Competition in the beauty sector is fierce, with spas and salons up against department stores and retail outlets for consumer sales. An obvious competitive advantage that we have over beauty counters are our therapists; trained licensed professionals with in-depth knowledge of skin and body. However, this advantage must be leveraged beyond mere product training. Read More
October 22, 2015
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
July 17, 2015
People are hungry for love, affection and attention. Any good spa manager and therapist knows this. As a therapist, I would measure my effectiveness, not by tips but by the amount of daily hugs I received from my clients. If none were forthcoming it worried me; what could I have done better?
I think that going to a spa should be like a visit to your grandparent’s home. Here are five things that my Grandmom did which made me feel special. Apply them with your own clients and watch your wait list grow. Read More
June 17, 2015
My friend Cheryl developed a beautiful line of organic body products. She sent me samples and I was thrilled to discover that her creations where some of the best I’d ever used.
When it won a best new product of the year award in New York City, she and I celebrated with a champagne lunch. I remember screaming in delight when it was later selected as one of the swag bag items for the Emmy Awards. A Five-Star hospitality group in Asia began carrying her line at their chain of spas. Her product was unstoppable. Read More
April 14, 2015
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.
March 9, 2015
In theory the process of retail selling is easy. But when you’re a spa therapist and an introvert, the questions that you want to ask your client and the recommendations you’d love to make for them may get stuck somewhere between your brain and your mouth.
Here’s my advice; truly focus on your client, you’ll find that a lot of your nervousness will go away. Ask your client what brought them to you today. Don’t just ask them how they feel because most people respond with a simple “fine” or “ok”.
But if they were fine they probably wouldn’t be spending their time and money at the spa. So ask them specifically what brought them there. Ask them what they want to accomplish from their visit. And then use your advantage and power as an introvert and listen closely to their answer.
Determine the best course of action. Don’t EVER be afraid to recommend another treatment if you know that it is more appropriate. Be confident in your knowledge,you are the expert. There is nothing more disappointing than spending time and money on a treatment that did absolutely nothing! I recently went to a therapist for a Thai massage and she told me that it wouldn’t alleviate my neck pain the way that an oil massage would. Guess what? She was right.
Once you determine the correct treatment, focus on which products are needed for your client to continue their treatment and healing at home. (I’m assuming that you have knowledge of the products your spa carries). Make your recommendations by remembering to TSTS. Tell, smell, touch, and sell.
Inform your client of the product’s benefits and why you think it’s best for them, let them smell the aroma, allow them to touch it and feel the consistency. It will sell itself if you are enthusiastic about it.
Now go out there and rock that retail!