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Marketing for a Bad Economy

By: Winter Johnson
Posted: June 10, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Tukey remains current regarding developments within the spa industry by subscribing to online esthetic groups where she talks with fellow owners about new techniques and product lines. “It is such a great resource when you’re out there on your own. The women who are the most successful are the ones who network,” she says. “People who are struggling are the ones who do not.”

In addition to networking, tapping into other businesses in your area with which you can cross market also can be fruitful. When Tukey first opened Aesthetics by Valerie, she distributed cards for discounted services to the hair and nail technicians in her building. Piasecki set up a deal with local florists—when they deliver flowers, each recipient is presented with her business brochure along with their flowers. And when the local travel agency conducts a seminar, she provides free products and fliers promoting her spa. In order to keep up with the businesses around her, Piasecki also is involved in her local chamber of commerce and the Gross Pointe Business & Professional Association of Mack Avenue.

Send the right message

“We understand that people’s economic circumstances are a factor, but we help them to understand the benefit of spa services,” says Jeffrey Spratt, practice manager of Massage Works in Quincy, Massachusetts. “If clients really see the value of them and want to make them happen, they will make spa services a priority.”

Spratt uses the pre- and post-interview to educate clients about the massages he provides. With each client, he focuses on the benefits of continual massage, emphasizing the importance of forming a habit that is similar to maintaining a proper diet and fitness regimen. Spratt asks the client about their lifestyle and occupation, as well as their common aches and pains, being sure to plant a seed about the perks of massage. However, he cautions against talking too much when a client is on the table—allow the person to dictate the flow of conversation. In the post-interview, Spratt demonstrates stretches to practice in order to maintain a limber body between visits.

Armen agrees with this concept. “To attract intelligent clientele, you have to educate. We’re educating people about how to take care of their skin and how to take care of themselves between services.”