While it is always useful to know the origin and behavior of specific product ingredients, customers are generally interested in a very narrow range of information regarding consumer goods.
Many spa and salon professionals believe that unless they know every ingredient in every product the salon stocks they cannot competently sell them. There is a fear that customers will challenge salespersons on ingredients, what those ingredients do, and where they come from. This is incorrect. While it is always useful to know the origin and behavior of specific product ingredients, customers are generally interested in a very narrow range of information regarding consumer goods. Most consumers (and beauty professionals for that matter) would find it difficult if not impossible to name even the first two or three ingredients of all of the personal care products they own, use, or sell. Why? Because most people really have little interest in knowing that sort of information. Think about how most people judge a shampoo for example prior to purchasing.
> Visual appearance. The customer examines a certain item visually; size, shape, color, labeling — usually the initial point of attraction. They may read the ingredients and instructions on the package, but most will have only a modest understanding of the names and benefits of the contents.
> Feel. Texture of the package or product itself if it is unpackaged — the sensual cues.
> Smell. Opening the package, testing the fragrance for pleasantness — smell is the most powerful of the senses.
> Purchase. Assuming all has been satisfactory up to this point including the price, the client pays her money and takes the item home.
> Use. Curiously, this is the last thing a customer does with most of the products they’ll ever buy!
What interests customers most are results, ease of use, and value. For high-ticket items — jewelry, cars, and houses, etc. — a customer will likely require a lot of information before making a decision to buy. The same is not necessarily true for cosmetic and skin care. Selling is simple and easy if you allow it to be.
André West-Harrison is co-owner of the private label spa care company My Sacred Fig (www.mysacredfig.com).