We have heard it and we know it: In any health and wellness business, retail can and must be an integral part of our revenue stream. Yet somehow, it always seems to be off-target. We hear that providers don’t want to “sell.” We hear that customers can buy these products cheaper and easier online. So what do we really need to change?
The first thing I suggest is getting a deeper understanding of the consequences of not actively offering retail products. Withholding recommendations from a client that would help them get better results is a real disservice to them. I am not aware of a single service that could not be improved by adding a good product into the treatment plan and it makes no sense that therapists are reluctant to recommend that option. Forget about selling. This is part of therapy. The right product can improve, sustain, and expand the results achieved during the service significantly.
The second step is to actually find, choose, and carry the products that expand the value of our services. You’re the expert. That should not pose a problem.
As a customer, I have the right to receive good recommendations for the best possible result. I come to you for that expertise. So keying providers into that mindset will help a lot. Updating the product assortment to reflect items that assist in solving the client’s problems is instrumental. And having the provider know what product to recommend and why is essential.
So, where to begin? Asking providers what they would recommend to their clients is an easy start. Knowing which problems you solve for your constituency is critical so that you can do everything to provide a solution.
Another very good option is to package services and products together. And yes, it's best to do multiple services, leverage other resources, add products, and wrap it all up into a program that delivers extraordinarily good results for your client’s needs. But, even without programs, you can start combining treatments and products into packages. That way, the therapist does not need to worry about “selling” and maybe could be inspired to talk about the best use of the product.
Products can also be used to incentivize. I am adamant about not offering discounts. Never. Not even in the buy X - get one free category, or buy X - get Y% off scenario. What I suggest is to offer a bonus instead. Buy this series of services, or that package, and receive $X.XX's worth of professional skin care products. The perceived value of the product is the retail price; the actual cost is only a fraction. You add value to your package, move product, AND introduce the customer to great merchandise.