Make More Profit By Getting Better At Retail

Are you selling yourself short? If you’re not maximising the opportunity to retail the products you prescribe your clients in-treatment, you’re short-changing them as well as your bottom line.

After all, you give your clients superb treatments using top quality products specific to their skin condition or concern.

Are you then sending them away without the benefit of home care that will enhance and maintain results between visits? Or are you leaving them choose skincare at random, potentially undoing the good work – and depriving you of revenue?

The fact is, retailing the products you use in treatments, as well as a range of merchandise appropriate to your customer base (think active wear that doubles as leisure wear, healthy lifestyle books, scented candles, gift packs) should be generating nearly half your income.

But the average percentage retailing makes for salons, spas and clinics in Australia is as little as around 4-6 percent of total income.

Within the next couple of weeks you will be receiving the next issue of SPA+CLINIC in the mail, along with our first RETAILING: FACE+BODY+SOUL “mag-ette”, with tips from us, industry experts and fellow industry professionals who’ve mastered the art of retailing.

In the meantime, here’s food for thought to help you maximise the peak summer holiday season and carry through those learnings to carry you through the leaner months.

“Despite that fact that a strong retail business makes a salon or spa more profitable and more predictable, we still see most of them ignoring this opportunity,” says Matt Williams, managing director at Professional Beauty Solutions, distributors of La Clinica skincare, Youngblood mineral makeup, Image skincare, Sunescape sunless tanning systems, Body Sugaring Australia and Dermalux Tri-Wave LED.

“Some of the most successful, profitable and saleable salons I have seen over the years have a service/retail ratio of 50/50. However, this is rare.

“The average varies, but most data suggests that retail makes up only 5-15 percent of revenue in salons and spas.”

Why is this? Matt says the PBS team has found that many salon, spa and clinic staff have a negative feeling about selling.

“They don’t like the `stigma’ associated with upselling a client with take-home products,” he says.
“There also seems to be a belief in some circumstances that the client couldn’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on additional products on top of whatever service that they have just paid for.

“The block is that the therapists either don’t believe in themselves to sell or in the necessity of using professional products between treatments.

“We know that our skin care ranges and mineral cosmetics offer far superior performance to what a customer could buy over the counter at a department store or pharmacy.

Matt and Lisa Williams of Professional Beauty Solutions (left) with Lauren and Scott Capelin of Bondi’s Tan Temple

“Some of the mass marketed products at best will undo all the good that has been done by a professional treatment – at worst, it will damage clients’ skin.

“Here’s the thing … when a woman or man walks into a spa, salon or clinic and is there for a treatment of any kind, one thing’s for sure: they want to look and feel wonderful. We also know that clients trust their therapists in this area.

“I think that if the therapist knew how much they were revered in the relationship, and if the therapist really understood the many benefits of the professional products available, there is no way that they would let the client leave without a sufficient amount of take-home products to maintain the health and beauty of their skin.”

Matt says in these circumstances there needs to be a radical shift in how they view their business and retailing – and this applies to everyone from the owner/manager right through to the most junior employee.

“Sales is not a dirty word and we want to show salons how they can offer their clients more,” Matt adds. “PBS offers not only great product knowledge training across all of our brands, but we also offer necessary retail training and business education training.

“We want our salons to be the most profitable in the industry and we know what is holding so many of them back.”


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