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.
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”.
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;
No one ever taught therapists or managers sales skills.
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.
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;
Unique & memorable brand differentiation
Therapists have a new skill set that helps them sell more of your products
Increased revenue for you, the therapists and spa
Increased product recommendations lead to a better customer experience
Increased customer product loyalty
Increased customer retention for spa-they become a brand advocate
Therapist personal development creates a positive connection to your product
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.
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.
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