Growing up as an introvert I learned to adapt to an extroverted world. It wasn’t easy; sometimes it was just plain difficult. But I discovered that the axiom is true; what doesn’t kill you does truly make you stronger. Acting like an extrovert has had its rewards; it was necessary to develop that muscle and flex it hard if I wanted to be successful.
And successful I was. But after 15 years in corporate America as a training manager, it became too exhausting to play that game every day so I decided to switch gears and work in the spa industry. Read More
I live in Bangkok on a soi (street) in a thriving business district. The soi is lined with vendors selling everything from mangoes to crickets. There are exactly 5 massage businesses and one spa. From time to time my husband and I get a foot massage that is quite good. The therapists are friendly and chatty. When we close our eyes to just enjoy the massage they are sensitive enough to stop talking. This service costs 400 THB or 15 U.S. dollars. Read More
Most therapists enter the spa industry with the idea of providing service, helping or healing. The problem with retail sales training is that more often than not, the service component is not emphasized.
The view that retail is a customer service component and not the cumbersome additional task many therapists see it as, is one that is shared by Lorna Macleod, spa manager at Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire. “I always say to the therapists, don’t look at retail as a negative, look at it as a positive.
If you went to the doctor with a sore throat and the doctor didn’t give you anything for it, you’d feel cheated and I think it’s the same with spas,” she says. “We need to give customers something to take home that enables them to continue the benefits they see and the great feeling they have when they’re in the spa. If we don’t do that then we, as therapists, are not doing our jobs properly, we’re not fulfilling the clients’ needs and concerns.”
The problem, Macleod continues, is that therapists are afraid of retailing. “All therapists are frightened of retail because they feel as if they’re asking something where they’ll get a no back and no-one likes rejection,” she says. Gill Morris, director of training and consultancy provider GMT Training, which offers courses in areas that include sales training for spa and beauty therapists, agrees.
“Therapists are frightened to death of selling and that’s because they don’t know how to do it,” she says. “Education for therapists focuses very much on treatment, so they actually don’t know how to sell and don’t feel comfortable with the process of selling. That’s because they haven’t been taught it and if you haven’t been taught something, you don’t know how to do it.”
While many spas offer retail bonuses and incentive these, Morris explains, will have no effect if the skills required to push sales are not there to begin with. And while brands may be excellent at providing product training, product knowledge alone is not sufficient
Excerpted from Professional Spa and Wellness June issue “Selling the Sales Pitch”
In the previous blog-post (Therapists Can Sell-Your Spa Retailing Tip-2), your therapists were given an overnight assignment. They selected their favorite retail product sold at your spa which they use on a daily or regular basis. They needed to familiarize themselves with the product and develop a presentation describing the smell, look, texture and benefit.
Tip #3 Today, again in groups of three, each therapists will give a presentation of their product. Their teammates will rank their presentation on a scale of 3-10; 3, the lowest simply means that they can improve and 10 means very well done. Don’t begin the ranking using “1 or “2” because the mere willingness to make a presentation is worth a “3”. The presentation should be judged by the therapist’s description of the product’s smell, appearance, texture, customer benefit and knowledge of active ingredients. Confidence, body language, animation and excitement level will also be graded.
After the presentation team members should feel free to ask any questions which they feel a customer might ask pertaining to the product. The therapist should feel very comfortable answering their questions, if they don’t, more product knowledge is needed.
Provide your team with forms which they can use to write the number of their assessment on the areas being rated. Here is a template-
Product Texture or Feel
Tone of Voice
This process should be fun and not cause stress. Impress upon each team member that this process is a simply a measurement for improvement and can be performed among themselves. If any of your therapists receive high ratings in all areas, discuss why this occurred as it can be duplicated. Respect the personality type of each therapist and don’t expect to get the same level of animation from an introvert as from an extrovert. Keep in mind that listening, not talking, is the key to up selling services and higher retail sales.
In theory the process of retail selling is easy. But when you’re a spa therapist and an introvert, the questions that you want to ask your client and the recommendations you’d love to make for them may get stuck somewhere between your brain and your mouth.
Here’s my advice; truly focus on your client, you’ll find that a lot of your nervousness will go away. Ask your client what brought them to you today. Don’t just ask them how they feel because most people respond with a simple “fine” or “ok”.
But if they were fine they probably wouldn’t be spending their time and money at the spa. So ask them specifically what brought them there. Ask them what they want to accomplish from their visit. And then use your advantage and power as an introvert and listen closely to their answer.
Determine the best course of action. Don’t EVER be afraid to recommend another treatment if you know that it is more appropriate. Be confident in your knowledge,you are the expert. There is nothing more disappointing than spending time and money on a treatment that did absolutely nothing! I recently went to a therapist for a Thai massage and she told me that it wouldn’t alleviate my neck pain the way that an oil massage would. Guess what? She was right.
Once you determine the correct treatment, focus on which products are needed for your client to continue their treatment and healing at home. (I’m assuming that you have knowledge of the products your spa carries). Make your recommendations by remembering to TSTS. Tell, smell, touch, and sell.
Inform your client of the product’s benefits and why you think it’s best for them, let them smell the aroma, allow them to touch it and feel the consistency. It will sell itself if you are enthusiastic about it.
In my first blog your task was to have your therapists select their favorite place, food or person. They described their selection to their team members who should have been paying close attention to the body language, tone, animation and excitement level of the speaker telling the story. You should have been taking notes on each therapist to record their particular level of enthusiasm as no two people are alike. This exercise would help you to determine and set the emotional baseline of the therapist who is selling your retail products. Read More
I’m a fan of Chef Gordon Ramsay. Not the wild uber critical persona he displays on his American show , Hell’s Kitchen, but the kinder, gentler mentor and advisor that he is on his British program- Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.
I remember watching an episode about a restaurant owner who had 50 or more items on his menu. The restaurant was in a shambles and the chef was losing money like crazy because he had to stock the ingredients of all the dishes he offered. He had very few customers because his food didn’t taste good. He was trying to do too much. Read More
I’m going to give you three powerful tips in this series. This is number one and make sure you stay tuned to get the other two because together they’re magical.
When I consulted with spa management in the United States they would often tell me that their number one problem was getting their staff to sell retail products. But my experience in Asia has shown me that the same challenges exist, although they may be amplified by language differences. The primary cause is the same all over the world. Most therapists are introverts. They are shy people who don’t feel comfortable selling products. Read More