The first time that I had to give a public speech I began to cry hysterically. I also wet my pants.
I was four years old and in kindergarten.
Since that time I’ve had many jobs where public speaking came with the territory. It’s never been fun but I’ve gotten considerably better at it. When I worked for Verizon as a training manager, I attended a two day workshop on public speaking. I had an instructor who was able to create a safe emotional space for the attendees. He built such an atmosphere of support that it was almost painless to stand in front of the other 11 trainees and give a five minute presentation. People performed brilliantly during those two days. I wish I could remember his name, he was wonderful. Read More
I am based in Asia however it seems that when it comes to the spa industry in general, “don’t ask don’t tell” is the policy that folks often operate from. I had a massage the other day at a Five-Star hotel in my neighborhood. It was serviceable enough and I left feeling better. It was everything else that happened around the service which made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Read More
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
Working at a spa may be a life calling for many of us but that doesn’t make it lucrative. When I began working in the spa industry as a therapist I saw a serious deficit in my finances. Transitioning from a management position at a Fortune 500 company was a huge change. In the past, I’d had the ability to pay off monthly bills, take two vacations per year, and save a substantial amount in my 401K and bank account. But the trade-off was well worth it. I no longer suffered from daily migraines and high blood pressure. When I left my corporate job I didn’t look back. Not once.
I never saw making money and helping people as mutually exclusive. Early on in my position as a therapist, I realized that I still wanted to take nice vacations. I’d grown used to having them and saw no reason to eliminate them from my list of things to look forward to. I’d simply have to find a way to earn money beyond the compensation of the spa services listed on my daily activity schedule.
I had noticed that the spa receptionists tended to book the most basic, least expensive treatments. To increase my earnings I only had to up-sell those services and sell our retail products to realize a much healthier paycheck.
I started by listing the top five basic treatments-these were the ones most frequently booked. On the same sheet of paper, I listed their upgraded versions and the benefits of each. I viewed them through my customer’s eyes; why would I shell out an extra $25, $50 or $75 dollars? Was it really justified? The answer was yes. The upgraded treatments were far superior. They were more effective and luxurious. Many of them were longer. For most clients, the additional time was a plus. I decided that unless a customer was adamant about the treatment they had booked, I would recommend an upgrade to everyone. I also made it a point to schedule the treatments for myself. That way I could make my recommendations based upon personal experience.
Almost everyone accepted the upgrade. I discovered that most people just want what is best and the difference in cost doesn’t really matter to them. If you explain how they will benefit they are more than willing to defer to your expert judgement.
By up-selling my client from a basic $95 treatment to one that costs $150-$165 I was generating much more revenue. The additional commission from related retail products I sold was also making a difference in my earnings.
Buoyed by my success, I began cross-selling services in other departments to my clients as well. After all, if I’m performing a hydrating body wrap, why not suggest that they care for their feet as well with a spa pedicure? If I felt shoulder or neck tightness during a facial I would recommend a massage. My clients would ask me to book them with other technicians that I felt would be a good match for their personality. People enjoy having a their own “glam squad” and their return visits ensured everyone’s job security.
Interestingly, once cross-selling between therapists begins it becomes viral. It’s a feel good activity that promotes teamwork, greater client satisfaction and higher revenues for all. Therapists tend to be some of the most giving people in the world but perhaps taking the step to identify our financial WIFM, (what’s in it for me) would have benefits for all.
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
Growing up as an introvert I learned to adapt to an extroverted world. It wasn’t easy; sometimes it was just plain difficult. But I discovered that the axiom is true; what doesn’t kill you does truly make you stronger. Acting like an extrovert has had its rewards; it was necessary to develop that muscle and flex it hard if I wanted to be successful.
And successful I was. But after 15 years in corporate America as a training manager, it became too exhausting to play that game every day so I decided to switch gears and work in the spa industry. Read More
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
I’m going to give you three powerful tips in this series. This is number one and make sure you stay tuned to get the other two because together they’re magical.
When I consulted with spa management in the United States they would often tell me that their number one problem was getting their staff to sell retail products. But my experience in Asia has shown me that the same challenges exist, although they may be amplified by language differences. The primary cause is the same all over the world. Most therapists are introverts. They are shy people who don’t feel comfortable selling products. Read More