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The More You Learn… The More You Earn

The More You Learn… The More You Earn$$

Every time you turn on the news, open the newspaper, log onto your favorite web browser the majority of what faces you is all about the doom and gloom… the financial recession.  While there are very valid concerns about the economy, I am more frightened about the global mental depression plaguing the beauty businesses.

The esthetic and spa movement was born in North America in the mid 70’s.  At the time there was virtually no spa education. There were no trade shows, no trade magazines (like you are holding in your hands today). There were no websites or webinars.  Those of us stepping into the great unknown of beauty and wellness were literally jumping off the cliff without a parachute.  We loved skin. We loved make up. We loved making shoppers look and feel beautiful. Nevertheless, we had to rely on good old-fashioned ingenuity to learn the technical side and equally as important the business side of beauty.

Today’s beauty and wellness business was birthed, launched and nurtured through the power of education.  There was a small band of passionate, eager, hard-working beauty professionals who made the commitment to share what they knew about treatments, protocols, and business. Industry icons, such as Robert Diemer and Erica Miller willingly shared their heart and soul. We have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry that changes the lives of every consumer we touch through the power of education. You would not be in the spa business today if it were not for the power of great education over the years.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” ~Alvin Toffler

One thing that has troubled me greatly over the past 5 years is the decline in trade show attendance and general apathy toward education. Show attendance is down. Students sitting in the classrooms are dwindling. Except for a few, the general attitude is ‘been there – done that.  Is it a coincidence that we are also seeing a decline in spa sales and beauty business struggling or closing?  The only way, we as an industry, are going to survive long-term, is to rekindle the passion and commitment for education.

“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” ~Abigail Adams

If you are reading this and are the owner or manager, what is your commitment to your team’s education?  What is currently scheduled on your corporate calendar to inspire your team?  One thing to consider is that if you expect 30-40 percent of your sales to be in retail, have you allocated the suitable time for sales education.

Part of your curriculum will need to be: people skills, treatment skills, product knowledge, how to walk, how to talk, if you have a younger staff it will be critical to teach them appropriate communication skills.  You will need to give them selling skills. Your long-term success depends on how consistently the team can execute your branding message.  Before you are allowed to turn on the fancy coffee machine at Starbucks, a barista wanna-be undergoes 100 hours of Starbucks corporate training.’

Vendor product knowledge is typically taught by a kindergarten “show and tell” model.  The trainer stands up and chats about the bottle of goop and goo, then passes it around for everyone to touch and smell.  It’s impossible to learn product knowledge this way.  It literally goes in one ear and straight out the other.

“When you’re through improving yourself… your through.” ~ Carol Phillips

Psychologically, it’s hard to overcome the inertia, the mental recession-depression, but without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins.  What will you do today to overcome the inertia?  You give of yourself every day in the spa and salon. How do you recharge your battery?  Heed the warning you need to put on your oxygen mask first before you can save anyone else on the plane. Your career, your business may be in some serious need of oxygen.

I have a sign in my office that says “when you’re through improving yourself …you are through.”  Take a class. Read a book. Finish this trade magazine cover to cover.  Take time to attend a trade show.

Take the pledge to inspire yourself and those around you daily.  Take a stand.  Sign up online. Don’t just think it… ink it. Share with me what action steps you will be taking today to improve your beauty business. http://tinyurl.com/BeauteeSmartsAction

Paul Mitchell School San Diego

Paul Mitchell School San Diego

I had so much fun working with the future professionals.  They had such a great spirit to learn!!  The night students were outstanding, many almost all of them are committed to a full-time job while attendign night school 5:00-10:00 pm!  A big shout out to all the Learning Leaders by leading by example. #allergictoaverage

 

 

Sign of the Times by Carol Phillips

Want to create attention in your retail zone without remodeling? The cheapest and most effective way to generate additional retail sales is to use in-salon signs. Good signs will attract attention to your products, increase sales on the spot, educate the client by making it easier to select products. Signs will give your salon the competitive edge. You can modify selection, pricing and features instantly.

5 Key Tips for Producing Signs That Sell

1. Handmade Signs vs. Machine Made Signs
Salon signs should always be machine made. Hand printed signs look elementary to the consumer. My only exception is when I design a bridal display and use calligraphy to simulate wedding invitations. You can produce machine made signs from several sources.

If you are computer friendly, you already have access to professional looking signs. Some of the new publishing programs make signing a snap. If you’re not artistically inclined even on a computer, don’t fret. Look in your local yellow pages under desk top publishing. There should be an abundance of professionals who can design your signs. Some of the quick copy places have added desk top publishing in their stores.

Check your local college’s computer graphics department for someone to help produce your signs. College kids always need extra money. I have recently used a franchise sign company that makes instant signs and charges super prices.

2. Size It Up
The ideal sign should be no smaller than 5 1/2″ by 7″. As those 76 million Baby Boomers age the eyesight has a tendency to weaken. Avoid small shelf clip signs, they can be too small for the clients to read. Blow-up your message to poster size and place it at the reception desk and service area.

3. lnfo Crazy
When you are making a sign include 4 key items: Name of brand – Especially if the product line you are featuring has been spending big bucks on national advertising. Play off the name of the company with their advertising.

Price – Put the price of the item featured on the sign. If the item will save the client money by buying from your salon, tell them. Put you competitor’s price on the sign. Store X is charging $5.95. Hot Locks has the same item for $5.25.

Savings– Highlight in the sign any savings the shopper will benefit from: 10% Off or Save $1.25. I am a big fan of discounting products over services. Take advantage of your distributor’s monthly specials to give your clients’ savings.

Feature Plus Benefit – On your sign tell the client why this particular item would be beneficial for them by highlighting the unique feature. Avoid the trap of “it’s a great shampoo,” the client needs more information to make a decision. Let your sign tell the story. Look in your product guide for a strong statement tagging the feature/benefit of the product.

4. Getting Framed
Complete the image by finishing off the sign with the appropriate frame. Display it in the salon in a Lucite holder, a laminated frame or a matte frame for extra attention.

5. Financial Times
Good signs do pay off. One market study showed that scores featuring machine made signs sold over 200% more merchandise compared to stores with no signs. Signing in the salon is a 24 hour a day duty. Signs will talk about your product and can be thought of as a way to add sales staff at a fraction of long-term cost.

For more information on Carol’s books,  seminars, please contact her: 760.429.7772

Tips on How to Prevent Spa Industry Burnout | Esthetique Spa International

Tips on How to Prevent Spa Industry Burnout | Esthetique Spa International.

Carol Phillips, CEO of Beautee Smarts, sees trouble brewing: In our industry, we give until our batteries are worn out. We need to light to fire underneath us and strike a balance with everything we do. Carol’s newest course, Unlimited Potential: How to get more from your job than varicose veins, addresses the issue of burnout in the spa industry.

Here are some of Carol’s words of wisdom to help you recharge your batteries and remember why you got into the spa business in the first place:

  • Create a personal image package. We all judge a book by its cover. If your client can’t get beyond your looks and style they won’t care how well you do your job.
  • Invest in yourself. Beauty people wear their net worth. Develop a signature look. Dress for the type of clients you want to attract. Like attracts like and can fast track rapport.
  • Develop a written dress code for your facility. You may need to teach some of your people how to dress. Provide gifts and rewards for dressing well.
  • Millennials need special attention. They have a hard time engaging and looking people in the eye. Your young team members needs help developing the right way to approach clients.
  • Develop your Unique Selling Proposition. What is unique about practice or service? Create a specialty. Some examples: We have an in-house training program.
  • Follow the 1/1000 rule. It’s impossible to do one thing 1,000% better, but you can do 1,000 things 1% better. Write down a dozen things that you can do a little better than the competition.
  • Trouble brews with boredom. Try something new. Go get a treatment somewhere else. Network with other professionals. Get a mentor, or, better yet, be one.
  • Live the spa lifestyle at home. Focus on healthy habits. Get enough sleep, eat the right foods, exercise, drink enough water. Guard your time, ask yourself, am I doing the most productive thing at this time?

Spa RETAIL: Handy Retailing Guide for the Holidays by Liz Barrett

In the retail world, a well-done display—whether created in a window or on a table or shelf—is often the vehicle driving consumer interest and, in turn, product sales. Don’t treat displays as afterthoughts, but rather as a vital component to your retail business and overall operation. Here are some expert-approved pointers on creating displays that are easy on the eyes and heavy on the profits:

• As with real estate, displays are all about location, location, location. Oasis’ Schoenberg says that for his business, effective merchandising is a team effort: The retail director places items the spa wants to move quickly into prime selling spaces, such as the checkout area, and ensures the “hot spot” has ample lighting, and the creative director makes signage and visuals for these displays. BeauteeSmarts’ Phillips stresses the importance of getting your clients to automatically look for new products. “Carve out a permanent place for a ‘newcomers’ display, and customers become trained to always look in the same spot,” she says.

• Avoid overwhelming clients with an overcrowded space. Soukup recommends creating a retail space that’s about a quarter of the size of your spa (think 600 square feet of retail in a 2,000-square-foot spa). For smaller spas that can’t spare that much space, Soukup recommends giving vendors specific measurements, or creating your own displays to keep clients from feeling overwhelmed and overcrowded. And avoid stocking your shelves supermarket-style. “You don’t want rows and rows of products,” says West-Harrison. “Display oranges or lavender alongside products that contain these ingredients, and group serums together, moisturizers together, cleansers, etc.”

• This industry is filled with creative people—use this to your advantage. “We find that big and unusual works best,”says EsSpa’s Scott Kerschbaumer. “We recently started selling some German bath fizzies that look exactly like little cupcakes. For the display, we used porcelain, holiday cake platters and some little cupcake boxes set up at the front door with all the cupcakes showcased on a waist-high table. It literally looked like a dessert table for a wedding. We sold out of our entire stock in 36 hours!” Stacy Cox of Pampered People utilizes clear acrylic risers for skincare products as they lend a modular, streamlined look. When stumped for “pretty display ideas” she turns to friends and clients for creative advice. “I have a client who is an interior designer who just helped me design my retail area.”

• Utilize shelf talkers to help clients understand your products, or to give recommendations. “Use props to illustrate ingredients,” says Soukup. “Keep products at eye level, rotate items so customers think they’re new, and price all of your products.”

• Create a theme for each season. Phillips reminds owners that clients need to see something five times from the time they enter until the time they check out in order to “activate” its impression in their minds. “Create the same seasonal message in various places—front desk, changing room, mani/pedi station, etc.,” says Phillips. “Don’t lose sight of the promotion you want the customer to focus on.”

• Don’t keep your products under lock and key. While this may help prevent theft, it could also alienate your customers and sap sales. “Set products free!” says Soukup. “The retail area needs to be open, not locked up—customers need opportunities to touch, smell and feel. Engage the guest; let them open a jar.” For smaller spaces, like Pampered People’s 500-square-foot studio, Cox finds that placing samples of fragrances in the changing room is a great way to promote products. “Take advantage of all the square footage you have,” she says.

• Add your own personal touch. “The key to boosting spot sales beyond placement and pricing is to create signs and personal notes,” says Scott Kerschbaumer. “All of our therapists pick their ‘weekly favorite’ retail product and we place a little note—on either a bottle tag or a place-setting card-holder—next to it that says, for instance, ‘Eva’s Favorite.’ The idea is to catch a customer’s eye and provide her with the reassurance that someone else is using this product and thinks it’s good.”—Liz Barrett

4 Fatal Mistakes Most Spas Make by Carol Phillips

Most spa owners think that if they build a beautiful facility, clients will flock to their spa. Build it and they will come? Not anymore! Great services are a given, but spa owners today cannot keep the doors open just by offering good services. You have to create an environment where customers want to shop and spend their money. Here’s a countdown to four common mistakes to avoid to help boost your bottom line.

#4 Facial Factory

Many businesses have converted into facial factories. They have gone to 50 minute services. This is called “hot bedding” (i.e. next client in the bed while it is still warm from prior client). With such a tight time frame, your staff says they don’t have time to sell as well as provide services. But, they can!

Here are some “facial factory” problems that can be corrected:

Problem: 50 minute services
Solution: Make treatments longer (read on)

Problem: Missing new customer opportunities
Solution: The first appointment should be longer and more expensive for analysis and follow up. Recommend seeing the “shopper” again in 7 days. Schedule follow-up appointments using the phrase “would that be OK with you?” Get your “shoppers” on a 3-week cycle offering lower prices for regular, repeat appointments. If you don’t see the “shopper” for 6 months, start the cycle over with the longer, more expensive treatment. Work to convert gift certificates to regular customers.

Problem: No time to build rapport. It is essential to let the “shopper” know they can trust you with facials, hair, etc.
Solution: In the first minute and on the way to the treatment room, shake hands while looking into the “shopper’s”  eyes and say something like, “I’m so looking forward to giving you a massage/facial etc today!”

Problem: Lack of analysis skills and lack of results – Treatments have become pamper-driven not results-driven
Solution: Proper analysis leads to correct treatments and real results. It also gives some real topics to talk to the “shopper” about. “Shoppers” will spend money if they have results.

Problem: Selling is left for the end of the treatment
Solution: During the service, explain what you are doing, what products you are using and what would be appropriate for a home care regime.

Problem: Miscommunication
Solution: Ask the “shopper” what results they are looking for.

#3 Sleepy Sales

Spa music is a big culprit! The “shopper” can’t make buying decisions or a next booking at end of a treatment if they are too relaxed. If possible, pick up tempo of the music at the end of the treatment. OR have a transition area for the “shopper” to recompress in at the end of a service.  It’s also good for them to be alert before getting into a car!

Problem: Sleeping vs Relaxing – “Shoppers” relax to the point of sleep
Solution: Sleeping is not necessary or desirable. You need to protect your time with your “shopper”

Problem: Spas have become pamper palaces in lieu of wellness, results
Solution: When money gets tight, pampering gets cut, but “shoppers” will spend on results

Problem: Spa shoppers have nothing to look at inside the spa. Retail is only at front desk or in separate retail areas, yet magazines in waiting areas have tons of advertisements – none for what you sell!
Solution: Provide information on how to prolong the “shopper’s” experience. Provide retail literature and samples throughout the entire spa. Guard your retail space! If you are afraid of theft, use earthquake tape or empty bottles.

#2 Lack of Branding

Problem: You have an identity crisis!!!
Solution: Look at your front desk. How many times to you see your logo?
Solution: Your corporate propaganda – business cards, brochures, prices cards – all need your logo! Every piece of paper must have your branding message on it. Think Starbucks!
Solution: Be the leader of the pack! What makes your spa different than others in your market – treatments, style, etc. You must know this in order to effectively market your spa.

Problem: Lack of internal and external marketing plan
Solution: Inside – posters, displays. Outside – direct mail, email. Don’t hide your light under a basket.

Problem: Lack of follow-up
Solution: Always send a thank-you note. And a thank-you bump-up – something every 30 days, to remind “shoppers” to come back. Offer bounce-backs – a free service, upgrade or add-on with purchase of another.

#1 Lack of Staff Training on Sales

Your staff needs product knowledge, people skills and selling skills!

Your staff needs ongoing retail training! This needs to be part of your spa’s overall training curriculum.

Bump up marketing and staff training when the market is tight!

Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results. Change what you do and how you do it and get the results you want!