When Lynne McNees, President at International SPA Association (ISPA) invited me to their conference in 2013, I never imagined that four long years later I would be part of the ISPA2017 professional development session lineup. 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
August 8, 2017
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
July 18, 2017
China is a spa and wellness boom town. According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) report, in 2016 China drove the biggest recent gains in wellness tourism revenues (300%+).
February 13, 2017
I’ve been in the U.S. now for longer than I anticipated. What started as a three week trip from my home in Bangkok has morphed into a prolonged visit. While I now have an unlimited opportunity to watch cable networks like CNN and MSNBC I feel that I am caught in the throes of a weird addiction to political news. I begin my day craving information on what havoc has been visited on our world overnight. I check Twitter trends and Huff Post headlines for my fix on the latest global backlash caused by our current administration. Because truth be told drama has happened everyday since January 20. I find myself headachy before the day really begins.
I know that I am not alone.
I exist in a constant self imposed state of low level anxiety.
I recently read an article that discussed how Susie Ellis, CEO of Global Wellness Institute spoke of Trump as the leading influence of wellness trends for 2017. http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/The-Trump-Effect-is-already-altering-the-personal-care-and-beauty-market
“As things get more uncertain wellness gets more important.”
I totally agree with her viewpoint.
Last week I visited my favorite massage therapist. Nothing fancy, she works at Hand & Stone and she is fabulous! The time spent in a quiet environment with her was exactly what I needed. She knew exactly what to do and recommend and I can’t begin to express how much I appreciated her. In this time of turmoil and stress and uncertainly, the spa and wellness industry should be a safe haven. It is crucially important for our therapists to be totally on point. Excellence in customer service is a teachable skill that should never be taken for granted by management.
Enabling therapists to listen well, respond authentically and recommend knowledgeably is what proper training can do.
Let’s get on it now. The world needs it.
August 29, 2016
Managing across cultures can be daunting. For many expat spa managers working in Asia it can be particularly challenging. Read More
August 13, 2016
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
June 17, 2016
Many people think that one of the perks of working at a spa is the ability to get treatments. But when you work at a popular spa where the therapists are in high demand it just doesn’t happen. 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
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?