Explode Skin Service Business With a Contest


Full-service salons, nail spas, massage studios, and medical facilities with substantial consumer foot traffic coming for services besides skin care have an opportunity to grow their businesses. Hosting a contest will motivate service providers and support staff to expand your business for you and expose current clients to skin products and services! The key is to focus on the sale of one particular item—one with broad appeal that can be explained easily and demoed by multiple service providers.

It is very important to provide training so all service providers can explain the item in a minimal amount of time. Support the contest with marketing through signage, e-mail and direct mail to ensure all clients are aware of the promotion. Signs should be displayed in every service provider’s area, front desk, reception area and bathrooms.

To create a sense of urgency for the client, set a limited-time offer of either a bonus size or gift-with-purchase. The time frame should be long enough to reach enough consumers, but not too long where some participants will lose interest. Four weeks is about right.

The contest will benefit the skin department in the long run with increased client service dollars and retail sales, but what’s in it for the service provider? In order to get staff involved there has to be enough incentive to get them excited because they will be working out of their comfort zone on a project that will not have long-range benefits for them.

Multiple achievement levels keep momentum building, especially if the first level is easily attainable, and additional income incentives should be provided for each sale. A grand prize should be given to the one service provider who sells the most—above a pre-determined base number.

To increase the excitement, determine a reward, such as lunch for everyone, if the business reaches a certain goal together. You also can make it a competition among locations or departments. Track progress in the break room and update totals every day.

A well-planned and managed contest can increase sales of the focus item dramatically. To measure success and set goals, research past sales of the particular item. If you can take the total sales for the previous year on the item and double it over four weeks, you will have created a successful contest.

Case study

One full-service salon in Wisconsin completed a four-week contest, setting a national sales record by selling 203 tubes of a focus item at a retail price point of $48. The boost increased sales on the entire skin brand by 374%! The contest fueled retail purchases increasing overall retail sales year over year by 49%.

Each tube came with a free $25 mini treatment with a new therapist, then a gift-with-purchase after the max of 60 was reached. The therapist had the opportunity now to service and upsell to 60 new clients.

Staff members received incentives at various levels of selling, starting with winning one of the focus items for themselves after selling eight products. The service provider who sold the most received a gift card, and the entire salon earned a special lunch when the company goal of 200 tubes was met. The contest increased confidence and team spirt of staff members. Providers were so excited, they started to ask what the next contest was going to be before this one ended!

Now it’s your turn. Don’t get discouraged no matter what happens. Get in the habit of offering staff a contest every quarter, analyzing what works and what doesn’t, to get in a rhythm of producing results.

You just might find your sales increasing at a substantial rate.

Si Author A Sonnenschein 300

Aaron Sonnenschein is an author and award-winning district manager at Dermalogica and can be reached at [email protected].

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