November 1, 2017
I had the honor of being selected to present at the ISPA 2017 conference on October 18 at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. My topic was “Introverts: The Secret of Increasing Retail Sales”
I had attended ISPA in 2013 as a blogger but it was my first time as a presenter. Read More
October 25, 2017
August 10, 2017
Can you believe it’s almost the end of summer?
Back to school shopping, Labor Day cookouts and getting that last visit in to the beach are always big parts of our plans at this time of the year.
I’m excited because here in Bangkok, I’m preparing to speak at the annual ISPA2017conference in October. My topic is focused on introverts and retail selling. And then the thought hit me like a bolt of lightning. Read More
August 9, 2017
Despite the disproportionate number of introverts in the spa industry, most retail sales training is still presented from a traditional perspective geared toward outgoing personalities. Join me at ISPA2017 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8 – 9 AM. Read More
June 22, 2017
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.
May 13, 2017
Enrique founded a spa/beauty 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. Read More
August 3, 2016
As beauty outlets like Ulta continue their explosive sales in cosmetic and skin care products, how is the spa industry strategizing to capture its own share of the retail market?
Not all retail stores are under pressure. One new chain is expanding. Based on a successful formula, the chain plans to add 100 new 10,000-square-foot stores this year for a total of more than 970 units. The stores are called “Ulta Beauty” (Ulta, not Ultra, notice) and offer makeup, skin care, fragrances and hair products.
A recent article from The Wall Street Journal revealed Ulta’s strategy (1). The first building block of success is location. Ulta avoids the premium urban sites some retailers choose. Instead, Ulta picks less expensive secondary locations, with little or no competition, in outdoor strip malls instead of enclosed malls, where shoppers can easily park and walk directly inside.
The second building block is Ulta gets women to try, wear and, most important, play with beauty products. Mass brands like Cover Girl and Maybelline, normally available in drug and big-box stores, occupy one side while prestige brands like Lancôme and Clinique, usually found only in exclusive department stores, are on the other. Customers can test most products, even hair dryers. And Ulta is dynamic with promotions that bundle top sellers with new items, a technique that takes the focus away from straight discounting and instead encourages customers to discover new things.
This mix of brands offers a broad range of prices, from $2 lip liners to $200 hair dryers, and appeals to all ages. Mothers and daughters often shop together, with three in four customers spending 15 minutes or more in the store, and one in five spending 30 minutes or more. The stores have hair salons, and often facial stations and “brow bars” for eyebrow shaping.
“You hear and see and smell and feel beauty happening around you. It elevates the whole store, even if you are not using it,” Dave Kimbell, Ulta’s chief marketing and merchandising officer, told The Wall Street Journal.
Shoppers test shades of lipstick, sniff different fragrances or get a blowout. “You can’t Amazon that,” said Oliver Chen, head of retail and luxury goods at analyst Cowen & Co, calling Ulta one of a handful of “Un-Amazon-able” retailers in The Wall Street Journal.
Some consumers describe their experience as feeling like a kid in Disneyland. And while there is increasing competition from drug stores and more upscale beauty retailers like Sephora, Ulta differentiates itself by offering both mass and prestige brands together. This encourages what the company calls “mass migration,” where a shopper coming in to buy a cheaper lipstick will wander over to check out more expensive items.
To encourage prestige brands to market outside their usual exclusive upscale retail settings, Ulta sets the high-end brands apart with dedicated areas, special seating, signage and fixtures.
While salon services make up just a small percentage of sales, those customers must make an appointment that forces them to come into the store regularly. These shoppers spend 2.5 times more than non-salon customers and shop twice as often.
Natural products retailers have the ability to offer the same sort of elevated shopping experience by creating areas where customers can linger and learn, try product samples or demonstrate equipment, receive a chair massage or other health treatment. With a little creative thought, you can apply the lessons from Ulta to make your store “Un-Amazon-able,” too! WF
1. E. Holmes, “A Beauty Retailer That Knows What You Want,” The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2016, www.wsj.com/articles/a-beauty-retailer-that-knows-what-you-want-1466536921, accessed June 29, 2016.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine August 2016 Author Jay Jacobowitz
May 29, 2016
Innovation is a hot buzzword. Senior executives in the hospitality industry are burning the midnight oil trying to find ways to innovatively one-up each other. Flying yoga, wellness strategies, sustainability campaigns, the list goes on with one thing in common. They’re all designed to target a larger portion of revenue from the upscale leisure consumer. Read More