Two important treatment rooms skills

By Lori Crete | Coaching

Apr 11

Whenever a new client comes to my spa, I always ask them how they found me. Although the answers vary, it’s most often one of these…

  • a word of mouth referral,
  • a google search,
  • your website or
  • your Yelp page was awesome!

(Click here to check out my Yelp 101 Training where you’ll learn how to quickly and easily set up your Yelp presence in a way that maximizes your chances of being seen favorably by everyone searching for what you do.)

Another question I always ask is why they were searching for a new esthetician. The most common answer I hear to that is that they just moved into the area, or their esthetician moved away.

But in a recent week, I had two new clients find me, and when I asked them these questions, I was taken aback by their answers.

Both of these unrelated clients told me they ultimately found me because their last esthetician made them feel really bad about their skin.

I asked for a bit more information from each of them, and I want to share what I heard and why I think this happened.

people-wont-forgetIn the first situation, the esthetician was trying to encourage the client to spend more money with her by making her feel insecure about her skin. In this case, she tripped up by using fear rather than education.

In the second situation, the esthetician was trying to show how knowledgeable she was by telling the client that using her specific approach would create amazing results for her inflamed skin and cystic acne. Now, this alone wouldn’t have been the worst but, this particular client is 30-years old and just finished aggressive treatment for breast cancer. Understandably, she had valid concerns about what she used on her skin. When asked, the esthetician wouldn’t tell her what “herbs” she was using on her, but instead said to her, “trust me, they are going to make you look younger.”

This client didn’t want to “look younger,” she wanted to soothe and calm her post-chemo inflamed skin. This is a great example of what can happen when we don’t actively listen to what a client wants and needs. We can end up insulting and alienating them.

This made me sad.

After actively listening to each story, I simply said, “I am sorry you felt this way and I will do whatever I can to help you look and feel beautiful.”

What a bummer that someone had to leave a beauty biz practitioner feeling self-conscious instead of feeling beautiful.

It made me even more aware of how we, as beauty biz practitioners, need to approach clients with social etiquette and emotional intelligence.

What do I mean by that?

Social Etiquette is a code of polite and professional conduct. If you pay close attention to this and fine-tune it, you are less apt to offend others and more likely to build client loyalty.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify how you can best support the emotional needs of others.

The truth is that nobody is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. We can all do better by performing an occasional ego check and working daily to improve upon our treatment room etiquette.

How do you improve upon your success skills such as social etiquette and emotional intelligence?

You start by using beauty biz empathy. This is the ability to see a situation through someone else’s circumstances or condition and approach it with a combination of kindness, professionalism, and result-based offerings.

“Empathy represents the foundation skill for all social competencies important for work.” -Daniel Goleman

And of course, you always want to use kind, supportive words keeping in mind how you would want to be spoken to if you were in the same situation.

We want to make clients feel beautiful inside and out.

So, I hope this opens a new level of awareness and a yearning inside of you as it did for me. Meeting and listening to these two new clients triggered something deep within me that made me want to show up and do better for my clients.

Here’s the book I chose to help support me along my new empathy journey, Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect with Others. Perhaps you will find it helpful too.


About the Author

A finalist for American Spa Magazine’s 2017 Women in Wellness Mentor of the Year, Lori Crete is a highly sought after industry expert and licensed celebrity esthetician. Owner of Southern California’s Spa 10, she is also the founder of The Beauty Biz Club™, a success-based society dedicated to helping beauty practitioners around the world fill their schedule, increase profits and break through to the 6-figure mark.

  • Judy Francis says:

    I’ve experienced this type of situation recently as well. When she got on the table she said “I already know, my skin is terrible”. It wasn’t terrible at all, she had a couple of blemishes she had picked at and went so far as to go to a dermatologist and he gave her a prescription. She wasn’t even sure what it was or what it was for and didn’t want to use it. I gave her a couple of suggestions that were not expensive and she went away saying it was the best facial she had ever had, purchased the items and booked another facial. She felt so much better about herself.

  • Stacey says:

    Great article, I think I am pretty good for this, but it’s always good to reflect and improve.

  • Christine R says:

    Lori, this makes so much sense… Love your tips, your loving and kind approach. I have been a Human Resources Professional for many years and have found that empathy goes a long way. I am now making a career change to the World of Beauty to become an esthetician. I look forward to the journey and to receiving your insightful tips and guidance.

    Thank you!

  • Ashley says:

    Fantastic email! Listening is so very key!

  • Kimberly Cox says:

    Lori, I’m so glad you brought this up. When I first started out, I found I had to be careful to be sure this very same thing didn’t happen to me. I was so worried I would offend someone. But, I have found the more experience I get, the more comfortable I feel. The less I FEEL I have to prove my self with technical terms and pointless aesthetic language to the client. At the end of the day, women & men just want to feel better. But my version of “better isn’t always in alignment with their “better”. I have found they key to a comfortable treatment with trusting conversation is to ask questions, and be genuine about them. What your client “wants” is what they “need”, not what the Esthetician wants. But I do educate with love. I use several gateways to see what the clients comfort level of education, and introduction to a new skincare regimen is. Lori, thank you for continuing to serve Estheticians and our industry. Another great piece on empathy is a short video on you tube by Brenee Brown called Sympathy vs Empathy. Thanks for the book recommendation, going right now to check it out! I love what you have taught me, and continue to apply your techniques every day.

  • >