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Are Your Therapists Performing at 50%?

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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.

I’ve got a few ideas for you.

1st 10 Days of Spa Tips-Quick Review

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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

 

 

 

No Training Budget= Bad Business

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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

Selling the Sales Pitch

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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”


Therapists Can Sell- Your Spa Retailing Tip # 3

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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.

back of class

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-

Presentation description   Rating
Product Smell
Product Look
Product Texture or Feel
Product Benefit
Active Ingredients
Body Language/Confidence
Tone of Voice
Excitement/Animation Level

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.

 

 

Tell Smell Touch Sell

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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.Tell smell

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.

Now go out there and rock that retail!

Therapists Can Sell-Your Spa Retailing Tip # 2

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spa team yoga master and stylistIn 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

Do A Few Things Brilliantly

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I’m a fan of Chef Gordon Ramsay. Not the wild uber critical persona he displays on his American show , Hell’s Kitchen, but the kinder, gentler mentor and advisor that he is on his British program- Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

I remember watching an episode about a restaurant owner who had 50 or more items on his menu. The restaurant was in a shambles and the chef was losing money like crazy because he had to stock the ingredients of all the dishes he offered. He had very few customers because his food didn’t taste good. He was trying to do too much. Read More