The Business of Spa - Connecting the Dots
The business of Spa is not rocket sciences. We are not reinventing the wheel. The business of Spa and Skin Care is about connecting the dots. If you follow the process and connect the dots then as a spa operator or technician you are going to experience more successes than failures.
What are the dots you ask? The simple things, strong team focus, watching your margins like a hawk, quality control and sales training are some of the initial broad strokes or The Dots that need connecting.
For today, and the key DOT that always needs the utmost attention is the sales process. The sales process is the Spa environment is somewhat of an elusive beast. This is due to the fact that most Spa staff are skin care or massage technicians whose first training is in the care of clients and not in the art of selling. The art of selling is going to decide whether your Spa lives or dies.
In todays Spa landscape you will find two kinds of operations. The first is the hobby spa. While the intentions of the owner are certainly not for this business to be just a hobby, often that is exactly how it is run. The second and more successful is the business spa. This spa will be run with a more sales focused approach to the business of relaxation and rejuvenation. The differences between the two approaches are sometimes small and go unnoticed to the everyday consumers eye. That said, those same differences are what make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in measuring success or failure…or more importantly profit and loss.
The business of spa is the business of selling a service. To understand how to be successful, truly successful in the business of Spa one should first understand the concept of sales. There are two types of sales-sales of goods and sales of services. In the Spa will sell both. We sell the Spa services and we also sell skin care products and other related retail items. When we sell a service we are selling ourselves. What that means is not that we are some form a flesh-pedaling merchants selling ourselves into bondage! No, we are selling ourselves as skilled technicians in the skin care or relaxation category. No different than a Doctor or Lawyer. While a Medical Doctor or Lawyer may not be luxury services they are all still services and the way to market services to consumers is always the same. It is a process, a sales process.
The consumer expects to be taken on a journey when entering into the Spa. Your task is to deliver that experience. The experience is blended into a path that needs to be followed with the client. The path will provide you the touch points to understand the needs of your client and how to provide for those needs. The path will provide you the information needed to have a successful experience for the client. The path or process is the sales process.
Key factors in the experience:
- Strong eye contact in the initial into and consult
- Ask open ended question in reference to the service requested.
- Know when to converse and when to pull back-the finesse of the sale
- Make sure to comment on the positive affect the product you are applying is having on their skin
- Post appointment regiment is essential-product purchase and usage and return apt
- KISS-Keep it simple, stupid.
Ultimately, the sales process is an art and cannot be learned overnight. However, if you follow the suggestions above and keep in mind the reasons why these factors are relevant (see next paragraph) then success is imminent.
Making strong eye contact is something we do not do enough as people let alone at the Spa. Eye contact is key to getting an understanding of what is going on with a person. It is all in the eyes. Remember the old saying, “the eyes are the key to the soul” People will connect with you and remember you the better your eye contact is.
Asking open-ended questions is an important part of the art of selling. An open-ended question is one that allows a person to talk. Basically, we want them to talk as much as possible. By listening to what is said and converting that information into tools to enhance the sale is your responsibility. Questions like “What brought you here today?” or “Tell me about what you have been doing to treat this prior to today?” are incredibly simple but bountiful questions.
In the Spa one of the lost talents is to know when to press a client for information and when to just fade into the background. It is a fine line between intimate conversation and prying. However, if you lay off too much you will not recover the necessary information needed to move to the next step in the sale. So, let me be clear, do not annoy but make sure to get the conversation going.
The positive comment approach again is a simple technique not applied often enough. Everyone likes a compliment, try and create compliments for your client that includes the use of a product. “Your skin is so soft from this moisturizer” or “This cleanser has your face glowing!” This makes it easy for them when you hand them a post regiment that includes a daily application of the product you referenced.
The post appointment regiment is so often overlooked. It is a key portion of the experience and one of the best ways to stay top of mind with your client. I mean, really, what better way to be on the top of your clients mind than having them read a daily routine they are expected to follow. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT POINTS IN THE SALE IS THE PRODUCT PURCHASE. Make sure you make it clear what products they should be purchasing and why. At the very least, everyone should be leaving with an SPF or similar product when no other specific recommended product is applicable.
KISS- Keep It Simple, Stupid. The sales process is a simple one. Don’t press to hard. Let it come naturally. Do not over think it.
While what we do is to provide an incredibly pampering, relaxing experience it is still a business that is run on sales. The success or failure of the business depends solely on your ability to sell. Mastering the art of sales is the first step to making sure your day-to-day responsibilities are more than just a hobby but are truly a business.