by Maggie Gunning

As a spa development consultant my work also involves education and training.

For one of my clients, I was asked to carry out a spa business audit. As a result of that audit I was asked to spend a month at the spa to help improve spa sales through a structured training programme.

Although I wanted to improve the sales I also felt it was important to improve the morale and motivation of the staff as this was affecting their ability to do their job well.

I felt it was important to get all the staff together first to explain what the plan was going to be for the next month so that they understood what their role was going to be. I set achievable targets that not only improved sales but improved customer satisfaction and helped motivate the staff to want to achieve more.

Listening to Staff for Solutions

The main problem with the therapists, in particular, was they lacked confidence in their abilities—both in selling and being able to carry out the treatment professionally. My first task was to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each therapist.

From there I was able to create a training programme that incorporated NLP techniques.

In fact, I gained much of my training content from “Successful Selling with NLP” by Joseph O’Connor and Robin Prior. My first job was to re-train them so they were proficient in all treatments.

Then I spent time providing them with the means to communicate better and influence their clients to purchase treatments and products.

The main goal was to get them to sell with integrity by advising the client appropriately on suitable treatments and products rather than hard selling them just to meet targets. As a group they were asked to bring in over S$35,000 extra worth of treatments and packages for the month. They reached a target of over S$38,000!

They understood by selling with integrity they would also benefit because  the client would return on a  regular basis due to the fact that they genuinely trusted the therapist and had confidence in their advice. I also taught the therapists how to build rapport with clients, which enabled them to build friendly yet professional and lasting relationships with their clients.

They were able to increase client retention.

This was measured by the number of times a client revisited that therapist per month. Clients also filled in feedback forms that helped indicate the quality of service being offered to the client by all staff from receptionists to spa attendants as well as management.

Therapists and receptionist, in particular, were given specific training on how to be more attentive to the client and listen to what they wanted. They were shown how to build rapport by observing body language, listening to the type of words the client used and the voice tones.

Increasing Sales is a Team Effort

A monetary target was set for all staff to achieve, including receptionists as the whole process was encouraged to be a team effort.

The target was met and the team was rewarded with a wonderful staff party which included party games, speeches, dancing and a big thank you from the senior management.

The feedback from the staff was they felt much happier not just because they gained more confidence in doing their job better but the atmosphere of the spa had changed and they felt there was a much better team spirit that encouraged everyone to do their best.

Maggie Gunning is the Managing Director of Spa Synergy. She completed her NLP Practitioner Course in June 2001.

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