Some components of selling are like the foundations of a building: they are paramount to the overall soundness of the structure.  In fact, many of the standard steps to selling a product are so crucial that many would agree the sale is lost without each of these steps.

Relate:  Without establishing some sort of bond with the client, any attempt to promote a product seems pushy and will probably be unwelcome.  Relating is establishing even the minutest of common interests with a customer.  Even a superficial discussion of the weather or a brief compliment paid to one’s clothing can create the grounds for a more in depth interaction.  On a deeper level, relating also begins to convey trust.  Without some peripheral level of trust, there is no sale.

Have some classic options for relating, like quick greeting phrases.  If you notice a client appears to be interested in a particular retail line, approach her and point out the benefits the products have to offer.  These types of quick relate attempts must be sincere and non-threatening.  Some examples include empathizing with why the client is at the spa to begin with.  Stress, skin condition, overall pampering and good old female bonding are all appropriate stand-bys.  As you become more comfortable with relating, unplanned phrases will pop out like any other natural habit.

Know thy customer:  Depending on the policies of the spa where you work, this could be a challenging goal.  Ideally, the technician should know details about each client, such as income, occupation, marital/family status, age and reason for coming to the spa, before the actual appointment.  Other factors, such as personality type, purchasing style, and interactive preferences are traits that you will have to assess once the client is at the appointment.  The goal with any client interaction is to uncover the four W’s.  Why is the client at the spa?  Who is this consumer?  What are they expecting to achieve from their visit?  Where (demographically) did this client come from?  This may sound like a lot of information gathering, but it is much simpler in the doing than it sounds, as you will read in the coming paragraph.  Moreover, the more you know about your client, the more that you can relate, consult, assist and meet that customer’s needs.  Customers will enjoy the “personalized” attention they get from a professional who understands their specific needs and wants.

Listen!  This is the hardest thing of all to do well, particularly when you are nervous.  However, listening is key!  Why?  The customer wants to be heard.  People by their very nature are creatures who want to be understood.  Speaking is the way that most of us try to communicate our needs to others.  Additionally, the client is at your facility because she has a need that she wants filled.  She wants to be pampered, her skin is blotchy, her thighs need toning… if the client is at the spa to fulfill a need and you are not listening to her, how will that need ever be fulfilled?  Additionally, if her need is not fulfilled, she will not be likely to return for future treatments.  However, if you take the time to listen to what clients are saying, you maximize your contact time with your client and ensure that they are satisfied when they leave.  We all know that satisfied customers who spread the word to their friends is one of the best forms of advertising any business could ask for.  Most of all, listening will give you clues as to the situation at hand.  Most people reveal a vast amount of information about themselves in even the most trivial of statements.  The pace, tone, and inflection of a sentence leaves clues.  The semantic flavor of words chosen, gesturing, body positioning, and eye contact all leave clues as well.

Encourage objections and agree:  Encourage objections and agree?  That may certainly sound crazy, but by finding out the customer’s primary reasons not to purchase, you are really lifting the fog and getting to the truth.  For example, the client feels that the product is too expensive.  Your job is to establish value in the product.  If a client objects to the high cost of a moisturizer, you may say something like, “Yes, this moisturizer is $54.  I understand why you might be cautious to spend that much money on a single item.  However, a dab will do and the entire pot will last you 8 months.  Moreover, this one product serves as an eye cream, throat and neck hydrator, and will diminish fine lines and wrinkles.”  Chipping away at objections is the only way to get to the sale.  Agreeing with the objection eliminates the client’s natural defensive posturing.  Additionally, agreeing with objections and working to diminish them can help the client feel you are actually doing them a favor by pointing out to them how fabulous this three-in-one product really is and how much money it can save them in the long run.

Win/Win/Win:  Providing homecare options for your guests or patients is a responsibility.  Spa professionals are relied upon to evaluate, provide professional services and prescribe options for daily care.  Retail sales can be the backbone of the profitability index that makes for a strong overall business profile.  Retail sales can invigorate therapist income.  Finally, retail sales will create a response from users of retention for future service and retail sales.  Selling retail is not a crime it is an important component of the spa ecosystem.