When training spa therapists I’ll use story-telling to measure where they are with engagement, and recommendations for products and services. If you are a spa manager or director try presenting this case study to your staff. Read More
June 20, 2017
When I consult with spa managers in the United States they often tell me that their number one problem is getting their staff to sell retail products. The past three years spent working in Asia has shown me that the same challenges exist.
Their solution has frequently been to increase product training, and to remind their staff more often how important selling is. This rarely fixes the problem because they are not addressing the root cause.
The spa industry has failed to recognize that most of its therapists are introverts by nature. They are quiet people who prefer the peaceful environment which so many spas offer. They work in subdued lighting. Customer interactions are mostly one on one. Because communication occurs largely through touch, the need to speak is kept to a minimum. This suits them just fine as introverts are not huge fans of small talk.
However, most therapists have nurturing spirits. They will bend over backwards to relieve someone’s pain. And as introverts they tend to be great listeners.
The good news is that listening well is at the heart of engagement. And engagement is the key to selling retail products.
For many therapists, customer engagement is initially very difficult. But once the stress and trepidation they experience from second guessing themselves is removed, they become the retail superstars that they are meant to be. And it happens rapidly.
Here are some tips that may help you position your team for more success in increasing your retail sales.
Tip # 1-Ask your therapists what gets in the way of their selling. Address their concerns and fears with empathy and honesty.
Tips # 2-. Divide your team into groups of three. Have them give a one minute presentation to their peers on something they love.
Tip # 3-Have the listeners repeat back what they heard the presenter say. This will help to build listening skills.
Tip # 4-In private provide positive feedback to the presenters on their presentation strengths. Guide them on improving their weaknesses.
Tip # 5-Using their strengths, repeat the presentation process using a retail product that they like. Roleplay presenting to a customer during down-time.
Join me at #ISPA2017 for Introverts: The Secret of Increasing Retail Sales.
April 18, 2016
Last week we received quite a bit of response from our Blab “How Cosmetic Outlets Slay Spas”. Everyone wasn’t happy and they let us know so. Many felt as though dirty spa laundry shouldn’t be aired in public.
We never saw it coming. I must admit that it gave us pause.
But then we received an e-mail from the co-owner of one of the largest membership spa clubs in the U.S. who wanted to know more. Read More
January 31, 2016
For the past several years there has been an ongoing conversation about the difficulty of getting spa therapists to sell retail products. Most spa experts agree its important.. I gathered feedback from three industry insiders who shared their thoughts in recent publications.
Why does the word “selling” get such a negative response?
Nina Curtis, Founder and President of the Nile Institute weighed in this way. “Mainly because no one really wants to talk about it in the spa world where we believe it is only our position to make people feel good, well at least when it comes from the therapist’s mouth.”
Ouch. I totally agree and I’ve been saying similar things. It’s really critical. Remember when I said I taught myself to sell on the job? Seems Nina had the same experience. She says..
“I had this thought at one time as a therapist but only because during my basic cosmetology training no one presented sales as a part of my soon to be career. The same was true of my massage training. Nowhere during my training did any of my instructors present the importance of product selling in one of their lessons.”
Who’s responsible for driving retail sales in your spa?
Everyone in the company has a role to play in successful retailing and increasing revenue.
Industry veteran Lisa Starr knows this better than most. According to her, “Spas know that retailing is an important component of revenue generation, and yet many still struggle to reach hoped-for results. Who’s responsible for driving retail sales in your spa? Management? Therapists? Support Staff? Product Companies? It’s actually all of the above.
Role of Management
As with many initiatives, effective retailing starts at the top. The most impactful action management can take is to be purposeful in hiring and training staff who can create rapport with guests, and in creating compensation and advancement plans for therapists which include retailing benchmarks as part of the career path.
What Therapists Can Do
Without a doubt, therapists play the biggest role in retailing to spa guests. As the uniformed experts, their artfully presented home care suggestions, in tandem with their one-on-one interaction with the guest, will be the biggest driver of sales activity. Making home care recommendations MUST be part of every treatment on the spa menu.”
Lisa Starr– Spa Consultant, Management Educator, and Journalist
Estheticians who post 35-45% of their total revenue in retail are Rock Stars! And YES, they EXIST!
In Designed to Sell: Integrating Retail into Your New Spa Peggy Wynn Borgman talks about the importance of adding home care presentations to client workflow. She writes, “Our consultancy conducted a survey of spa shoppers that showed 93% of the spa client’s decision to buy home care was based on the recommendation of their spa technician or therapist.”
In the absence of recommendation, guests will buy familiar brands, sometimes refilling a product they’ve purchased in the past. This has led many spas to conclude that brands, not employees, are the most powerful source of sales. This simply isn’t true.
Massage therapists who post 10% of their total revenue in retail are top performers. Nail technicians and hair stylists who attain 15% retail ratio are stars. For estheticians, this number rises to 35-40% in the Stay Spa setting. But none of these employees have a chance to attain such numbers if they can’t easily make home care presentations to their clients as part of normal workflow. Most Stay Spas unwittingly make retail sales a challenge for even the most motivated employee.”
As you can see retail selling is spa has broad impact. But I feel it’s time for more spas to move beyond conversation and begin implementing. There is a culture shift that needs to happen. And if you’re not aware that this change is underway your spa is out of touch.
In my own experience, therapists who make on-point product recommendations raise the level of customer experience dramatically. This is why I focus on introverts and helping them use their natural listening skills. It shows that they are listening closely. It proves that they care enough about their guest to try and improve their well-being. This will keep your customers coming back.
So how do you do feel about spa retail training?
October 30, 2015
There’s a lot of noise in the spa consulting marketplace today. Everyone has a product that they want you to buy. You sign up for various mailing lists to ensure that you receive their newest information first. But what about the 100 people on the list before you? Read More
October 22, 2015
When I first met Khun Kate we hit it off right away. She had just opened her anti-aging clinic in Bangkok around the same time that I’d launched my online retail training class. We spent two hours bonding over the topics of favorite vacations spots, anti-aging treatments and perfect customer service. Read More
July 28, 2015
Spa and beauty industry people. You know who you are. You’re always consumed with handling staff or customers or both. Rarely do you have time to peruse the articles on LinkedIn’s Pulse for news that might impact how you conduct business. But as an information junkie, I do. So here in a roundup are excerpts from five articles that I’ve read in the past week which gave me pause. They might do the same for you. Read More
July 14, 2015
Almost half of spa owners see no increase in their sales in the foreseeable future. Yes, according to the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) “60 percent of spa and salon owners are positive on growth, expecting to have higher retail sales in the next six months.” As for the other 40 percent — flat to declining.
What’s shocking to me is that 0.5% growth is now being called success. “Overall indicators and feedback from beauty professionals across the country continue to be positive and we remain optimistic that the beauty industry will continue this growth into 2015” says Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of the PBA.
Is retail sales a force of nature that can’t be controlled by man (or woman)?
June 10, 2015
NORM BOND (NB) is widely recognized as an international authority on marketing. A frequent media guest, Bond has appeared on CNN, Reuters, FOX News, National Public Radio (NPR), Business Week, and Black Enterprise Magazine.
MC-Social media (SM) is all I read about now. It’s everywhere. But if I’m a spa manager do I need to be concerned? Isn’t this a senior management area?
NB-“SM is an integral part of an entire organization. From the senior manager to the entry level employee to the front desk person. Because the nature of social media today is that everybody can be touched by it. Read More
June 5, 2015
Education never goes to waste. This is particularly true if you are currently working in the spa industry. The Global Spa and Wellness Summit has released staggering information about the growth of employment in our industry. Retail selling, customer engagement and social media training for therapists and management should be top agenda items to maximize revenue earnings. Whether delivered online or in house, spa training is a critical need .
Spa Industry Jobs to More Than Double from 2007-2018: from 1.22 Million to 2.72 Million
Asia-Pacific will add most spa jobs, at 250,000, from 2013-2018
Sub-Saharan Africa will see highest job percentage growth at 215 percent in those five years
Want more information? Click the link to Beth McGroarty’s article>>>http://bit.ly/1Ih8RTn