Article | Category: Spa Operations

My definition of a great facial is when I fall asleep. Once I make it past the torture of the pore extractions, I settle in to a peaceful, meditative state. If I have to ask if I was purring (because, of course, I don’t snore), then it was an exceptional experience. I very rarely buy any products after a facial. Why you may ask? Is it because I am cheap? Because I already have too many products (ok, that may be true). Because I don’t believe in the esthetician? Nope. It’s because I wasn’t asked.

I realize there is a fine line between sales and a spa experience, but if a service provider shies away from asking me to make a purchase, the answer will always be no. So, how do you encourage your service providers to sell me a product? How do they find time between my snoring (oops, purring) and my relaxation to ask me to make a purchase?

Be AWARE of Me

A great therapist finds the mood of the client, knowing whether he or she wants to talk, engage or simply experience total silence. It’s called reading the room. But if your employees value the fiscal health of the spa as much as they value giving me an amazing guest experience, then be assured they can absolutely achieve both. The secret is in being fully aware of the client, looking not for how they can sell a product, but how they can match the client with what he or she needs.

You are matching my needs with your solution.

“Michael, what kind of experience do you enjoy most during your facial? Do you appreciate complete quiet and peace, or would you like to know a bit about what I
am doing through the process?”

What if I was asked these questions while walking back to the treatment room instead of how my day is going? My day is going GREAT! I am at the spa! Instead, these probing questions would both get my attention and allow me to tell my therapist directly what it is that I need. No mind reading necessary.

Based on my answer, the therapist also has two ways to sell me product.

If I am someone who likes to chat (or simply can’t stay quiet for an hour), I will make their job easy. With every application, I can be sold to by simply describing the product and how it will help me. Watch and listen for my reactions and engage me with questions. “How does that feel as it settles on your skin?”

We all know that an open-ended question is better than a closed question (or one requiring only a yes or no answer), but most of us don’t practice the best questions to ask.

A service provider can even insult (maybe critique is a better word) my obvious needs—like the overly large pores on my nose—by saying something like: “Michael, you have lovely skin! I suspect, however, that you have to manage your pores very carefully. I am going to use something that will both calm them and tighten them. Let me know what you think as I apply it.”

A statement like that would break down my self-consciousness of my pores, providing me both solace and a solution.

(As a side note, I was recently preyed upon in a mall by an overly aggressive lotions and potions salesman who first complimented my shoes and then said “Oh! You must simply hate
those large pores of yours!” I am still in therapy over that one).

Another example might be to remind me of my skin type while clearly providing me with education (“you need to wear sunscreen”) with a solution (“I know you probably are afraid of sunscreen lotions that could be too heavy for your skin”).

“I’m going to end today with a lovely weightless UV defense sunscreen. It won’t feel heavy or thick on your combination skin, but it will give you amazing coverage.”

This is a really serious concern of mine, and the reason I didn’t wear an SPF for years on my face. They always made me break out, until someone gave me a solution instead of a lecture.

Now, let’s say I am the type of person who wants absolute quiet and peace and the feel of being rocked to sleep by Enya. How are service providers going to “sell” me anything then? I
bet it’s a lost cause, right?

Not in the least! My quiet still tells a story, if only from my skin. The key is active listening—with both the ears and the eyes. It is easy for a therapist to get into the rhythm of the facial, allowing their minds to wander to what they are going to make for dinner or whether the traffic will be bad on the way home, but I want them to see me. I have needs, even though I may not share them openly. Heck, I may not even be conscious of them! But I will tell you, if you are watching.

If I sleep through the whole event, won’t my service provider still know when my skin responds well to a product? Won’t they see the effects even if I am purring away happily?

If I am just peaceful and not asleep, I may give away even more clues: a smile to a certain scent or a flinch to an acidic reaction.

Don’t Stop Before the Finish Line

When I walk out, and I’m handed the card with all my products listed (and I can’t tell you how many times I have not been given this card), make sure to point out the ones that I seemed most interested in. You will know I am interested if you are actively engaged in listening to and watching me. I will give away the signs if you are paying attention.

In the end, if I’m met with my glass of water or hot tea and simply handed the card of products, this passive gesture will cost sales. I have been given no reason to buy. Instead, while handing it to me, don’t let go at first. Draw me in so we hold it together, our attention on the list. Literally point out one or two things that I responded well too.

“Michael, I used a number of products on your skin, and I want to make sure you have a complete list to refer to, but I want to point two things out. First, your eyes simply drank up this cream. They looked brighter almost immediately. Second, I know you told me your skin was looking a little ruddy before we started. I used this Vitamin C serum and when you look in the mirror I
think you will be very pleased.”

These are non-invasive remarks but tied exactly to me. I will listen and likely buy these two products at the very least. Remember: I am not buying a product, I am buying a solution.

Putting It All Together

At a spa recently, I met my match. You see, if there is anything I like more than a great spa treatment, it is an example of sales mastery. My esthetician was a master at educating me, finding my needs and engaging me with a desire to leave with a solution. Then she did the most important thing of all. She asked me to buy.

I left with over $400 in product. Each drop of serum pleases me, and each dab of eye cream makes me smile with the memory. I couldn’t be prouder of her. She empowered me as a customer and made the sale, simply by asking.

Author: Michael Sherlock