Having been on both ends of the vendor/spa partnership, I can’t emphasize this enough: a successful spa will create a successful vendor relationship and vice versa. You might think you place an order every month/quarter and that’s all there is to it. But 90% of the time, that’s not how this delicate partnership operates. What about training? What happens when things get reformulated, or your order isn’t complete, or perhaps you want to host an event around that brand? These are all things that WILL happen, and you want to know how the brand YOU invested in handles them. I am here to challenge you to make existing and future vendor partnerships even better!
Let’s Get Started
Success! You have found a product line you can stand behind; you love their mission and your team loves their products. But now what? Start by asking some questions about how this new partnership will work. To create a dynamic partnership with a spa vendor partner, you need to find the right fit, understand the expectations, and do your part to make the relationship great.
So, let the questions roll! That’s right you are allowed to ask them questions too! It not only shows you are serious about opening an account, but it shows you want this to be a lasting relationship!
Below are a few sample questions that can help you start thinking about what is most important to you in this relationship.
- How long has the brand been in business?
- What type of support will be available to your spa?
- How often will you offer ongoing training?
- How is training delivered – in person, telephone, and/or video?
- Are there programs in place to analyze performance of the brand within the salon or spa? What programs?
- What do we do if we see we need to increase product sales?
- Will we work together to put together a strategy i.e retail events, incentives, gift with purchases?
- What payment terms are you on?
- How often should I expect to see my rep?
- Can both treatment staff and front line staff be provided with free sample products?
Now that you have all your answers, just like any great partnership, it takes two to tango! As a spa manager or owner, it’s up to you to build a good partnership between your business and your spa vendor partners. Below are a few tips that will help this blossoming partnership grow in mutual success!
- Make sure your spa vendor partners have the appropriate contact information for those they may need to reach at your spa. I suggest having one main point person. If that is you, be sure to let them know if someone will be placing orders for you if you are away!
- Internally promote and attend vendor trainings. If a vendor is taking time out of their schedule to visit your spa, make sure you’re there! Express this as a requirement to your employees. YES you can make trainings mandatory!
- Keep an open line of communication with your spa vendor partners. Our spa vendor partners are there to help you be successful, but they cannot help if they do not know your needs. Honesty is the best policy, if something isn’t working for you or your guests anymore, TELL THEM!
- Work together with your spa vendor partners to create your retail marketing plan, promotions schedule and social media posts, and invite them to participate in your blog. Honestly, the vendors want to be successful, and that means you need to be successful too! The good vendors are HERE TO HELP!
“Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning” – Bill Gates. Having a healthy, happy vendor partnerships will make the world of difference, but like every great relationship, you have to work on it! Until next time!