It’s always good to be an inspiration to colleagues. Particularly when it’s Julie Lombe, National Trainer for Sothy’s.
Julie reminds us that ethnic skin care education is a global issue and still rife with opportunities for improvement:
La frontière entre marques cosmétiques généralistes et ethniques s’estompe progressivement. Qu’elles soient de parfumerie (Lancôme) ou de grande distribution (L’Oréal, Dove, She Moisture), les marques de maquillage, de soin ou de soin capillaire tendent à se globaliser et à s’adresser à une clientèle multiculturelle.
On ne peut pas du tout en dire autant pour les marques professionnelles ! Les causes de cette invisibilité ethnique sont à chercher auprès de tous les acteurs de l’industrie : monde éducatif, marques, spas et instituts … et clients. Un article inspiré par les réflexions de Linda Harding Bond.
Wellness tourism is projected for an 11 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020, according to Technavio analysts. Primary wellness tourists traveling internationally outspend the average international tourist by at least 60 percent, signaling a growing and valuable revenue stream for hotels.
The growth of Southeast Asia, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, is also projected to fuel the market. Read More
Your spa therapists are not selling your retail products. The same offerings that sit in your display cases and on your tables day after day are literally flying off the shelves at beauty outlets like Space NK, Sephora, Ulta and Blue Mercury ,both of which provide spa services. Ulta announced just last week that sales are so robust they’re building 100 more stores.
It’s obvious that your customers love purchasing beauty and body products. So the question is, why are you so reluctant to invest in training that teaches your team how to make retail recommendations and engage with your guests more easily? Read More
Do you believe that every customer deserves a great experience? Your quiet, somewhat shy therapists are well skilled in treatments. They can perform a perfect massage or facial. They diligently attend product training and know the ingredients contained in your retail offerings. Read More
With thousands of spas vying for the attention of consumers, many spa managers are always seeking out ways to gain a competitive advantage. Using the holidays, seasons and special events to tie in existing treatments or create new ones is a smart way to keep customer and employee excitement, and revenue flowing through your operation. Read More
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.
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
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.
Living in Bangkok, there are no lack of places to get body treatments. After several late night writing marathons which resulted in hunched painful neck and shoulders, I finally decided to get a massage.
I opted on a spa located in a Five-Star hotel. As part of an international luxury brand, it has a reputation for excellence so I felt safe with my choice. Read More