Ms. Minton

Spas, Health & Wellness

The Art of the Add-on Sale

By Melinda Minton, Executive Director, SPAA

The art of the add-on sale is a crucial addition to business as usual in your hotel spa. While many of your guests might naturally book a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure it will be your staff that encourages them to add-on a brow shaping, body buff, multi-layer masquing or enroll in a one hour make up lesson. As odd as these additional services may sound to the lay spa-goer, add-on sales are as natural as breathing once the guest is at the spa receiving a treatment. In fact, many spa professionals would go so far as to say that by not offering an add-on service as a suggestive sale the spa has professionally failed in educating the client. Consultative service sales are a part of the expected treatment by spa professionals and spa-goers alike.

The Natural Service Add-on

Add-on sales don't need to be bank breakers. In fact, most add-on sales are simply compliments to work performed within a single service at the spa. For instance, a client receiving a facial might not know that a little brow waxing or shaping would greatly enhance their overall appearance. For that matter any type of facial waxing might be a natural conclusion to their esthetics treatment. While the client is in the solitude of a treatment room an overall discussion of the benefits of waxing is really right in line with their similar esthetics goals and might be a topic that the client would otherwise leave ignorant of.

Sunless tanning after a massage, especially for the traveler, is an additional topic of esthetic benefit. Many of those who self tan struggle with the process while on the road because of the hefty aerosol cans involved, the mess and the tedious nature of maintaining a self-administered tan. A professionally applied tan is just the formula for success. Furthermore, a body wrap, pressotherapy treatment, lymphatic drainage massage or similar slimming and detoxifying treatments allow the traveler feeling a bit bloated, out of their element and generally uncomfortable to slip easily into their wardrobe, feel refreshed and glow as if they are on an extended vacation. However, many travelers would never enquire as to receiving such treatments for a variety of reasons. The well mentioned add-on with a massage can be a god-send and a welcomed addition to the usual spa treatment.

Additional add-on services to a classic spa treatment include hand and foot treatments that compliment a manicure or pedicure. Oftentimes a client will come in seeking a standard executive manicure that would also benefit from a detailed glycolic cuticle treatment; an anti-aging hand masquing or a hydrating and invigorating paraffin hand dipping. Pedicure clients often require additional callous removal, nail bed therapy or would enjoy a reflexology massage to both ease foot discomfort and benefit comprehensive internal health. Without a suggestive sale to compliment the basic spa treatment, however, these clients are lost to their own devices. It is challenging enough for the typical spa client to choose a basic therapy let alone to imagine treatment that as small additions would naturally compliment their therapeutic journey at the spa.

The Add-on as a Package

A suggested add-on service is most easily booked in a hotel as a package. Those booking travel arrangements are heavily into convenience and oftentimes working from a budget. Offering a package simplifies reservations and corners the amount spent to a specific dollar amount. Creating packages can be an easy addition to both booking a traveler's stay at your property and anticipating your guests' needs before the spoken request process begins. Ideal packages will include a bit of this and that paired with classic and popular services like massage and facials. Some packaged winners include these:

  • Warm up to Winter - Try our 60 minute customized full body massage with our toasty flannel draping and warm eye compresses. Match your relaxation with a hand paraffin dip to seep in the nutrients and hydration while you relax. Top this service off with a complimentary visit to our dry sauna, whirlpool and steam room.

  • Mini Vacation - You can not beat our express relaxation package with 30 minute European facial, 30 minute massage and executive nail treatment or polish change. Drop in for an hour and feel like a million with our quick and relaxing spa sampler package.

  • Slim, trim and Renew - Join us for a full body wrap, light body exfoliation and mini facial. Lose inches, renew skin tone, detoxify your lymphatic system and become energized in this 90 minute intensive spa package.

The other obvious offering is to combine the cost of lodging with a spa voucher like a 60 minute massage. When business travelers book their lodging for meetings and conferences they are apt to prefer such a selection if it is competitively priced and is convenient. Furthermore, those booking visits for weddings, family events and annual get-togethers will view the treat as an amenity for their guests. Finally, guests booking weekend get-aways, anniversary celebrations or romantic surprises will enjoy the added luxury of a spa add-on that may serve as an additional event for the weekend's activities. Furthermore, adding spa services to conference packages, wedding parties or multiple room bookings is a natural fit both for the sake of staffing and for easy marketing to a captive audience.

Add-on to the Room

When outfitting suites, cabins, chalets, or specialty lodging facilities make sure to allow space for a portable table for massage. Ideally create a space large enough for side by side treatments. Oftentimes celebrities, the affluent or simply "the weary" prefer to receive in room treatments like massage, facials, body wraps and spa pedicures. Creating a portable work station for steamy towels, parafango (mud with paraffin) or implements, sprays, lotions, stones and the like will come in handy when moving between rooms to service clients. Side by side treatments are also enjoyed outside at sunrise, sunset, by the pool, near a fountain, by a fire or simply under the stars. No matter the climate try to prepare a space with ample sun screens, mosquito netting, awnings and heat lamps to ensure client comfort. Certainly make this space, both inside and out, multi-purpose for living space as well as spa space but try to make the spa option a comfortable and convenient option for those seeking a bit of TLC during their stay without a jaunt to the spa.

Adding on to the room can also mean making your treatment rooms ultra multi-purpose. Creating a space where a variety of treatments can be performed is paramount to ensuring the overall success of your spa. Accordingly stock each room with: a wax pot, a variety of implements like tweezers, spatulas, cotton swabs and a full selection of massage oils and esthetic products. Drape your massage tables to be available for body wraps and scrubs. Likewise choose equipment that can accommodate body treatments, lasering, waxing, facial services and general spa consultations. In some instances spas even choose equipment items that can accommodate hair shampooing, pedicures, manicures, pedicures and massage/facials all in one treatment bed. While more expensive and a bit clunkier these beds can allow for multiple services to be performed in one room in tandem creating a more efficient series of services within a smaller window of time. Placing product in each treatment room like lash tint, ampoules for advanced esthetics services, make up for finishing a service and hot stones for a more complete massage allows the technician to truly offer and feature a variety of service nuances both adding on to and enhancing the typical spa service.

Making Your Spa Unique Through the Add-on

Unfortunately hotel spas and resorts have the reputation of creating a trance like state of offering 60 and 90 minute massage, European facials and little else of any creative backbone. While it is easy to get into a production line state of creating spa service opportunities for guests, creating add-on service and retail sales can break up the monotony. Consider adding aromatherapy options to your massage package with a take-home sampling of oil at the conclusion of the massage. Create a body treatment service that sends the guest home with a tanning towelette or a body wrap that accompanies an homecare kit with slimming creame. Offer a facial service that is coupled with a skin care sampler kit and reorder form for the guest's daily esthetic routine. Create a massage option with crystals in the room or as a part of the treatment to offset the normalcy of an hour long Swedish massage. Send the guest home with their favorite gemstone as a keepsake of the experience. Add a little bit on to the guest's spa experience and reap the benefits in referrals, immediate bookings and guest satisfaction.

The add-on sale need not be challenging, difficult to implement or noticeable in your budget. Simply make retail items and service perks available through suggestion. Add to your profit margins by assuming a suggestive sale when it comes to the simple additional treatments like brow shaping, aromatherapy and multi-layer masquing. Work with your staff's quotas to promote within the concept of adding on to the typical sale. Consider adding monetary incentives to your staff's efforts to promote and expand an add-on program of sales. Add-on to your guest's experience while adding on to your spa's bottom line.

Ms. Minton, a spa, wellness, salon consultant, and health and beauty expert, is a past spa owner. She is a certified massage therapist, esthetician and cosmetologist. Ms. Minton has trained in business, marketing and digital media. She has consulted on spa management issues, product formulations, spa profitability and strategies. She has worked on hundreds of projects spanning from spa start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She is the founder of The Spa Association (SPAA), a world-class organization dedicated to enriching the professional beauty industry through self-regulation, education and sound business practices. Ms. Minton is also a member of the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). Ms. Minton can be contacted at 970-682-6045 or melinda@spaminton.com Please visit http://www.spaassociation.com for more information. Extended Bio...

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