Today's Spa and the Importance of Retailing with Confidence

Most spa brands these days have now evolved into multi-channel spa and retail product companies providing professional spa products alongside a complementary selection of retail and homecare products for bath, body, skincare and lifestyle needs. And never before has the choice been so vast and so impressive, from high tech cosmeceuticals to organic, aromatherapy to Ayurveda- the scope is as open and varied as the treatment choices. It’s what makes this industry so alive and exciting!

So choosing the right spa is most often determined by a client via the skincare brand the spa chooses to use. We desire the results emanated by the pampering photos, relaxing, mantra-like glossary and luxurious fonts.

Searching for a spa to make a treatment booking, a client will have a desired need or outcome whether they recognise it or not. It’s just a matter of seeing which spa out there fulfils the criteria - what exact needs must be met?

Spa brands ooze identity; they reflect a desired mood, ambiance and ideal results. They instil confidence and reassurance that this is the right spa for you. In this saturated market choice can be guided by a products philosophy, ethical stance, clinical results, or simply pure indulgent luxury.

Products are the key to this, and one of the reasons they are coming to see you, so why be so afraid to retail to a client?

Sales need not be an uncomfortable chore at the end of a treatment, it should be an easy transition as part of your job role as a therapist. As the therapist you represent the spa brand chosen by the client and you are the face of any brand you work for. You are the expert they want to see and be guided by.

In my own experience I have found retailing to become a really enjoyable and rewarding part of my career, and that’s not to say that I am a natural.  Way back in the beginning I saw retail as a separate, awkward addition to my role as a massage therapist,  but through experience and understanding and pure love of what I do, I have gained the confidence, knowledge and ability to retail successfully, and I love it!

I say, ‘make the most of every opportunity and be a role model and an ambassador for the product you’re recommending.’ As the therapist are you are the one who knows best and has the answers. Talk about your retail items from your own experience, this is the best way to identify with a product; understand it’s use, smell, textures, results etc and express this in your own language. After all a client is putting all of their trust in you, the specialist.

Clients visit the spa as they have identified a need, a reason for their facial or massage and it’s up to you as a therapist to identify this and be able to link your retail sales and re-bookings to this.

Demonstrate products:this highlights the benefits in relation to your clients’ needs. We are all guided on our senses: smell, touch, texture...this is one thing that can direct a sale. After a treatment this is also a reminder of the facial and stimulates memory association of the product with your amazing treatment!

Sample a client your prescriptive products: or consider the option of travel-sizes of your skincare, so that once the customer has purchased the full sizes, the product can easily be travelled with, encouraging customer retention of the brand.

Make a bespoke homecare recommendation; maintenance is important. If we don’t give the recommendation to our client, how do they know what to use at home. And don’t always assume your client knows what to do or doesn’t wish to buy, beware of making assumptions.

Listen to your clients’ needs, routine and customise a homecare range that suits their lifestyle, with instructions which are easy to implement and maintain. Recommending home care is part of the spa journey and not providing this service is like short-changing the customer. Clients will expect to be informed on the best way to address their needs post-treatment, which includes how to take care of their skin at home. Isn’t this the least we can do — giving our professional recommendation?

Believe and be confident in the product you sell and represent, a strong belief and understanding is key. Being naturally good at selling is easy for some, but we can all talk about something we believe in, with enthusiasm and honesty, which is where you will gain trust and make an impact. Take the time to learn your key ingredients and their benefits and always link the key products back to the clients’ needs so that they can identify with what you are explaining.

Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. What do they really need? Why have they come for a facial?  Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Identify and anticipate needs and make customers feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals, and be sincere. It creates good feeling and trust when you are recommending skincare or lifestyle products.

Good customer service and retailing, means having thorough knowledge of your industry, experience with your products, and being able to help clients to make the best choices for them based on their needs. Always treating and recommending to customers with a friendly, helpful attitude and speaking with honesty and enthusiasm is one of the things that can set your retailing skills apart from the others.

Retailing is just as important to your job role, and to the spa you work for, as your hands on treatments. It’s a natural extension and closure to your treatment. If done correctly and regularly, it will become as fluent to you as the treatment you give.

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