Anyone who is passionate about their work knows that it can be difficult to turn off sometimes. This is particularly true with customer service because good or bad, it’s always around us.
As a spa sales trainer I look everywhere for inspiration and the elusive key that will unlock the door to perfect service delivery. It’s doesn’t matter if I’m having dinner at a sky bar restaurant or buying a bag of freshly sliced fruit from a street cart vendor. I always notice how they deliver their service. Read More
It’s been said that there is comfort in familiarity. Many of us eat the same lunch every day, wear the same colors and go to the same hair stylist for years (who never updates our look). At work, we’ll use the same service providers and vendors mostly because;
1. They’ve been around forever and it’s too much of a hassle to change.
2. You know where everything is located on their website. After all they never update it except for price hikes.
3. They’re best friends with the CEO of your company.
So often the performance rating of a receptionist is predicated on her charm or even her beauty. It’s rare that she or he is judged on their ability to engage with clients in a way that drives sales.
I like to tell the following story because I think that it’s indicative of so many spas. Your reception area can be a microcosm of your entire operation and as such can shed light on your flagging sales. Read More
Social media and news outlets are bringing us closer together minute by minute. Air travel is faster and more frequent; most areas of the world can be accessed within 24 hours. Opportunities to conduct business with a global clientele are increasing exponentially. So what can spa therapists do to help build a brand which attracts and maintains the attention of treatment lovers from around the world?
What’s guaranteed to work every time and garner rave reviews on social media sites? Check this out-
Smile. A smile is a universal welcoming signal that crosses all boundaries and immediately puts your client at ease. Further engagement with the guest is mandatory and serves to benefit the therapist as well so make sure that the charm is dialed on high.
Interview your client. Use that intake form to begin your conversation.with your client. Everyone’s situation and reason for visiting the spa is different. Give men the same amount of time and respect for discussion as women, their needs are often just as pressing. Don’t assume anything, ask questions and listen well.
Don’t categorize your clients. When it comes to skin and body care, knowledge of the Fitzpatrick Classification Scale is not enough. Multi-ethnicity is everywhere and creates some very interesting characteristics that probably weren’t covered in your massage or aesthetics classes. Gather as much information as possible, this will help to ensure great service.
Make the client comfortable. People come in all shapes and sizes. Have a plan in case a plus sized or small person walks into your spa. Be sensitive to the hairstyles of your clients. If she (or he) has a lot of hair offer her two headbands rather than one. Don’t assume that the hair is all hers. Ask if its OK before plunging your hands into someone’s mane to perform a head massage. If you are performing facial services on a bald man give his head some love too. It’s exposed to the sun and needs care.
Cleanse, remove and check. When I worked as a makeup artist for a spa, I would frequently have to remove leftover makeup from my client’s neck or traces of masque from their nostrils, post facial. If a man has facial hair, masque may cling to his face. Check your clients in the daylight before sending them back out in public. They’ll appreciate your attentiveness.
Use your loupe. Don’t trust your lying eyes. Examine the skin closely under a magnifying lamp and report your findings to your client.
Be gentle. You will never go wrong if you treat all skin with respect. There is a commonly held belief that darker skin tones can tolerate more aggressive products. The opposite is true. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you are causing pain to your client, you are probably causing damage. This will get your name on social media quickly but not in a good way.
Avoid extractions. A good practice is to focus on providing clients with skin that is polished, luminous and smooth to the touch. No one on vacation wants their skin to look damaged. If your client returns to you often, you can then create a schedule for deep cleaning and extractions.
Make product recommendations Almost no one travels a distance and gets a treatment to not take something home with them. Therapists have problems selling because they fail to initially engage with their client. If you have a product that you really believe in or that worked incredibly well during treatment share the knowledge with your client. Recommend that they buy another for gifting, especially if it’s unique to your spa.
Make care recommendations One of the ways to show true interest in your client is a final written recommendation for body and skin treatments once they return home. Create a three month schedule for them to follow, include a sentiment thanking them for visiting the spa. Send it to their email address. They will appreciate the reminder to take care of themselves and likely follow your expert advice.
My father used to tell my sister and me that whenever something looked easy, it was probably because the person doing it was very good at it. He would say that unbeknownst to us that person had been practicing for a very long time and there was no such thing as instant mastery or “overnight sensation”. Most of us found this to be true the first time we attempted to “moonwalk” like Michael Jackson. Read More
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.
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
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
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”