June 20, 2017
When I consult with spa managers in the United States they often tell me that their number one problem is getting their staff to sell retail products. The past three years spent working in Asia has shown me that the same challenges exist.
Their solution has frequently been to increase product training, and to remind their staff more often how important selling is. This rarely fixes the problem because they are not addressing the root cause.
The spa industry has failed to recognize that most of its therapists are introverts by nature. They are quiet people who prefer the peaceful environment which so many spas offer. They work in subdued lighting. Customer interactions are mostly one on one. Because communication occurs largely through touch, the need to speak is kept to a minimum. This suits them just fine as introverts are not huge fans of small talk.
However, most therapists have nurturing spirits. They will bend over backwards to relieve someone’s pain. And as introverts they tend to be great listeners.
The good news is that listening well is at the heart of engagement. And engagement is the key to selling retail products.
For many therapists, customer engagement is initially very difficult. But once the stress and trepidation they experience from second guessing themselves is removed, they become the retail superstars that they are meant to be. And it happens rapidly.
Here are some tips that may help you position your team for more success in increasing your retail sales.
Tip # 1-Ask your therapists what gets in the way of their selling. Address their concerns and fears with empathy and honesty.
Tips # 2-. Divide your team into groups of three. Have them give a one minute presentation to their peers on something they love.
Tip # 3-Have the listeners repeat back what they heard the presenter say. This will help to build listening skills.
Tip # 4-In private provide positive feedback to the presenters on their presentation strengths. Guide them on improving their weaknesses.
Tip # 5-Using their strengths, repeat the presentation process using a retail product that they like. Roleplay presenting to a customer during down-time.
Join me at #ISPA2017 for Introverts: The Secret of Increasing Retail Sales.
May 4, 2017
A White Paper highlighting the opinions of spa industry leaders from the Asia Pacific region was released in April 2017. From a series of round-table discussions held in Thailand, one of the resulting conclusions was that people issues are still of primary concern. Despite industry growth that far outpaces global economic growth, the ability to ensure guest satisfaction and motivating millennials remain top of mind. Read More
February 6, 2017
This past Christmas my husband and I spent a much anticipated holiday season with our family. We currently live in Bangkok and two years is wayyy too long to be separated from the people that you love.
As fate would have it, an opportunity to provide retail training in my hometown of Philadelphia came my way. Despite the cold weather (which I hate) I decided to stay on longer with my parents while my husband returned to Asia.
Like a lot of retired seniors my parents are active and opinionated. They love MSNBC, The View, CSI Miami and Judge Judy. As I huddle by the fireplace watching these shows with them, I am reminded and amazed at the plethora of commercials. They advertise everything from plaque psoriasis crème to buy-one-get-one-free non-stick cooking pans. The contrast of watching television in Thailand where marketing is at best lukewarm makes me more aware than ever that we are truly a nation of consumers and we love to buy.
We have a leg up compared to other countries because it is part of our culture. We are the nation that unapologetically spends 5.5 million on a 30 second Super Bowl ad.
In my mind we should be dominating retail in the spa, wellness and salon industry. We should be kicking butt big time.
As global markets compete for spa and wellness revenue it is important for the U.S. to recognize what we do well and build upon it. This is my focus for 2017.
Sometimes it takes a view from the outside to have a broader perspective.
September 4, 2016
Day Spa Association cited an interesting statistic in their latest Snapshot Report;
Spas that generated 20% or higher in retail could potentially improved their sales by as much as 14%.
This is not surprising as success tends to breed more success. But if you’re in that lower 20% group and desperately want to make a giant leap into the elite 30% plus club, how do you make it happen? Read More
June 24, 2016
I’ve always been into watching sports. My Dad is head official for the Penn Relays, a national tournament held annually in Philadelphia so track and field is an event that I’m very familiar with.
The great thing about sports is that with the right coach, athletes who might be considered just average can rise to great heights of excellence.
As I watch what’s happening in the spa industry today with retail selling and the lack of therapist training it makes me think about Olympic high jumper Dick Fosbury. (Hang in there with me for a moment and you’ll see where I’m going with this.)
Last week I had a very interesting conversation with the senior manager of a massage club company. I’d experienced great massages from one therapist in particular who works for his company and I told him so. I also mentioned that although stress relieving products are in-house, in two years she had never suggested one to me. I trusted her so I would have purchased almost anything she recommended. I wondered if he might be open to try a new method of training that’s been very effective with therapists. He responded:
“We track metrics and invoke and promote strategies for LEs to improve and drive retail sales in line with our partners’ X and Y. We have instituted a National Director of Esthetics and National Esthetics Trainer to drive this facet of our business from a franchisor level and I’m pleased with the results to date. We significantly outpace our competition X and Y in revenue. I think we have the appropriate vision of what we can do, what we are doing, and are capable of doing.”
I think we have the appropriate vision of what we can do, what we are doing, and are capable of doing.”
I am certain that prior to 1968, world class coaches around the globe held the same conviction about their method of teaching the high jump. And then an athlete named Dick Fosbury showed them something quirky and different.
New methods can often spur your team to levels of achievement that you never imagined.
Always be open.
Linda Harding-Bond is the creator of Increasing Your Retail Selling an Online Training Class for Spa Managers. It is the first retail sales and engagement training designed for how introverts learn.
May 29, 2016
Innovation is a hot buzzword. Senior executives in the hospitality industry are burning the midnight oil trying to find ways to innovatively one-up each other. Flying yoga, wellness strategies, sustainability campaigns, the list goes on with one thing in common. They’re all designed to target a larger portion of revenue from the upscale leisure consumer. Read More
May 18, 2016
Justin Bieber says he doesn’t feel like a human anymore-” I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity.” He’s seeking help in spas- but owners and managers, are you ready? Read More
May 6, 2016
With thousands of spas vying for the attention of consumers, many spa managers are always seeking out ways to gain a competitive advantage. Using the holidays, seasons and special events to tie in existing treatments or create new ones is a smart way to keep customer and employee excitement, and revenue flowing through your operation. Read More
April 29, 2016
Do spa managers have a problem sharing information with each other? Sometimes they do.