As a massage therapist, you have an important role in retail.
That role is to provide the tools and products to extend and improve the results of your massage sessions for your clients.
Your retail offerings of massage products can improve their overall experience and encourage self-care between appointments.
How can you accomplish this? There are some simple steps that can help you help your clients to get the most from their sessions.
Attitude is Everything
To be successful with massage products retail sales, you must first adopt the right mindset. If you have negative feelings about retail, the first thing to do is examine why this is.
I encourage you to think about retail not as an add-on or simply a collection of products, but to view the entire retail process as a people business—not a product business. Retail is about helping clients make good choices for retail products that are effective and help to improve their health and happiness.
Retail sales are first and foremost part of your overall service. I love to say that retail is a service, not a sale. Refocusing your attitude about retail is critical to developing an effective session experience for your clients.
Stop and Reflect
You have worked hard to create a welcoming and relaxing environment for your client. Your selection of location, sheets, massage lotions and oils, flavored water, hot pack, massage tools, music, table, lighting and furnishings are all part of the ambiance you have created. Each of these elements is part of the total experience for every client.
Stop and reflect on how these items influence your client from his or her perspective. The environment and all its components set the tone for your treatments. Try to see it as the client does. Use all your senses. Try to see, smell, hear and feel the experience as the client would.
Now, shift your focus and think about how these or similar items—those that the client can use for self-care, such as massage products—are potential retail items to help the client recreate that supportive environment at home.
Take a tip from the hotel hospitality industry, which offers everything from the bed, sheets, towels, robes and amenity items for sale to the guest. If they have experienced the product and have enjoyed it offer it for sale.
To offer it is not only an act of hospitality, it will show you support the client in practicing self-care between sessions.
Any product you use during a treatment can be easily offered as a retail home-care product. Items such as body brushes, aromatherapy oils, eye masks, books or DVDs, self-massage tools, hot or cold packs, and lotions can help the client maintain the positive effects of your therapy session once he or she returns home.
Beyond just recreating the experience, massage products and related products can help extend and improve the benefits of your massage services.
Receiving a service can serve as trigger to buy retail products. Think of a time when you had a great experience in a restaurant or when visiting a farmer’s market, museum or venue. You probably wanted to take the experience home with you.
You were probably inspired to buy a T-shirt, book, postcard or other item with the name of the restaurant or venue.
No doubt when you wear that shirt you tell others about your experience. This is a social trigger, and you can use this behavior to create the opportunity for retail purchases and referrals.
You are the expert in the treatment room. Your clients trust your expertise and recommendations. They have just made an investment of time, energy and money in their treatment. Let’s help them achieve the maximum return on investment by offering them the opportunity to maintain the benefits at home.
You can easily create a small retail display in your treatment room to spark a conversation about product recommendations. To make a long-lasting impact, create a take-home recommendation sheet that lists the tools and products you recommend to clients.
Writing this information down is important, because in that very relaxed state after a great massage it is difficult to remember what was said. Providing this information while the client is in the treatment room provides maximum confidentiality and capitalizes on your role as supportive guide and expert.
Whether you check the client out or have a receptionist or assistant complete this process, small impulse retail buys are an easy method for promoting retail sales. These work best if they are smaller items priced at $10–$20. These can be tools, travel sizes of lotions, bath salts or other small items.
One of the best impulse buys at checkout are roll-on aromatherapy products. If the price points are small, you have the opportunity for multiple sales. Clients like to stock up on small gifts for others, and this is a great way to promote your business.
Providing the tools, tips and massage products for your clients to make the most of their massage has multiple benefits for you and the client. Selling retail products keeps you on your client’s mind. Clients will think of you when they use the products. This can lead to increased visits, referrals and repeat retail sales.
If your clients follow your home-care recommendations and use home-care tools, they will return for their next massage in a better state. It is hard to see progress without a good home-care and maintenance program.
Building and maintaining a healthy business takes work. Repositioning your retail program as part of the overall service experience helps to maintain your business health. Not only will your bottom line be happy with additional revenue from retail sales, retail is good for your clients as well.
When you have your clients’ best interests at heart, they will respond to your recommendations. What will be the result? Happy clients who write positive reviews, feel great and return to you.
About the Author
Patti Biro is the owner of Patti Biro and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in special events, retail consulting, and education in the spa and wellness industry. NCBTMB CE provider, lecturer and consultant A complete listing of upcoming events is available on the website. She authored the Expert Advice column in the November issue of MASSAGE Magazine, answering the question, How Can Retail Sales Help My Clients—and My Practice?
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