our game to stay viable.

Fiona’s insight, experience and straight-talking in this Future Beauty Talk make it a must-listen-to!  Grab a cuppa, sit back and watch the full recording here:

You won’t regret it!


Our fundamental beliefs are that skincare products must take a holistic approach, empowering the skin’s health.  It is on these merits and philosophy that we select our range of skincare. We do not seek to supply beauty salons with short-term results but results that can be sustained and enjoyed through the years.

We love sharing our passion for the beauty industry with our clients and love seeing them succeed. And when you’re struggling or feel challenged, we are always ready to help you up and propel you towards solutions, ideas, and motivation. That’s what inspires us.

Supporting you in running a successful beauty business is our purpose.

1300 437 638 – Join our community of inspired and educated skincare professionals. xx

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