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A Nation of Consumers

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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.

How Product Differentiation Can Beat the Competition

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Enrique founded a product line created from plants and vegetables unique to a village in South America. For each product sold he gave back 15% of the profit to assist the village in building a school.  His distributor positioned the line in the spas of a very upscale hotel chain.  Life became exhilarating; he began to get a lot of media attention. He was invited to speak at several high profile spa events, to promote his products. He and his assistant conducted intensive training at the spas personally to ensure that the therapists understood the protocols.

He had no doubt that his superb product and charitable contributions would catapult him to success.

Two months later, only a few of his products had been sold. A half year later the spa discounted his product line by 50% and placed it on the “for sale” table.

What went wrong?

According to Joan Schneider and Julie Hall authors of Why Most Product Launches Fail one of the reasons is sales training/enablement was ineffective.

“A key element in a product launch is training and enabling the channel to sell the new product or service. Sales training/enablement means that your company has carefully considered what information will be communicated: (1) to the sales channel so they can effectively sell the new product or service, and (2) to your prospects and customers so they can make an intelligent buying decision”.

Spas

In the spa arena, entrepreneurs of new products or existing product companies must find a way to differentiate themselves and their information. You must create a projectile to ensure that your product will be successful.

Last year at Professional Spa and Wellness’ bench-marking session in London, it was reported that the average Five-Star spa’s sales to service ratios ranged from 3%-10%. In other words, for every $750.00 of treatment service, therapists are selling a mere $22.50-$75.00 of product. As a former therapist I know that those figures should be much higher. I worked for 10 years at a spa whose therapists averaged 30% in sales.

Many of the finest spas around the world have the same problem. It always stems from a lack of training. Product training is simply not enough. Knowing what to recommend is not the same as knowing how to engage and sell. Product sales are at 3-10% because;

  1. No one ever taught therapists or managers sales skills.
  2. When they are taught the training is not designed for how they learn.

Sales training has always been designed for extroverts, more outgoing personality types.

The majority of spa therapists are introverts; they process information in a completely different way. Traditional sales classes composed of high energy activities and quick-fire responses are off putting and therefore ineffective. It is time for the spa industry to catch up to a more progressive way of thinking and recognize that one size doesn’t fit all.

Who Is Your Customer?

When I ask entrepreneurs who their customer is they often look at me like I’m crazy. “Of course it’s the woman or man who gets a facial or body treatment at the spa”, they’ll say.

But is it really?

Webster’s Dictionary defines Customer as: A person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron

That means your primary customers are spa management, therapists and receptionists; those people who are selling your products. What strategy have you put in place to help them turn your product over more quickly with their spa guests? Therapists and front desk staff will always skew towards products that yield the highest sales commission or the ones that they are most familiar with.

That’s why you must create a memorable point of differentiation.

Why not incorporate sales training skills with your product training? Here’s why it’s a win-win;

  1. Unique & memorable brand differentiation
  2. Therapists have a new skill set that helps them sell more of your products
  3. Increased revenue for you, the therapists and spa
  4. Increased product recommendations lead to a better customer experience
  5. Increased customer product loyalty
  6. Increased customer retention for spa-they become a brand advocate
  7. Therapist personal development creates a positive connection to your product

How cool is that? Connect with me and I’ll show you how.

Imagine Norm Bond Speaking at YOUR Next Event!

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Looking for a great keynote speaker, presenter or panelist for your next event?
You’ve come to the right place.

 

NORM BOND is widely recognized as an international authority on marketing, sales, hospitality digital marketing, corporate diversity and multicultural issues. He authored the global eBook bestseller, Make Money Online with Holiday Marketing and Web Traffic Decoded, a highly popular eBook that is available on Amazon, Vook and other distributors. He currently resides in Bangkok, Thailand.

Called one of “The Most Powerful Influencers to Follow In Social Media“, he created NORMBOND & Associates as a strategic marketing and consulting firm.

A frequent media guest Bond has been interviewed and appeared on CNN, Reuters, FOX News, National Public Radio (NPR), Business Week, Black Enterprise Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, Inc. Magazine, The Michael Baisden Show and many other broadcast media.

His specific marketing experience includes broadcast media, print, radio, electronic communications and live events. He has conceptualized and produced corporate and promotional videos, customized DVD’s, and other digital media products.

Click HERE to read why Norm should speak at your next event.

Why Millennials Will Force Spas to Step Their Game Up

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Women and men between the ages of 25 to 34 are pretty glamorous people. They like to look and smell good. And they love to shop for the products which can help them get that way.

Consumer research firm Scarborough offers some interesting insight into the Millennials when it comes to making purchases. Among them:

  • 65% of millennials like to compare prices across different sites before purchasing
  • 34% say going online is one of their favorite things to do in their free time
  • 51% agree that being able to customize an item makes them more likely to purchase

Spa therapists need to understand that many millennials who get spa treatments come mentally prepared to buy. Read More

Why your New Spa Product Will Probably Fail

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My friend Cheryl developed a beautiful line of organic body products. She sent me samples and I was thrilled to discover that her creations where some of the best I’d ever used.

When it won a best new product of the year award in New York City, she and I celebrated with a champagne lunch. I remember screaming in delight when it was later selected as one of the swag bag items for the Emmy Awards.  A Five-Star hospitality group  in Asia began carrying her line at their chain of spas. Her product was unstoppable. Read More

Increasing Spa Sales in Five Minutes

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Spa managers are busy people. That’s why it’s important to have tried and tested ways to quickly improve your retail sales. Here are five methods guaranteed to not only drive your sales up but inspire your staff to new heights. Read More