Recently I was sitting in the lobby of a neighborhood spa in Bangkok. I was the first person there and the therapists were still prepping their rooms so I had a chance observe front desk operations. It was nightmarish. Read More
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
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
Last week we received quite a bit of response from our Blab “How Cosmetic Outlets Slay Spas”. Everyone wasn’t happy and they let us know so. Many felt as though dirty spa laundry shouldn’t be aired in public.
We never saw it coming. I must admit that it gave us pause.
But then we received an e-mail from the co-owner of one of the largest membership spa clubs in the U.S. who wanted to know more. Read More
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.
A prospective client, the manager at an iconic Five-Star hotel spa in the Maldives told me that she lives on pins and needles every year because her staff is extremely weak at selling retail products.
When I asked how she explains her revenue numbers to senior management, she said “I only do an end of year reporting. We have a very rich client who flies in on his plane from the UAE each December. He brings his entire family and they purchase everything on our shelves.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Yet how many of us go to work each day with fingers crossed hoping for sales? When I first started out 19 years ago, that’s exactly what I was doing.
Well, there’s no need to be on pins and needles any longer.
I’ve partnered with Spa Standard to bring you a package that is highly affordable, convenient and language friendly. Most importantly, it will turn your team’s retail sales around quickly. Check it out here>> http://bit.ly/1U1JBWh
Yes, it’s just the day after Labor Day. But that’s why you need to get on this now.
If you manage a spa you probably look forward to the holiday season. That period from mid-November to January 5 is ripe with opportunity for selling. Beginning with Thanksgiving (hostess gifts) and concluding with Christmas, High Holidays and Kwanzaa this time should be a retail selling bonanza. Read More
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.
Once a month the CEO of a certain Five-Star resort company would return to the home office. A status meeting was always held. All vice presidents and middle management would attend either in person or via Skype.
On this particular day as we were waiting for the meeting to begin, he regaled us with a story of his visit to one of the company’s more remote locations. He said 18 hours on a plane had earned him an extremely stiff neck. Immediately upon arrival he’d booked a massage. In a luxurious hut with the ocean as a backdrop, he’d explained his problem to a therapist in detail. He opted for an add-on treatment of Thai herbal balls; heated poultices which are rhythmically applied to sore or stiff body points to promote blood flow. He’d also requested that a heated towel be placed around his neck for the first 10 minutes prior to treatment. >>>Toread more click here>>huff.to/1GEycWV
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