Still trying to justify retail training for your quiet spa therapists? Read this insightful article by Geoffrey James from INC magazine.
The stereotype of a successful salesperson is an extrovert who sells anything to anybody. He (or, less commonly, she) charms customers so thoroughly that they sign on the dotted line before they know what hit them. Read More
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. That’s why as an “industry insider” I am constantly surprised at how spas and hotels continue to miss the obvious. The spa industry is losing millions in revenue from retail product sales. Obviously if you resolve that problem, a lot will begin to correct itself in the way of market share, customer and employee retention. Read More
Day Spa Association cited an interesting statistic in their latest Snapshot Report;
Spas that generated 20% or higher in retail could potentially improved their sales by as much as 14%.
This is not surprising as success tends to breed more success. But if you’re in that lower 20% group and desperately want to make a giant leap into the elite 30% plus club, how do you make it happen? Read More
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
Is this the unspoken message delivered by many companies with products or services to offer?
I ask because although these companies employ both introverts and extroverts, the sales training that they deliver is invariably designed for the strengths of one personality type only; extrovert. Read More
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?
I’d never heard of GripeO. Then last week I received a direct message from @GripeO_Outreach on Twitter. They were following up on an article published on Huffington Post about my lousy spa experience. They wanted to know if I was interested in escalating my complaint to senior management. Because I constantly write about the impact of social media on the spa industry I wasn’t surprised. The fact that I had been tracked on Twitter by a consumer service company was prophetic and intriguing. I wanted to learn more about GripeO_Outreach so I spoke with the CEO, Mike Klanac.
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.