Why Massage Therapists Don't Want to Sell


For many therapists in the spa industry, retail selling has negative connotations.
Some massage therapists consider their vocation to have roots based in spirituality. They don't think that commerce should enter into the process. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's...." Others have expressed discomfort with the idea that as health care providers, making a product recommendation may be crossing their line of authority.

In either case nothing could be further from the truth. From the time of the Pharaohs (and probably before) healers have sold products for home use. Perhaps the currency was different. But the concept remained the same.

For all service providers in the spa industry, the focus should always be to deliver the best customer experience possible.

This means that spa managers must stop laying the responsibility for selling solely on their estheticians. In order to build strong client retention rates, everyone needs to sell.

Bill Catlette, Co-Founder, Contented Cow Partners, LLC states "Survey after survey tells us that at least two of the top five engagement drivers (things that create stickiness between your staff and the organization) pertain to worker learning and development. Plain and simple - people want, and need, to feel confident in their competence. It's time to re-load and refocus your training programs, now."

With customer retention listed as one of the concerns which keep hospitality C suite up at night it's important they recognize that every resource is not being put to use.

Client retention in spas is built upon two fundamental strategies: customer engagement and retail sales.

Engagement means that massage therapists broaden their in-room chat beyond questions about room temperature, lighting and music. It means having a real conversation to ensure that the customer is getting what they need. The recommendation and sale of products extends the spa experience and creates a connection between themselves and the client.

  • Two products sold =60% customer return rate to your spa
  • One product sold =40% customer return rate to your spa
  • Zero product =10% customer return rate

Selling is an area that massage therapists are not comfortable with. At most spas they are not required to do it. So even as hotel brands spend millions of dollars to entice and attract customers through their doors , their spa staff is unknowingly pushing them out.

Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Those are numbers worth thinking about.

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