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A Powerful Partnership, Part 2

By: Sarah Burns
Posted: June 13, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

In the July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, the first part of this article addressed how to initially identify a vendor that is compatible with your spa, as well as how to delve deeper in order to ask the pertinent questions needed to form a successful partnership. This part of the article goes into more detail and covers the various support programs and return policies, as well as logistics and payment options that exist in the realm of spa suppliers.

Support programs

Many vendors offer special programs for their accounts. These are beneficial for business growth and offer valuable incentives. Discuss with each vendor the specifics about the programs they offer—each will have their own set of guidelines.

Premier status. When you reach a certain level of sales—which may be based on monthly, quarterly or yearly sales—you receive additional perks. Typically, the more you order from the supplier, the grander the award dollars. They can be for free merchandise, testers, co-op advertising or deluxe samples.

Ask your sales consultant to provide a general idea of where your business stands in comparison to others. This will supply you with perspective and possible leveraging power. It also will present a realistic idea of how your retail skills compare. This can be a serious conversation or a pat-on-the-back moment.

Gratis. Gratis is the practice of receiving a retail product at no charge. There are copious ways of using gratis. It can be given to the employees so that they can experience products in order to represent them by personal recommendations. It also can be used as a contest incentive, a client thank-you, a donation or just for you.