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
This weekend heralds in one of the largest spending holidays during the year, Mother’s Day. In the United States alone, 2.35 billion was spent on flowers. Spas generated a not too shabby 1.47 billion in revenue earnings. Read More
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
Doug Chambers, founder/principal of Blu Spas, Inc. stated “A key to understanding the male skin care market is to understand that customization is just as relevant to the male market as it is to the female market. All too often spa menus feature multiple facial options unmistakably crafted for women and a single one-size-fits-all facial for men.”
A more customized experience for men should be the goal, accommodating the individual needs and desires of your target male market.
One way to begin that process is to identify which products among your retail selection are ideal for men. But with the wide range of products now available specifically suited to men’s needs, there is no longer an excuse for not having a section of your spa menu and products dedicated to the the fellas.
Working at a spa may be a life calling for many of us but that doesn’t make it lucrative. When I began working in the spa industry as a therapist I saw a serious deficit in my finances. Transitioning from a management position at a Fortune 500 company was a huge change. In the past, I’d had the ability to pay off monthly bills, take two vacations per year, and save a substantial amount in my 401K and bank account. But the trade-off was well worth it. I no longer suffered from daily migraines and high blood pressure. When I left my corporate job I didn’t look back. Not once.
I never saw making money and helping people as mutually exclusive. Early on in my position as a therapist, I realized that I still wanted to take nice vacations. I’d grown used to having them and saw no reason to eliminate them from my list of things to look forward to. I’d simply have to find a way to earn money beyond the compensation of the spa services listed on my daily activity schedule.
I had noticed that the spa receptionists tended to book the most basic, least expensive treatments. To increase my earnings I only had to up-sell those services and sell our retail products to realize a much healthier paycheck.
I started by listing the top five basic treatments-these were the ones most frequently booked. On the same sheet of paper, I listed their upgraded versions and the benefits of each. I viewed them through my customer’s eyes; why would I shell out an extra $25, $50 or $75 dollars? Was it really justified? The answer was yes. The upgraded treatments were far superior. They were more effective and luxurious. Many of them were longer. For most clients, the additional time was a plus. I decided that unless a customer was adamant about the treatment they had booked, I would recommend an upgrade to everyone. I also made it a point to schedule the treatments for myself. That way I could make my recommendations based upon personal experience.
Almost everyone accepted the upgrade. I discovered that most people just want what is best and the difference in cost doesn’t really matter to them. If you explain how they will benefit they are more than willing to defer to your expert judgement.
By up-selling my client from a basic $95 treatment to one that costs $150-$165 I was generating much more revenue. The additional commission from related retail products I sold was also making a difference in my earnings.
Buoyed by my success, I began cross-selling services in other departments to my clients as well. After all, if I’m performing a hydrating body wrap, why not suggest that they care for their feet as well with a spa pedicure? If I felt shoulder or neck tightness during a facial I would recommend a massage. My clients would ask me to book them with other technicians that I felt would be a good match for their personality. People enjoy having a their own “glam squad” and their return visits ensured everyone’s job security.
Interestingly, once cross-selling between therapists begins it becomes viral. It’s a feel good activity that promotes teamwork, greater client satisfaction and higher revenues for all. Therapists tend to be some of the most giving people in the world but perhaps taking the step to identify our financial WIFM, (what’s in it for me) would have benefits for all.
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
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