The Art of the Add-on Sale

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | January 02, 2011

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

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.