February 2, 2012

How to Sell Without Selling Out, Part II

So here I was, a lowly newbie massage therapist, trying in an honest fashion to learn how to sell things at my spa. The howling about sales was continuing among my fellow therapists, and the manager had set a “quota” of $100 a month for every massage therapist. We were told to stop whining and get on it.

[this part 2 of 4; see beginning of the story here]

Selling what? We had lots of face things that the aestheticians sold. Creams, lotions, make-up stuff, etc. Stuff I knew nothing about. We also had general spa stuff – robes, slippers, baths, essential oils, etc. Mostly it sat in the retail area looking kind of forlorn and dusty.

I decided to jump in. A client came in for an aromatherapy treatment with massage. She really liked the musky, peppery aromatherapy she chose from the box, and I used it in the massage. As I escorted her out to the ladies, I told her we had essential oils and suggested she take home a bottle of the scent she liked. I looked on the shelf. We were out. I told her I would find a bottle and bring it to her. I found one on the stockroom and handed her the bottle in the locker room where she was changing. She looked so surprised that I would go to the trouble to get it for her.

When she checked out, she was even more surprised that she had to pay for the aromatherapy - $35 for a half-ounce bottle. “Oh, I thought you were giving it to me,” she said.  Our spa scheduler was standing at the check-out desk and looked pretty amused. “At least you tried,” she said.

Failure. Disappointment. Oh dear. I watched as one of the aestheticians left a batch of face products at the front desk for a customer. Would I ever get the hang of this?

The next day I tried again. The spa was slow, and there were not many people on the schedule. A client came in for a 50-minute massage to recover after a long plane flight. “You really need a massage,” I said about half-way through. “Want to extend for 80 minutes?”

She said yes!

Success! The client was happy with a longer massage and I had done an “upgrade!”

As I escorted her to the lounge, I mentioned that we had some a nice essential oils kit to help with sleep and alertness. “These help a lot,” I said. Having never looked at the price, I flipped the box and read the sticker. “and it’s only $125?????”

Egads. I could buy those essential oils at the nature food store for about $50. I hoped she hadn’t heard the surprise in my voice. I felt like an idiot, a feeling I did not like or getting used to.

“Sure. Put them up at the front desk,” she said. Without knowing it, I had a client who was very familiar with the spa routine. After my next massage I fearfully peeked out to the front desk to see if the kit was still there.

“She took them home,” the scheduler said.

[continued here]

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