SpaExec Las Vegas at Encore Hotel, Las Vegas featured an inspirational keynote from retail and sales guru Carol Phillips. Her speech, "Rock the House with Retail Sales," motivated spa directors to improve communications between the spa therapists and clients. Here is some of Carol's priceless advice:
- Make the connection from treatment room to retail boutique." Retail-sized bottles of product must be displayed in the treatment. "If the client sees product in Dixie cups, they will think you are using the ‘cheap stuff.'
- Create a "circle of trust." Service providers must learn to fast-track trust. Most therapists do "the butt walk" and do not engage with their clients. They never have a face-to-face conversation. Get connected and build rapport.
- Begin the service with "what three issues would you like to address today?" Have the therapist interject "service sprinkles" throughout the treatment to provide an opportunity for recommendations.
- Hot retail trends are results-oriented – pain, sleep, weight loss. Retail shops are "over-candled" according to Phillips. Some retail shops sell more logo wear then skin care!
- According to Phillips, spas can't drive retail sales without a prescription pad. Pad must be branded to the spa and not the product line. Influence the change by infusing the customer with information.
- Make sure there is a minimum of 6 products on the shelf– 3 across and 2 deep (there is a power of three that makes people notice.)
- Spas must have a consistent retail training program—weekly, monthly, quarterly—everyone must be singing the same song. It must become part of the culture.
The retail panel following the keynote featured Blake Feeney and Shawn Granito of Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian, Lisa Heinemann with Sothys and Dori Soukup with Insparation Management. This interactive discussion touched on communications and staffing issues, merchandising mix and optimizing vendor partnerships. We discussed the particular challenges of spa retail operations in Las Vegas, where there is typically a purchasing agent making buying decisions for the spa.