Monday, July 6, 2009

They haven't got time for the pain...

We all know that the two big motivators of human behavior are 1.) avoiding pain and 2.) gaining pleasure. For years, the spa industry grew on the obvious attractions of motivator #2. And life was good.

But times have changed, and the spa industry been remarkably slow to pack away its "champagne wishes and caviar dreams". (If you're still larding your marketing communications with words like "luxurious," "indulgent," and "exclusive," please go to the back of the class.)

This year, it's all about helping your guests overcome pain. Results-oriented services are withstanding the recession's battering far better than those perceived as merely relaxing. Even stress relief is looked upon as a guilty pleasure. (It's a recession--everyone's stressed out!)

Maybe you've only used the word "pain" sparingly til now. Perhaps a discreet mention in the copy for a massage treatment. But many, if not most, of our clients are living with pain, and don't even realize that their spa therapist can actually do something about it. You need to tell them.

No, we're not recommending a return to dreary YMCA-style rubdowns with smelly liniment. Pain relief can and should be...fabulous.

Our newest offering, Thaiyurveda, is a Thai-inspired warm herbal poultice massage. The treatment, created by the inimitable healer Camille Western, is exotic, intriguing, and incredibly effective for pain relief. (I maintain that even listening to Camille describe the treatment in her melodic Puerto Rican accent is pretty good therapy.)

We introduced our new Thaiyurveda Warm Herbal Massage during a recent client spa party, with "bite size" samples administered on a table smack in the middle of our spa lobby. Guests swooned with, pain relief.

The next time a client calls your spa to inquire about treatments, make sure your staff asks, "Are you experiencing any muscle pain or discomfort?" "Sell in" with pain relief, to get them onto the table, but "sell through" with a luxurious experience, to get them to return. Offer motivating series specials (we like a summer 'mini series' of just three treatments.)

With a slight attitude adjustment, your spa can join the companies who know that "no pain, no gain," is one of the great truths of marketing during a downturn.