Chapter 6: Selling Services and Products
A successful business depends upon how well a service or product is
marketed, and the tanning business is no exception. However, not everyone
is a born salesperson and some people need a little more direction.
How do salon owners and employees, whether they be in tanning, nails,
massage or body wrap facilities, go about selling packages, lotions,
clothing and accessories to clients? There are specific techniques for
selling in each of these areas.
The vast majority of regular tanning customers purchase their tanning
time in packages; an arrangement that is to their benefit as well as
that of the salon. The principle at work is that the customer receives
a discount on the price of each session in exchange for paying for a
number of sessions up front. Within this loose guideline, there are
many options for setting up tanning packages.
There are basically three different categories of packages that can
be offered with tanning; you can work with minutes, sessions or unlimited
packages within a set time period. Effective selling of any package
involves spending time with the customer and finding out what they want
Obviously, a person who wishes to get a tan just before going on a
vacation is going to need a different package than a person who plans
to be tanned for an entire season. If you can diplomatically determine
what customers need to satisfy their wants, you can offer them the appropriate
package right off the bat and avoid trying to sell them something they
can see they don't want.
Individuals who tan frequently may prefer unlimited tanning within
a one-, three-, six- or 12-month period. Infrequent tanners are more
suited to session packages, while beginning tanners should go with minutes,
due to the fact that their first few sessions may be less than 10 minutes
It is important to let clients know that you are trying to cater to
them as much as possible. However, you always must be looking out for
yourself and your salon. That's just good business sense.
Try not to quote rates over the phone. Instead, invite potential clients
to come in so you can show them around personally and discuss the different
package options so they can determine what would be best for them. During
the slower seasons you also might offer them a free session.
Whatever you are trying to sell, your success depends upon the way
in which you present the product and your degree of enthusiasm. The
bottom line is that people will buy anything if it is marketed correctly.
Salon owners should offer a lot of trial tanning sessions and discounts.
For example, the first time a client buys a tanning package, give him
or her a coupon for a discount on some of the salon's other services
To avoid over-complication, offer a few packages to address your clients'
main needs and arrange special packages for individuals as necessary.
Having too many options only confuses the customer, who assumes that
one must be a hidden deal. Ten-session, 20-session, one- and three-month
packages are practical options. According to those in the industry,
most customers are interested in the 10-session package.
Lotions are taking the indoor tanning industry by storm. In fact, lotions
have been the fastest-growing segment of the indoor tanning scene in
the past five years. When introducing a lotion line to a customer, first
ask if they traditionally use lotions. If you find this out right away,
you'll be able to determine how difficult the sale is going to be. If
they answer no, you may have a difficult time selling them.
Ask if the client has a few minutes to learn about lotions. Sit down
with them and explain the different products, what they do and why they
are important. Also, touch upon the principle of why skin tans, so they
can gain an understanding of what actually takes place. Clients really
need to know this before they can comprehend why accelerators and amplifiers
Offering a few different lotion lines is very beneficial. It's important
to do this because women like a choice of scents, and men usually prefer
something unscented. The easiest way to sell is to let the client smell
each lotion and then choose the scent he or she likes best. Also let
customers try a dab of each.
If a customer's skin looks dry, tell them. If they come in without
a bottle of lotion, remind them that they need to keep their skin well
moisturized when tanning. Use attractive lotion displays, and put them
in clear view and within reach of customers. Remember, however, that
just having lotions in view doesn't mean they'll be a sure sell. You
need to put some effort into selling your products.
Clothing also has become another attractive additional profit center
for many tanning salons. The salons that seem to do the best with clothing
are those that have an attractive staff that likes to wear snappy, upbeat
clothing; the kind you're going to want to sell in your salon.
If you're planning to introduce a clothing line, you should make a
bit of a production about it. Close your salon on a typically slow day,
send out personal invitations to all your clients and have some of them
model your clothing line--like a mini fashion show.
Activewear sells well in tanning salons because people who tan usually
are active, more health-conscious individuals. Swimwear is another particularly
appropriate retail sideline. People don't tan with the intent of keeping
it covered up all of the time, and attractive swimwear is a great way
to show it off.
Many salons also have found that their peak swimwear season is the
winter, when department stores are either out of stock or only have
on hand what wouldn't sell in the normal season. People planning winter
vacations to sunny climates may frequent your salon to get a head start
on their tans, and if they see attractive swimwear displayed there,
they are all the more likely to buy it, since they probably can't find
it anywhere else.