To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “7 Steps to Selling Retail: Increase Revenue and Client Wellness,” , in the May 2013 issue. Article summary: Selling products through your massage practice may seem complex and overwhelming, and you might assume making sales means being pushy. Check these assumptions at the door and consider the benefits of selling products.

The Retail System of Success, MASSAGE MagazineIt’s not news that a retail sales strategy can help you reach the next tier of income for your massage business. Anyone can buy products, put them on a shelf, and hope they sell themselves—but what separates the retail superstars from those who are just wishing upon a star, is their ability to implement and execute a strong and effective retail strategy.

Here are some key items retail superstars regularly do:

1. Choose the right product mix for your spa.

2. Set goals.

3. Incentivize staff and/or yourself.

4. Reward clients for buying from you.

5. Leverage technology to sell for you.

Building a strong retail strategy is not easy; it’s like raising a child. In the beginning, you have to tend to it every day, but as it grows, it begins to manage itself, and you just have to check in regularly and give direction as needed. Once your retail strategy is off the ground, the rewards will greatly outweigh the work you initially put in.

Choosing the right product mix

One of my key tenets of life is to regularly ask myself, “Who am I?” For me, it is a simple way to remind myself of what is important to me, what my goals are, and where I am headed. It’s a funny thing to relate this to a discussion about retail sales, but in this instance, it fits. What is the identity of your spa or massage practice?

Think about what your business specializes in. Is it massage, facials, manicures, pedicures? What are the supporting services you offer? If 80 percent of the services you offer is massage-related, then the majority of products you offer should be related to muscle-and-joint comfort, for instance.

Over the years, I have seen a lot of spa retail programs that are too focused on skin care products, because the price tag of each item is higher. My team has focused on coaching spas that by offering products that complement other treatments, such as massage, detox or slimming services, they will sell more products—because each client knows there is something available that is customized to them.

Focus on buying products that match the treatments you offer. Your therapists (and you) are more likely to be passionate and have personal experiences with products they use in treatments.

Setting goals

Setting goals allows you to measure what is working and what is not. If you have certain goals you are trying to achieve with retail sales, then it can become a game to try and figure out what will get you to the next level. Is it additional products, more sales staff, another location?

Goals will help you focus on where you want to go and, just as importantly, help your staff be aware of what is expected of them.

Incentivize yourself and your staff

Few people love to sell, but almost everyone loves to be rewarded. A monthly sales competition among your staff is a great way to get them to sell retail. If they meet a goal, give them something to show your appreciation. A number of spas give their staff a gift certificate for the spa, which can be used for treatments or retail products.

If you are a smaller business and do not have a staff, ask yourself, “How much would I have to sell in retail to do _________?” This could include taking a day off, buying a new piece of equipment or hiring an employee. Knowing that a reward lies on the other side of your goal makes your inner retail superstar want to shine.

Reward clients

Your clients have multiple places where they can buy and compare prices of the products they love, so how do you keep them buying from you?

Your clients also love earning rewards, so keep it simple. Have a special pricing structure: For $50 of retail purchased, they get 5-percent off; adjust the scale as you see fit. Or, you can give them 10 percent of their purchase price in treatment credit. To do this, just give them a slip with their credit on it and log it into their client file. The more they spend, the more they save. Even though you give a discount, you make more sales and your client also saves. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Leveraging technology

There are some great new products available to the spa market that can quickly and easily bring you into the Internet era and allow you to take a bite out of the e-commerce apple. If you don’t have your own Web store set up for your massage practice or spa, there are programs available like Shop-in-Spa.

For no charge, Shop-in-Spa builds a customized website around your spa brand, allowing you to continue selling to customers who have bought in your spa. If you have clients who love the products you offer but can’t see you for a few weeks or end up moving across the country, by leveraging this simple-to-use software platform, your clients can simply log into your site and buy the products they like, as conveniently as any other online store. More importantly, the product doesn’t come off of your shelf; it is shipped directly from the warehouse, and you continue to get a piece of the sale for as long as that client continues to buy, regardless of when their last visit was.

Jenelle Kim is an herbologist, speaker and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and formulator of Jadience Herbal Formulas, Jade Spa, Tao of Man and JBK Wellness Labs. Her mission is to share her family lineage of herbal formulas with the world by building bridges that make traditional Oriental medicine more readily available to the general population. For more information on the Jade Spa™ Collection, visit or call (858) 373-1830.