Peggy Wynne Borgman and Holly Stiel
Peggy Wynne Borgman and Holly Stiel

Over 175 SpaTrade members have pre-registered for SpaTrade's August 2nd webinar "Selling With Soul," with industry heavy-hitters Peggy Wynne Borgman and Holly Stiel. Yesterday, Nancy Griffin interviewed Borgman and Stiel about their exciting new partnership:

Griffin: So, how did you guys hook up?

Borgman: I had been impressed with Holly's customer service programs, and have used her techniques successfully in our two Preston Wynne Spas. When we got together and started talking about our teaching philosophies, we realized we had a lot in common.

Running a spa starts out as a labor of love, but it also has to be a business. Holly and I share the belief that these two goals are compatible. Running a "soulful" business and profitability are not at opposite ends of the spectrum. Most spa owners just don't have a clear understanding of how to translate their services into profits.

Stiel: When I saw one of Peggy's seminars, I was in awe of how she tapped into the more soulful aspect of customer service, linking head and heart. She and I share the understanding that when you tap into deeper meaning, employees feel better about the work they are doing, and feel less compromised when dealing with a challenging customer.

Griffin: What does "Selling With Soul" mean?

Borgman: When spa people think of selling as a separate from what they are doing, it makes them nervous-- and the customer starts smelling their fear in doing an unnatural act. Mostly what happens is the spa person doesn't ask for the sale--even though customer has been trained to expect you to ask for the sale or to be rebooked.

Stiel: Spa therapists think of themselves as healers, and they think that being a salesperson is being a pariah. So the goal is for them to see no separation between sales and service. If you have dry skin and no one tells you that you can treat your skin on a daily basis versus a one-time experience, that is not true service. Spa people literally are getting in the way of what we want when they don't offer us the opportunity to buy. You are literally getting the way of our wellbeing. By getting employees to get that this is the way they make a difference, this is the way to bridge the gap between service and sales.

Griffin: You both seem to stress employee satisfaction and self care as key elements of both good customer service and sales performance. Can you explain this?

Borgman: The way to help the business to be profitable is through helping employees understand the value they provide. When you feel better about yourself, it means that you serve better--and that's the kind of service that brings people back. You've created greater value for this customer, which equals more loyalty. In this sense, profitability actually comes from the heart.

Stiel: High self-esteem is absolutely essential to good customer service. It's simply impossible to constantly give to others if you do not take care of yourself. They say it best on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on first, then assist your child. It's the same at work and in your personal life. You must take care of yourself, so you have what it takes to take care of others.

Griffin: What do the two of you have planned for the future?

Borgman: Expect some fun live seminars, as well as a range of interactive DVD products. Holly's company Stiel Media is on the cutting edge of multimedia design—her partner Burt Arnowitz is an Emmy-award-winning producer—his education products are placed on permanent display in The U.S. Library of Congress as examples of multimedia excellence.

Stiel: We are working on some lower cost versions of our multimedia products, to make a commitment to customer service affordable to all types of spas.

Griffin: Thanks, you guys. See you on August 2nd!