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Smudging ceremonies, Moroccan oil massages, Vichy showers: Spa menu enhancements are great for clients—and beneficial for you.

Describe some of your most popular add-on services.

Emily Richey, spa director, Spa at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe, New Mexico: We feature a unique menu of Spiritual Enhancements, the most popular of which is our sage smudging ceremony before a massage. The therapist clears the client’s mind by burning sage, and using a feather to circulate the smoke and waft away negative energy. We also offer chakra balancing, energy flow balancing and guided mindful meditation. Our most popular ‘traditional’ add-on is our Ayurvedic muscle oil enhancement ($15 during a 50- to 80-minute massage) using Banyan Botanicals products, and our most popular enhancement for facials is the application of an eye mask ($15 during a 50- to 110-minute facial) from Patchology or ToGoSpa. A favorite manicure add-on among clients is having their hands enveloped in a warm aromatherapy wax before lacquer is applied.

Pam Macomber, owner/massage therapist and esthetician, Nine Stones Spa, Portland, Maine: One of our popular add-ons is our hot stone foot massage (15 min./$30), in which warm basalt stones are used to massage the feet and lower legs. Our steam canopy and Vichy shower add- ons ($30 each during or after a massage, mud or detox treatment) are also beloved, and we get a lot of requests for our scalp treatment add-on (15 min./$30), in which Naturopathica’s Wild Lime Revitalizing Scalp & Hair Oil and Ginger Root Bath and Body Oil are warmed and applied vigorously to the scalp, neck and shoulders to stimulate circulation and relieve tension.

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Michelle Adams Somerville, spa & wellness director, The Spa at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont: One of our clients’ favorite enhancements is the emerginC Revital- Eyes Mask, which brightens and reduces puffiness. Our Moroccan oil scalp massage is also a favorite, as is our Peppermint Foot Therapy (5 to 10 min./$20 each), a soothing lower leg treatment that uses a peppermint scrub, foot balm and oil.

Service Enhancers

  • Banyan Botanicals Mahanarayan Oil
Which spa services do popular add-ons pair well with?

Macomber: Our reflexology enhancement (30 min./$55) partners well with many of our massages, facials, manis and pedis—and our hot stone foot massage in particular. The steam canopy goes well with massage and facial treatments instead of a wrap for a more profound experience, while the Vichy shower add-on pairs with our body scrubs.

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Diane Hibbard, vice president of treatments and development, Burke Williams, with 10 locations in California: A popular add-on for massage clients is the Burke Williams Experience ($25 during a 50- or 80-minute massage), which incorporates heat packs and Chinese medicinal herbs massaged into the skin to polish. Other massage enhancements include aromatherapy, hot stones and Himalayan salt. Frequently requested enhancements for facials include our Professional Peels (15 min./$25), which employ either a fruit acid or enzyme exfoliant; the Advanced Eye Lift ($45), which adds 15 minutes of microcurrent technology; and sprays, such as stem cells and ‘age defy’ ($20 during a 50- or 80-minute massage), which use Burke Williams’ custom-formulated sprays. Our most popular nail service enhancement is the Honey Heel Glaze (10 min./$10), which employs the eponymous FarmHouse Fresh product to smooth the feet.

How do add-ons boost your spa’s bottom line?

Adams Somerville: In the past, they hadn’t represented a huge percentage of sales. However, we recently underwent a spa menu refresh that includes new enhancements and fun ways for clients to enjoy them. One is our ‘Tapas Menu.’ A client can buy any two 20-minute treatments ($65 or $70 each) and get 10 additional minutes of service free. If they buy three enhancements, they receive an additional 15 minutes of therapy. They can even utilize our app to customize the products we use in their treatments!

Richey: In terms of outlay, enhancements are relatively cheap, but they’re a great way to increase average treatment revenue. That’s especially helpful if we’re offering a lower-priced special: It brings in more people, and the enhancements help us make up the difference. Because they’re performed during scheduled treatments, they don’t require much additional therapist time.

Hibbard: Add-ons increase the service price so they’re valuable, but more importantly, they elevate results and enhance the guest’s experience.

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How do you train staff to upsell enhancements?

Adams Somerville: To determine which add-ons to offer, we research trends, products and services. Our therapists are trained to present one or two as a suggestion, then answer any questions from the client. We also leave information about them in our therapy rooms.

Richey: My lead therapist is so good at enhancement sales and retail that I have her give the rest of the staff pointers on increasing add-on sales—plus a cheat sheet of which item goes well with which enhancement. I encourage my employees to listen to their clients: They’ll tell you what to offer them! During the initial consultation, a client may comment about stiffness from a bike ride, so the therapist will suggest the Ayurvedic muscle oil as an enhancement or retail purchase. If a client mentions our dry climate, the therapist can recommend the coconut oil enhancement, or a hydrating lotion or oil. As long as therapists listen to their clients, the add-on suggestions should be very easy.

–by Russell A. Jackson

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