7 ways to successfully retail to male clients
Although men are wising up to the benefits of grooming, 56% still don’t think they need to use skincare products, according to Mintel’s new Men’s Facial Skincare UK 2016 report, making selling the benefits of a prescription post-treatment tough.
However, not all hope is lost. Many believe the key to successfully selling to this client group is tailoring your retailing technique to suit their needs – from the language used to understanding their lifestyle.
Here are seven ways you can sell the benefits of a good skincare regime to male clients:
- Stock up on male-friendly products – Dual-purpose products are fast becoming the new men’s skincare essentials and are great items to push when retailing, as Marian Hook, director of training at Espa, explains: “Two-in-one products are great because most men aren’t used to having a skincare regime and will want something that’s quick and easy, like a dual-purpose cleanser and exfoliator.”
- Avoid talking jargon – Marie Schmid, head of training at Clarins UK, believes language plays a key part when recommending a homecare regime. “Male clients don’t want fluffy sales language, they want honest and open details about what the product does – from the exact amount to put in their hands to how often to use it. When talking them through the prescription, keep it clear and concise.”
- Make it suit their lifestyle – “When recommending a homecare regime, make sure to ask the client what’s important to them. I always ask about the hobbies and physical activities they enjoy as this gives me a window into their lifestyle and the type of products they will need for their skin. The goal is always to help the client look and feel their best,” says Cortny McCathie, UK national training manager at Comfort Zone.
- Selling techniques require creative tactics – Just as men’s skin needs change as they get older, so too do their attitudes and interests. So, make sure your recommendations suit your client’s age. “Your clients will fall into three main age groups – young, middle-aged and older – so you need to adapt your sales technique. For younger clients, I focus on the results that can be expected when using the products, especially the science behind them, which has a bit of the ‘wow’ factor,” says Jenny Hayward, spa manager at The Peak Health Club at Spa at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London.
“Middle-aged men can be the most difficult to convince as they usually have an established skincare routine in place, so you really need to sell the benefits of what you’re recommending. With older clients, make sure you have a longer discussion as many may be unfamiliar with how to use the products. You could even offer to give them a tutorial of the products in a private setting such as a treatment room.”
- Don’t forget – you have more than one retail area – Your treatment room can also be an excellent sales area, as Andy Rouillard, owner of Axiom Men’s Grooming Salon in Basingstoke, explains: “It’s worth having a small selection of hero products in your treatment rooms, which can be bagged up there and then to save potential embarrassment at the till.” Rouillard also says it’s worth having a small description and price clearly displayed next to each product so your clients have all the relevant information they need when looking.
- Samples can be your saviour – For most guys, the trusted approach of “try before you buy” is a sure-fire way to bag sales. “Giving out samples is a great way to get your male clients to try something new, and male-only salon events, where they can try before they buy, work really well,” explains Lisa Manning, owner of Beautiful You in Suffolk. “Also, talking to the clients’ wives can help – if you sell the concept to them then it won’t be long before the men buy in.”
- Invest in home kits – When it comes to retail, don't over-complicate things with myriad products on the shelves, says Rouillard: “Ready-to-go homecare kits that take the stress and hassle out of choosing products are a blessing for male clients. For waxing, this could include an antibacterial shower wash, soothing body lotion and exfoliating cloth – everything a customer needs to look after their skin between hair-removal appointments.”