by Brigitte Benge
Truth is, you cannot sell anything successfully and consistently if you don’t believe in the product you are selling. Genuine selling comes from within. From a place of passion and interest in the product. If you’re not interested, don’t or wouldn’t use a product you sell, surely you can appreciate that the chances of you selling it successfully are going to be pretty slim. For example, as a business coach specialising in the beauty industry, I can stand up on any stage and successfully present a workshop without any problems at all. There isn’t a question someone could ask that I can’t answer. I make a good living out of it and repeat/referral business is huge for me. Why? Because I love it. And it shows. I’m passionate about this industry and I most definitely practice what I preach. The passion is in my voice and the content of what I teach. Ask me to talk about share trading and I’ll fall in a heap. I’m not interested in share trading and my passion for it is nonexistent.
If you sell make-up but don’t wear it, you’ll find it challenging to sell. If you sell skincare but use soap and water at home, guess what? Selling it to the requirement of the business is not going to happen. When you talk from within, from experience, you’re no longer ‘selling’ as such. You’re sharing what you believe in and your passion for it shows through the tone of your voice and the interest your body language reveals.
Equally as important as interest and passion is knowledge. What you sell needs conversation and the sharing of important information in order to get the sale over the counter. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a Big Name counter in a department store and being served by someone who has no idea about the differences between the six mascaras Big Name sells. Or why their foundation is well over $100 but the retailer can’t explain what’s in the product or what’s so special about it that justifies its high price.
You see, successful selling is all based on one simple formula. Grasp this formula and you can sell absolutely ANYTHING. The formula is…BENEFIT > COST.
When you can show a customer that the benefit she will derive from a product is far greater than the price she will pay for it, selling is really easy. No matter what the cost is. Selling a Chanel foundation for over $100 is equally as easy as selling a L’Oréal foundation at around $20 as long as you are successfully able to articulate and justify the benefit of a product as being of greater VALUE than its price. If you know about the hydrating qualities, non-irritant ingredients, why it lasts all day, how and why it applies so smoothly and removes so easily, its pleasure-to-use packaging (etc.) about the Chanel foundation, selling it won’t be hard at all. But if all you can say is that it’s good and lots of people buy it, then the $100 price tag will sound way too expensive. No sale. It’s so rarely about the price but more about the value. People will purchase on price alone in the absence of anything else.
Now of course, the customer’s budget does come in to play sometimes and you have to adapt. With knowledge of what your business has on offer, you can successfully move on to sell say a L’Oréal foundation that is less costly than the Chanel one with less benefits but in relation to the cost, the benefits will outweigh the cost.
It’s a simple and effective formula.
Product knowledge is the key to selling in the beauty industry. The more you know, the easier you’ll sell and the more your customers will buy from YOU.
If you’re interested in what you sell and you know a lot about what you sell, the motivation for selling increases dramatically. Personal satisfaction is a great motivator for retailing. The more you sell, the better you become at it. And the better you become at it, the more you sell! Success begets success. It’s a great feeling when you do your job well; you meet your targets and customers keep coming back to YOU because of your passion and knowledge. They trust you. Trust is incredibly valuable in retail. Once you have your clients’ trust, you have their loyalty and more than likely, you will also have them referring you to their friends.
To finish, I have one more tip for you. The male segment of the beauty industry is growing. At a time that looking younger for longer, sooner is prevalent, the men also ‘want in’. Make sure you pay attention to growing your male market. Target promotions to men. The best way to get to the men is through…..their women!
*Lucintel - Global Beauty Care Products Industry 2012-2017 report
So you have this brand/product that you love like your own child and you feel you have been working 24/7 to get attention. You have invested lots of money and time in packaging, typing up posts, sharing the products with friends, meeting with retailers and distributors and you feel you are still not getting any traction. What do you do next?
The growth of social media has given rise to influencer marketing, now one of the fastest growing categories in advertising and projected to be a $5-10 billion market by 2020*. A larger percentage of the advertising dollar being invested into this component of the marketing mix naturally means greater pressure on marketers to deliver meaningful results from this medium. There is now an emphasis on conducting due diligence when planning your influencer campaigns, especially around your influencer selection, and in particular their followers.