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Survive and Thrive

By Laura Root and James Mason
Posted: September 25, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
plant and soil in hand

page 7 of 7

Lead with what you are best at. Talk about it constantly with everyone. Tell every client why this product, this service or this item, is the thing to have. Say it with confidence, and perfect the process until it is so second nature to you that you can do it in your sleep. Clients love experts, and they want to come to you for your expertise. Demonstrate it for them, and they will stay with you and keep coming back again and again.

Sample, sample, sample

A fully integrated sampling program and follow-up plan is crucial to your overall success. Sampling works—it allows you to position a new product for clients and gives them the chance to try it. While almost never enough to effect actual change, it does get your clients using the products, which is often half the battle. You should not just hand out samples willy-nilly, however. Have a plan, record the distribution and follow up with a telephone call in two weeks, or at most, during the clients’ next appointments. Many times you’ll find your clients calling you or stopping in to purchase the products you recommended even before you’ve had a chance to phone them.

Sampling also is an excellent way to find out your vendors’ level of commitment to your success. Many large vendors supply samples depending upon your purchase levels. If this isn’t possible, you can buy sample containers to use to customize your sampling choices for each client from your back bar supply.

From surviving to thriving

Whether you take all of these suggestions in total or sample a few to gradually implement, it can be difficult to change. But comfort isn’t profit, and you must change if you want to succeed. Unless you take positive control of the circumstances that are affecting your business—even if they are not necessarily of your making—you will eventually find yourself seeing only negative.

As a professional and an owner, you need to take the lead to ensure the professional spa industry survives in the coming years. Get proactive, creative and enthusiastic about different ways in which to succeed. And don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.