My husband and I recently went to a spa that had a wonderful aroma wafting through it. On a table in the reception area was a prominent display of essential oils and diffusers. I assumed that one of the oils was scenting the spa. As a trainer I’m always interested in the staff’s ability to interact well with customers. This day was no different.
“I want to try something”, I whispered to my husband. “Talk about how much you enjoy the smell in here”. I didn’t have to cue him further as he is a marketer and has a natural flair for drama. “Honey, what is that aroma” he asked in a loud stage whisper. “I like it, it’s nice. Do you recognize it?” Two receptionists were standing at attention close by, smiling at us. Not one of them approached us to clue us in on what turned out to be the signature scent of their company. Read More
It’s no secret that most spas don’t exactly have their retail products leaping off the shelves. And it might come as no surprise that the spa treatment a customer books might not necessarily be the best one to resolve their particular issues. That is where the expertise of the therapist should come in.
But unfortunately many therapists are doing one half of what they should be doing. They’re not listening well, they’re not guiding your customers to the most effective spa treatment(s) and they’re not making product recommendations or sales.
This is a problem. According to a recent spa study;
–If a client buys 2 products there’s a 60% chance they will revisit -If a client buys 1 product, there is a 30% chance they will revisit -If a client buys no products there is a 10% chance they will revisit
For those resort hotels and spas with multiple locations around the globe with branding that has been meticulously cultivated, this may play out even more. With so much at stake, therapist training should be at the top of senior management’s budget.
Most schools do a great job of laying the foundation for performing treatments. But selling or making product recommendations? Not so much. So how do the therapists learn this skill? Isn’t it taught by the product representatives? Well, the truth is that the product reps are there to promote their products, not to train the therapists on how to engage with your customers.
Customer engagement is an entirely different skill set. If you have invested time and money into sales training for your therapists in the past, it was probably quite effective. For one or two weeks, maybe even a month.
And then your numbers began to creep down again. Ever had that experience?
That’s because most traditional sales training is designed for extroverts. Research tells us that most spa therapists and support staff (with therapist backgrounds) are introverts. These are folks who prefer to work in a very quiet setting in a one on one situation.
Most traditional sales training is delivered in a manner which is the exact opposite of your therapist’s comfort zone.
“Sales within spas are different than other retail environments, they are much more intimate and personal, says Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association (ISPA). “The therapists are professionals within their fields, so it’s not so much a sales push as it is a recommendation to the client.”
The best training builds upon the considerable emotional intelligence of the therapists. The results can be dramatic and immediate.
Just some food for thought as you review your monthly revenue report. Maybe it’s time to do something different.
Update: I was contacted by TripAdvisor’s Senior Manager of Public Relations who informed me that they do have a section on their website under the category of Spa & Wellness. There you can post your reviews for day spas. They do not have a platform specifically for hotel or resort spas. Thank you to TripAdvisor for their responsiveness to their social media audience and willingness to discuss this issue further.
I’m a huge fan of TripAdvisor. It would never cross my mind to make a reservation for a hotel or restaurant without first checking my favorite source of information. And I write reviews as well; I figure that’s the least I can do for my fellow travelers. I was informed by TripAdvisor that I’m in the top 4% of their reviewers with over 19,012 readers. That’s a lot of people.
n 2013 “global wellness tourism” generated 494 billion dollars and “spa” singularly generated 94 billion dollars in revenue. In the U.S. alone from 2008-2013, 124 million people visited a spa. It is one of the fastest growing and most profitable industries in the world. Why is the service paying public not being asked to weigh in on their collective experiences?….
Here is a recap from the 30 Days of Spa Tips Series on the Moontide YouTube Channel(hey, please subscribe while you’re there!). So far we’ve discussed … How to increase sales, customer engagement and therapist confidence in 30 easy to follow steps.
1. Retail Mantra- Tell Touch Smell Sell- Four little words to remember when recommending products.
2. Managers Set Your Expectations with Your Therapists- Begin each day letting your team know the previous day’s results and which products are the hot item of the day.
3. Following Your Retail Road Map- Begin your day by determining which services you’ll be performing, select your retail products based on those services and envision yourself selling.
4. Therapists-How to Deal with Your Fears and Intimidation- Control nervousness by remembering that your customer is semi-nude. They are probably more nervous than you are.
5.Therapist Communications with Guests and Intake Forms- If you don’t understand what the intake form says get clarity before you begin the service.
6. Can you Retail for the Stars?-What’s your global skin I.Q? Which products work best for multi-ethnic or different skin types?
7. Recommending vs. Selling- Hospitality means providing your client with suggestions for an appropriate product to take home with them.
8. Positive Thinking for Retail Stars- Don’t talk yourself out of success. Envision yourself making lots of retail sales.
9. Is Your Spa Prepared to Sell- For managers, receptionists and therapists’ proper preparation at the start of each day will help to bring success.
10. So You Know Your Personal Brand- Match your personal preferences to the products at your spa. They will be easier to sell.
Watch 30 Days of Spa Tips on YouTube on the Moontide Consulting Channel
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.