Retail training costs money but there is probably no better investment for a spa to make. Still, convincing senior management and the financial department to fork over the amount needed to bring your staff up to speed can be tough. So one would assume that once the funds are secured proper preparation would be done to ensure a positive outcome.
But amazingly, that doesn’t always happen. It’s almost as though the training itself is anti-climatic. Read More
As I travel globally training spa teams and speaking at conferences and events about selling retail, I encounter spa managers who are very successful at achieving high retail sales and customer retention. Most of them employ the same behaviors no matter where in the world I happen to be.
Here are the top five. How many of them apply to you? For the YouTube version click here
1. Set Achievable Goals
It’s impossible to meet numbers goals if your team has no idea of your expectations. Set realistic but not underwhelming sales goals for your team. Give them something to reach for, they might surprise you. Global standards are three home-care products after a facial treatment and two products for basic body treatments.
Acknowledge and reward winners and runners-up. Don’t forget most improved sales to keep the underdogs motivated.
2. Train Your Team
Winning spa managers don’t allow their egos to get in the way. They know their shortcomings and take action when outside training is clearly needed, particularly with retail sales. They make it a point to attend classroom sessions so their team grasps the importance of the training. They know their education will also enable them to follow up in the weeks thereafter.
3. Rewards & Consequences
For winning spa managers, selling home-care sales is never an option. Because retail sales is a direct indicator of customer engagement winning managers focus on performance. High sales, up-sells, cross-sells and customer retention or lack thereof is built into therapist evaluation. Therapists who do well are recognized and rewarded.
Therapists who under-perform are given opportunities to improve but not kept around forever because it is draining to team morale and the financial health of the spa.
4. Interacting & Engaging
Winning spa managers make themselves available to their team. They understand that they are the linchpin from which everything flows. They also understand that the behaviors they want their guests to receive is best demonstrated by modeling those behaviors themselves. Therefore a significant part of their day is spent interacting with the guests, therapists and front desk staff.
5. Advocating for Products
Winning managers are knowledgeable about the products on their own retail shelves. They make it a point to use the products themselves. That allows them to give personal testimony. They consistently let their team know why they like the products and encourage home care use on a daily basis. As therapist’s knowledge is reinforced and modeled by their manager, sales increase.
Change can be difficult to implement at a spa. New procedures are particularly hard because people are used to operating in a certain way.
I always begin my retail classes by asking therapists why they chose to work in the spa industry. It helps me to understand their motivation or lack thereof. Some say money, others say they like to make people feel good. Some come from a family of therapists and others don’t have a reason. It just seemed the best thing to do at the time.
Knowing your “why” is important because it can make decisions simple in the long run.
I recently spoke with a spa manager whose group I trained. It seems that two therapists are resistant to doing anything different. They are using “family problems” as their excuse for not executing what they were taught in class. They say the new protocol of customer engagement combined with their personal stress is too much to deal with. Bottom line, they are not interacting or making home care recommendations so guests are walking out with no retail products.
When I was a therapist at Rescue Spa, there was a brief period when my father was in the hospital. So I certainly understand that SOP’s are not top of mind when focused on a sick family member. I informed my spa owner what was happening and took time off. I was not receiving salary, only commission, so for the time my income stopped.
But my “why” for becoming a therapist was to ensure that my multi-cultural clientele received the of quality service that I wanted to receive. So knowing that I couldn’t give 100% I chose not to go in.
I am quite honestly perplexed as to why that wouldn’t be the first suggestion from the spa manager. When a therapist is under-performing, it is the customer who suffers. Most of us have seen the backlash that poor service can bring in today’s consumer focused environment. Is it really worth it? What am I missing?