My particular bugbear is the standard and quality of education; not all therapists have received sufficient training to understand how the skin is formed and therefore don’t feel comfortable to recommend the right treatments and products to their clients. This is particularly limiting, as after a treatment and positive results, the client is often keen to maintain the results at home.
Clients expect therapists to be the experts when it comes to skincare and to advise accordingly. However, I often hear therapists say that their clients want to 'stick with what they know' which is seldom true, particularly when they have a particular skincare issue to solve.
Years ago .. consumers trusted the knowledge of their therapist
It seems to me that years ago, when professional brands were not marketed in consumer magazines, consumers trusted the knowledge of their therapist to prescribe the best solution for their skin. Now, they are more informed so when a therapist explains solutions, they need to have first built up enough trust to get the client to listen to them. If the trust isn’t there, the therapist can either risk forcing the sale or losing it altogether.
I think it’s fantastic that professional brands are now marketing direct to the end consumer, but in the process we have lost a bit of value in the hands of the therapist. The combination of the two is more powerful. If therapists deliver an effective treatment and can match those desirable skills with expert knowledge, consumers are not only more likely to return for another treatment but also trust the brand and the professionalism of the clinic and staff.
Therapists have underlying beliefs that are not being addressed
Retail sales classes don’t often focus on why therapists don’t sell, they teach skills that a lot of the time therapists don’t use as they still have an underlying belief that has not been addressed in relation to selling.
More classes focused on personal development and breaking beliefs using NLP techniques would help get to the root cause of why they don’t start the sale in the first place, helping them to build their personal presence and confidence. In terms of a solution for actual skin knowledge, more bite-sized classes and different learning styles to generate an understanding of how skin works would be a great start.
I think registering with a professional body enforcing CPD points would also be a benefit to the industry as with other medical and holistic professions. To start right at the beginning, going to high schools and showcasing this industry as not just nails, spray tans and lashes but a real solution to serve people and have multiple skills, would further be beneficial in raising standards and profile.
Ultimately, our industry teaches so many business skills and creates many entrepreneurs, it really is a fantastic industry to build a career in and we should always remember that!