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
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
November 21, 2016
Years ago when I worked as an esthetician, every Thanksgiving Day I would hear “I can’t believe you have to work tomorrow” from well-meaning family and friends. Read More
November 9, 2016
Moontide Consulting is having a limited, once per year holiday special of our Increasing Your Retail Selling On-line Training Class for Spa Managers. Read More
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
May 12, 2016
Hey Spa Managers and Directors. We are midway through the second quarter of 2016. Have you reached your monthly retail goals yet? What are you waiting for? It’s time to take the first step. Read More
March 2, 2016
We believe that spa guests deserve a perfect service. But with 27% of spas at 0-10% in retail sales to service, we wonder if a perfect service is being delivered. Is product training for therapists providing all of the necessary information and tools? Or is something more needed? What gives?
If you missed our March 4th Blab no worries. In this segment we discuss product distributors, manufacturers and expansion of training. Tip:click your mouse on the verbiage to the right side of the screen to read the comments.
Next Blab-Can Introverts Sell?
Friday, March 11 7:30 p.m.-8:pm. Bangkok time | 7:30 a.m.-8:00 am East Coast
12:30 pm London | 11:30 pm Sidney,Au.| 2:30 pm South Africa |4:30 pm UAE
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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?
January 26, 2016
In bench-marking studies from the past year, the average retail revenues at Five-Star hotel spas ranged from 3% to 10%. It’s a shame because with retail profit margins higher than services, they have the potential to represent 20-35% of the overall revenue earnings.
Some exceptional examples in the industry like The Spa at Hershey and Gianni Versace’s spa actually have signature retail lines which provide a whopping 45% of their profit.
But both have a system of selling that is consistent and effectively in place.
At too many spas, there is inattention to the impact of everyday processes. Employees perform with comfortable repetition without examining the effects or implications of their actions to the larger picture.
Here are three of the most common mistakes resulting in millions of dollars in loss of potential revenue for international hotel brands.
1. Non-existent Retail Process
In various parts of the world, spa intake forms that customers painstakingly fill out are required only for government compliance.
Shockingly, they are not used to initiate guest conversation because the therapists are unable to speak the customer’s language. So the form is simply ignored.
And in its stead, no process is put in place to ensure smooth communication between the therapist and guest. No mechanism or liaison is provided which guarantees that the appropriate treatment and product recommendations are given.
Guests are allowed to leave the spa without closure aside from paying their bill. Discussions about follow up treatments or home care never take place. This often results in feelings of disappointment. Of having paid a premium price for an experience that was nothing special and therefore unnecessary to repeat.
2. Non-selling Massage Staff
How many of your massage therapists sell retail products? With the exception of cruise ships, many upscale spas give massage therapists a pass on product recommendations. In many cases products that are perfect accompaniments and home care solutions to massage treatments are sitting in plain view on the shelves but they’re never mentioned.
Product recommendation is an important component to personalizing a guest’s experience. It’s a powerful and effective way to differentiate your brand from the competition. It has also been proven to stimulate return visits and customer loyalty.
By allowing your massage team to by-pass this step, your spa is sending a message that your level of service is inconsistent according to the treatment selected, and that sub-standard service is OK.
3. Annual Therapist Training
Does your spa team receive product training once a year that substitutes for “customer training”? Are you satisfied with it because its “free”? Guess what; it really isn’t free. It’s costing you a lot.
Product knowledge can now be accessed by almost anyone if they have access to the internet. Your customers often come to the spa equipped with far more product knowledge than your therapists.
To be competitive in today’s spa market, therapists must bring a different more relevant set of customer information skill sets. This requires regular training, feedback and refreshers.
If you’re not showing them how to deliver the best customer experience through active listening, engagement, treatment and product personalization your organization is behind the times and losing ground on revenue and repeat business.
Have you made any changes to the way you’re doing business in 2016?
January 12, 2016
Despite the proliferation of introverts in the industry, old school methods of training are still being used in spas around the globe! This may be due in part because hospitality companies don’t often conduct personality assessments for their employees.
However, those of us who work in spas know that the serene atmosphere and mellow vibe tends to attract a more laid back soft spoken kind of person.
In the case of sales training, 99% of programs are designed for extroverts. Read More