Sales drive the financial profitability and overall success of our industry, and your spa operation is no different.

WHEN PEOPLE THINK of a spa, they think of a relaxing and tranquil environment that nurtures the soul and promotes a greater sense of personal well-being. On the other hand, when one thinks of sales, it often evokes stressful thoughts of used car dealerships or annoying telemarketers. The two environments appear to be quite opposite, which creates one of the biggest challenges of running a successful spa operation. As we all know, sales drive the financial profitability and overall success of our industry, and your spa operation is no different.

What do you sell?

The two main products sold in the spa industry are spa services and retail products. Depending on your facility, spa services can include massages, facials, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, hair services and full- or half-day packages of these services. Your retail products will be a reflection of the services that you offer and will include skincare products such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers and exfoliating products; bodycare products such as lotions and oils; nailcare products such as polishes; and hair products such as shampoos, conditioners and styling aids. When developed fully, these two areas will have an effective synergy that will enhance your top-line revenue.

How do you train your spa staff to sell?

From the time a prospective guest calls your spa to the minute they leave, there are six key sales moments in the guest experience where a sale can take place, an existing sale can be maximized or a sale can be lost. Three of these sales moments are handled by the front desk, while the other three are handled by the service provider. Understanding how these moments can be carefully woven into the guest experience is critical to your spa sales success.

The six sales moments include:
1. Phoning (front desk).
2. Greeting (front desk).
3. Before the treatment (service provider).
4. During the treatment (service provider).
5. After the treatment (service provider).
6. Checkout (front desk).
To sell effectively, your staff must be trained on how to maximize sales during their designated sales moment. In addition, they need to know how to comfortably explain and present retail product and service solutions to guests' concerns. Retail product vendors often conduct training seminars to train your staff to sell their product. These seminars offer your staff the opportunity to gain valuable information, expand their product knowledge and increase their comfort level when selling the products.

How do you measure sales success?

The most common way to measure your spa sales success is to calculate your retail product to service percentage. This is calculated by taking the dollar amount of the product that is sold by a therapist, divided by the dollar amount of the service that was performed. A healthy retail-product-to-service percentage can be between 20 and 25 percent.

Another measure of sales success is the ability of staff to upsell treatments at the time of booking, cross-sell another service and/or rebook services after each treatment. An example of upselling would be to upgrade a regular massage to an aromatherapy massage or offer an eye-enhancing treatment with a facial. Cross selling would include offering a guest a hair appointment or a manicure after a facial.

How do you provide your staff with the incentive to sell?

It is standard in the spa industry to provide your staff with a commission on each retail product sold. This commission is typically around 10 percent of the cost of the product. In addition, you can set base sales goals for your service providers that provide an additional incentive for obtaining a higher retail to service percentage.

It is essential that you set specific retail sales goals for the spa operation as a whole, as well as goals for each individual therapist. Ideally, your computerized spa point-of-sale system can assist you in providing reports on weekly, monthly and annual sales productivity per staff member.
When adding a spa component to your fitness center, consider these tips and tactics to assist you in maximizing the profitability of your investment.