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Retail: Turn Ideas into Action

By: Carol and Rob Trow
Posted: May 29, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 3 of 6

One of the most effective tools can be role-playing. Start every day with a member of the staff being assigned to speak on the key selling points of a line or specific product. And look to your suppliers to provide you with this information. Invite vendors and suppliers into your spa to conduct training on site, as well as to provide the appropriate incentives for your staff if team members perform successfully.

Information is power. Show-and-tell presentations by staff are invaluable. Identify the products that your team members need more information on, and get the vendor to explain why a particular product or line is worth purchasing and recommending.

The right products and vendors

Now to ensure you are carrying the right products. Make sure the product lines you select meet the clients’ needs, not yours. Your lines must fit the demographics of your practice. All too often, spas carry lines that a member of the staff likes or is familiar with. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t build a retail business.

The product line’s distribution channel also must protect you and your staff. This is a non-debatable and non-negotiable fact. If you carry a line readily available via retail outlets and channels other than skin care professionals or spas, your success will be limited—if not impossible.

Commissions, incentives and contests

With the growth of sales, the growth of rewards for sales should increase, too. Most spas pay commissions as follows: For 6% of sales, less than 1% commission; for 7% of sales, under 5% commission; 5–9% commission for 10–14% of sales; and 12% commission for 15–19% of sales. In fact, 50% of all spas do not pay front desk personnel any incentives for retail sales.1 And if the staff does not have any incentive to sell, they won’t. Providing incentives for front desk staff, as well as estheticians and other team members, is a key to retail sales. Think about assigning one person to be the retail driver, and have that person keep track of what is selling and who is selling it.