Right now, many entrepreneurs are looking at this time of year as their last ditch effort to hit their sales goals. The smarty-pants spa owners are narrowing in on lost opportunities and making changes to mitigate their effects on the bottom line.
Unaware spa owners, however, will bob along for the next three months, change nothing and wonder why they couldn’t make their financial goals. Oblivious it’s the small, daily actions that could have made the difference between profit or debt.
If you’re starting to sniff-out & tweak small processes in your spa that are costing you cold hard cash, I have one place I want you to look into – estheticians talking too much in the treatment room.
Now, I realize we have to “read” our clients when it comes to the conversations we’re having. Do they want a quiet, peaceful facial because they’ve got a hectic life? Or are they naturally Chatty-Cathy and prefer to keep a conversation going because she loves the engagement? Or do they need a balance between the two?
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve heard me talking about 80/20 Conversations: 80% of the exchange should be spa/beauty related (this helps your team be able to upsell, recommend retail or pre-book, for example) and 20% can be allocated to personal conversations.
But, if it’s the esthetician that’s doing most of the talking and it’s (a) not contributing to your spa business goals or (b) filling space with a talk-fest, you could be losing money. Here’s why:
1. Service timing slows down.
This is something I’ve noticed as a trainer and consumer, especially with unseasoned estheticians. As soon as they start talking…they either slow down their movements, or they stop altogether to finish speaking their thoughts.
The reality is we sell TIME. And if our estheticians are getting behind on their services…well, you know how that goes; late services cost you in client retention and staff retention because no one appreciates the inconvenience a slow service provider causes.
2. The attention to detail slips.
Every single time I’ve had a spa treatment where the esthetician is busy chit-chatting, she ends up leaving out something. If it’s a pedicure, the cuticles aren’t as tidy as they should be or the polish is a tad sloppy. If it’s waxing, they're patches of stray hairs. If it’s a massage, her movements speed up.
3. Estheticians forget to work towards spa goals
The 80/20 Conversations concept is a daily tool you and your team should be using as a way to generate more service & retail sales and hit your goals. If the conversation is being dominated by the esthetician and very little is about the business (opportunities to upsell or pre-book, for example) she’s distracted from working towards the spa business outcomes.
I think you get my drift. And you may be a little horrified right now and want to check out what’s actually being said in the treatment room of an esthetician who’s either always late or isn’t reaching their goals.
To mitigate this jabbering issue, try to have clients do most of the talking. Post a list of open-ended questions that tie into your spa business goals (or the beauty industry as a whole...better to stay "on topic" than purely personal) in the staff room your estheticians can ask customers if it seems they’re interested in talking.
This tactic will help the client to carry the conversation if they wish because open-ended questions can’t be answered yes or no and your staff can use these questions to deflect conversations when they know their timing, attention to detail or sales goals needs work, without halting the interaction completely.
I’ll be blunt. Because the real problem is something we entrepreneurs have come to inherently believe as true. And it may be a problem you inadvertently find yourself a part of too!
Everyone thinks they can do it well…but research has proven that juggling more than one task is a big bucket of ptooey. In fact, it’s been found that heavy multitaskers have worse performance than doing a single thing at a time!
If you expect your service providers (especially the ones with less than a year under their belt) to be able to prattle away with their clients AND give amazing spa treatments, it's not going to happen. And you'll end up mistakenly believing your esthetician isn't any good at her skill.
You know how much mental energy it takes when your skill set is still on the learning curve. It’s exhausting!
If you know your spa needs to pull up its pants and get to work on crushing your 2016 goals, take a peek at what your estheticians are talking about with their guests.
It’s always when we break things down and look at what the real issue is, we can tweak little piece of our process to give fantastic results to our guests, finances & company culture.