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What 7-11 Teaches Us About Spa Selling

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Anyone who is passionate about their work knows that it can be difficult to turn off sometimes. This is particularly true with customer service because good or bad, it’s always around us.

As a spa sales trainer I look everywhere for inspiration and the elusive key that will unlock the door to perfect service delivery.  It’s doesn’t matter if I’m having dinner at a sky bar restaurant or buying a bag of freshly sliced fruit from a street cart vendor. I always notice how they deliver their service.  

Last Saturday night I found myself discussing with my husband,  the mystery of the register clerks at a particular  7-11 in Bangkok.  Unlike our hometown of  Philadelphia, 7-11’s are everywhere here. In our street (soi) there are two within close proximity of each other.  Each time that we stop in to purchase something the girls behind the register will cheerfully offer us the snack special of the day.  We’re usually dieting, don’t really recognize the carb-based product and tend to opt for healthier choices so we’ll turn their offers down. They always laugh, say “OK kah”and cheerfully wave goodbye. The next time we go in, they repeat the same ritual.

I began to ponder their eager willingness to promote their product despite the likelihood of rejection. Unlike expensive spa products which receptionists and therapists often make commissions on, these clerks are not earning extra. How many people do they offer the product to and how many turn them down? They see us several times per week; at what point does our “no thanks” become personal? They don’t seem to be fazed and almost treat it as a game. Are they perhaps less sensitive than someone who works in a spa environment?  Do the sheer numbers of people that they serve lessen their emotional risk? What type of training do they undergo to learn this skill?

As I discussed this with my husband I realized that I was experiencing a real life example of how therapists should be. The 7-11 clerks recognized without a doubt that the process of offering those products was never about them. It was totally and completely about us, their customers.They didn’t allow their shyness or fear to dissuade them. We could turn them down every day and they would continue to  recommend their products because they believed that eventually they would have something we’d want. And then another thought hit me.

Several times a week my husband and I would walk past several 7-11’s just to go to the one where the clerks engaged with us and recommended their products. We enjoyed the interaction and the laughter. Maybe we didn’t purchase the special of the day but we were loyal customers. And isn’t that really the point?

“Customers love certainty, make sure you give it to them.”
Amit Kalantri



Linda Harding-Bond
Linda Harding-Bond is shifting the paradigm on spa retail training. Her Express Online Retail Training Course is exactly what's needed for post-COVID-19 spa re-openings. Designed to bring your therapists' retail skills up to speed, it will quickly position retail as a robust alternate revenue stream. Linda has provided training for many world-class organizations including The Oberoi Group, St. Regis Hotel, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels, The Resort at Pedregal, GoldenEye Resort and Spa and Six Senses Resorts. She is author of "Listen, Engage, Sell!: The Foolproof Method for Increasing Spa Sales in 7 Days or Less" and "The New Esthy Handbook: an Essential Guide for Novice or Nervous Estheticians". Connect with her at Linda@Moontideconsulting.com .
Linda Harding-Bond

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