Tuesday, 27 December 2016 06:38

Encouraging Sales at the Spa

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Owning and operating a day spa is an enormously satisfying career for many men and women. The opportunity to improve the well-being of so many people can be enormously gratifying. Creating a space of serenity and rejuvenation is often a labor of love. However, spa owners and managers are entitled to make a decent living and earn a profit in the process.

There is no shame in wanting to make money by running a profitable business. Profitable businesses require strong sales and efficient operations to help control costs. The hardest task of any spa owner or manager is striking a balance between the clients' well-being and achieving the daily sales goal.

One of the most important laws in interpersonal relationships is that a person's perspective is their reality. When this law is brought into the relationships that a day spa staff has with its clients, it is easy to see that a slick sales pitch is counterintuitive to the wellness concept. A common theme among day spa industry team members is that they prefer to be wellness practitioners as opposed to being pushy salespeople.

Day spas are part of the service industry and can find overall success by focusing on pillars of service. They can establish a guest-focused mission and have every team member commit to upholding that mission with every guest interaction. This mission will help spas combine the goals of guest satisfaction with achieving daily sales goals. If guests are satisfied, they are happily using the products and services offered by the spa.

When a day spa team maintains high standards of communication, education, and guest satisfaction, the sales function is a natural byproduct of daily operations, giving clients a perspective that they are being cared for as opposed to sold to.

When a day spa establishes a clear mission of offering high levels of guest service, communication, and education, it must prioritize the mission so that it permeates their entire organization. The spa should establish policies and procedures so that daily operations allow the team to bring the mission to life. The culture of the spa must focus on ensuring that every guest interaction is an opportunity for the team to communicate with guests and educate them about the products sold and treatments offered.

The team cannot achieve anything unless they have a clear goal. Providing a sales goal is vital to motivating the team to sell more. Everyone in the organization should be cognizant of the daily goal and focused on how it can be achieved through each and every client interaction. Guest satisfaction, education, and product sales are everyone's responsibility. Spa owners, spa managers, front desk managers, shift leaders, front desk sales staff, and licensed aestheticians are all responsible for meeting the sales goals on a daily basis.

If there are no sales, there is no cash coming into the business.

One of the most significant methods of establishing sales as a priority is through training. Ensuring that the team is properly trained is crucial to ensuring they are able to perform their jobs well. Training the team on all of the spa's operations will ensure they are able to provide a stellar guest experience.

Training the team members on products and services will help them achieve their goal of educating spa guests. Allowing team members to use products and experience treatments is an excellent method to ensure they will be able to speak about the features and benefits with sincerity. Nothing is more reassuring to a guest than when a front desk staff member is able to speak intelligently about the $175 serum that the skin care professional has just recommended for the client's homecare routine.

Cross-training staff in all departments to ensure they are able to understand how each department functions will allow the team to work fluidly.

One of the most volatile topics to bring up in any day spa discussion is payroll. Over the past 20 years, there have been countless discussions on the best way to compensate spa employees. Many day spas have found success by linking compensation to achieving sales goals.

There are a few simple ways that a day spa can provide financial incentives to the team for reaching sales goals without getting tied down to a long-term pay structure. One of the simplest methods is to offer a weekly or monthly contest with a one-time cash prize. Free products or treatments can also be a strong incentive for team members to achieve sales goals.

The spa's compensation structure does not need to be uniform across departments. In many cases, retail product and treatment sales are tied to the job function of the skin care professionals. Spas can incorporate commission on sales of products, treatments, packages, and add-on treatments into the overall compensation package for skin care professionals. This structure is an incentive for professionals to meet sales goals in many different areas.

The front desk staff can have a different type of incentive. While most front desk team members have a base hourly rate as their main compensation, many spas consider bonuses for the front desk team if they meet their weekly sales goal of gift cards, services, and products.

Offering team members some sort of financial incentive for selling is vital. While money is not the key motivating factor for everyone in the spa industry, many spas have found success by offering some sort of commission or bonus. Not all spas are the same. It may be best to hire a spa consultant to help determine which financial incentives will be best for the spa.

Create a coaching culture in the spa. A strong coach is an asset on the management team. Ongoing coaching is the regular reminder of the team's goal along with positive, routine encouragement to meet that goal. A manager who offers ongoing, routine coaching reinforces the culture of the business that sales are a priority!

When a manager observes positive behavior in a team member that results in a sale, they should recognize the team member and provide positive feedback. Providing public praise to team members who close large sales, have consistently high sales numbers, or who sell high-ticket products or services will give top performers a sense of accomplishment. It also shows the team that the spa values good performance.

A strong coach will also have a keen eye for team members who are trying to reach their goals, but may be missing the mark. Providing coaching tips on how they can change their approach is also vital to coaching the team to success. A team is stronger when every member is given a chance to achieve their highest potential.

Getting the team to sell more is an ongoing project. Day spa owners and managers cannot just instruct their team to sell and expect it to be a huge success. The process of encouraging the team to sell involves nearly every aspect of a day spa's operations.

Hiring the right team members who are enthusiastic and outgoing is a great place to start. Creating a company culture where sales are a priority, training the team, and providing the skills they need to sell is a recipe for success. Providing a strong compensation plan that rewards positive sales performance will create an incentive for the team to meet their sales goals. Having a workplace that keeps sales goals and the selling process in the foreground with ongoing coaching will ensure that the team remains focused on their goals and work to achieve them.

There are many spas that have a few of these pieces of the puzzle in place and still struggle to meet their goals on a regular basis. Sluggish sales have a negative impact on cash flow, which can make operating the spa nearly impossible. Hiring a spa consultant to examine the spa's overall operations can help determine where the spa can make adjustments to ensure it is meeting sales goals, has a positive cash flow, and is running a profitable business.

Barry-EichnerBarry Eichner is a Philadelphia-based beauty industry expert. With over two decades of experience, he was a vice president with a chain of medical spas. In 2011, Eichner founded his own consulting firm. Since that time, he has worked with national skin care companies and spa industry distributors, as well as day spas, medical spas, and salons. He has been a contributing writer for local, regional, and national publications and trade journals. As a recognized leader in digital media strategy, Eichner has been speaking to and educating small business owners and beauty industry professionals in Philadelphia, sharing his passion and knowledge on how to leverage the digital space to achieve success.

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