Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sales Tactic: Pushing Sales to Customer



Let me tell you of my experience in this place, which I shall call "the quiet before the storm".

This is of my experience to a salon that I went to for my body massage and facial treatment.
Time of Arrival: 1.00pm
Time of Departure: Almost 5.30pm.
Total number of hours taken: Including consultation, and sales pitch- about 4.5 hours.
Treatments Performed: Body Massage; Facial Treatments.

The average cost worked out for one treatment: RM77.00.
It seems really affordable for a two hour treatment each, right?

But there is a catch.

THE STRATEGY USED

For those who have long gone to salons, they'd know by now that so called affordable packages is a way to lure to reel the fish in for a period of time. Although the package is priced low, for each time that the customer come for their treatments, among the ways, the salon employs the strategy of suggesting top-up treatments to the customer. Utilizing these so called auto-suggestions, it is now deployed as a sales tactic for the unaware & naive customer.

As what I experienced, regardless of whether the package was high or low priced, the salon will still try to push sales at the customer for each visit that they come in, from my experience.

BODY MASSAGE:
The quiet and mild speaking masseur gently and patiently goes on and performs her magic on you, the client.....

Halfway whilst doing a body massage, she mentions that she feels cellulite on your body..

"Why not you try out our body and cellulite gel and creams? It'll help melt away the cellulite on your body", she suggests with a seemingly innocent air...


You find out much later that it is not very innocent at all...  how would you respond to it?

Mine went like this.. "Ah, it's all right. I'm not too worried about the cellulite"- and then immediately pretended to go to sleep, or ignore it! Ya... right!

This happened not once, but each time I went. Mostly if I were not using the salon's outrageously priced body creams and gels...

FACIAL TREATMENTS:
After cleansing your face from the make up, the so-called manager in the salon came in and had a look at my  face. She makes it sound like as though was the expert...

"Ah, I see that your face is quite dry. blah blah blah. Why don't you try our ampoules? One for the eyes, and the other for your neck. Very cheap only. RM120 for two ampoules. We are currently having a promotion now, next time cannot get it, you know? Must grab it or not the promotion end" she goes trying to instil the fear of loss in the customer.

But in my mind it was..hmmm hmmm let's see. RM77 pre-paid for the facial already + RM120 for two bottles of ampoules = Almost RM200+. About as expensive as going for a Sothys facial treatment. If that's the case, I'd rather go to my cousin's friend's Sothy's place la..

 Somemore dunno which brand this ampoule is from. No name brand? Better not risk it..  If I go to beauty expo, I can buy 10 ampoules for only RM120. I'd rather go to beauty expo and do my own facial instead!

I declined. The manager tries again to push the sale, in a light-hearted manner, I must say. She isn't forcefully pushy either. Thankfully.

When she leaves the treatment room, the aesthetician asks, why don't you want to top-up? 

Coz I'm broke already. I already spent a lot this month..

OH, she responds. After completing the entire treatment, the aesthetician again tries to push a sale.

Aesthetician: How about you try Cosmecnique Hydrating Collagen facial mask? 5 for RM158.00 only. This brand imported from Paris, France.

Hmmmm.. Not Interested. 

Then I asked her, have you heard of Sothys before?
Sothys ? What is that? 

Great.... (are they sure they work in a beauty salon?)



Cosmecnique. You heard of this brand before?

LIKE VULTURES THEY WAIT...

After I get changed into my own outfit again, I see an entire line of aestheticians standing behind the counter. Like vultures, they swoop down on the unsuspecting customer....

Another lady comes in and gives the sales pitch.

Our aesthetician recommended this product to you earlier. She informed me that you have xx type of skin. How about getting it from us? (on her side was a Cosmecnique skin-care starter kit retailing for Rm220). 

Then I asked How is this brand compared to Cellnique?

Cellnique? I have never heard of this brand before. 

Please tell me that the consultant was kidding! Please kid me not. Here was a consultant pushing her own brand, and have no idea what brands are out there... I am left wondering if they really know, or if they are just pretending...


Not giving up, I asked again. Then I asked the consultant to ask someone else in the company. She comes back trying to push her product at me with no concrete answer to my query.

Finally, the Manager came in. At last, someone who knows (or thinks) she knows what Cellnique is. I am beginning to wonder how long the aestheticians have been working here before...

Finally after a while, I decided to get the mask. Since I have never tried that brand before, I thought i would give it a try as the mask supply can last for two months. However, before I gave in, I pushed for a discount...
The Manager, Ms. A, gave me a 10% discount = RM142.20. (Rm15.80 discount off the published rate... enough to pay two days of parking!!).

Ms. A tried again to push their starter kit as well (which was a travel size Cosmecnique skincare for RM220- and RM100 rebate voucher), but I declined saying that I already had a complete set of The Face Shop skincare products at home.

When I arrived home, I went on to google some information on the brand Cosmecnique. There was not much info on it... but I did find the same face mask retailing for RM98.00 on a chinese website. I was quite annoyed with that piece of information.

On consultation with my cousin, Elaine who is also an aesthetician with a premium brand skin-care salon, this was the piece of advice she gave me,
"true, you can get it cheaper from the website. But as it is difficult to get information about that product on the internet, you wouldn't know if the product sold was original, or a fake. The product is also not widely known, like Dermalogica or Sothys, so the price of the product is a bit more difficult to control. Further, if you buy the product from the salon, you can be sure it is the real thing, and given based on "professional recommendation". If it's not, you can lodge a complaint against the salon. Also, you'd be providing the aesthetician their commission for their service...  " 

IN CONCLUSION...

Before I went to the salon, I already knew in mind/ had an idea that the staff will be pushing sales to me. I did leave most of my cards at home.. instinctively I knew what to do. ^^

The thing about paying low for a package is that as humans, we sometimes forget that we have already paid for the services rendered. If the aesthetician performed or rendered an outstanding good service without complaints or grudgingly, it is somehow human nature that the customer will feel the compulsion to recipocrate the good service rendered by compensating - i.e tipping, buying their products, paying a bit more. even when they have already paid for the service.

That is when the problem comes... not wanting to look as though we are "the bad guys". Granted, that is just what I did. It was good service rendered after all... LOL. I can't really complain about that...

In summary, if you do not want to spend, don't bring any money out. Just bring enough cash for your transport, parking, toll and meals. Any other miscellaneous and non mandatory purchases can be delayed till the end of the month, or at least till your next pay-cheque comes.

I think it comes to learning to play the game of buy-and-sell which everyone hates, but have to learn to survive....

4 comments:

Shirley said...

oh...gosh...this is so annoying!! i will just tell them, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE AND I WILL NEVER TAKE ANY EXTRA OR ANY PACKAGES -END-

CheaKyGal said...

I know.... you're probably much better at this than me. However.. since i'm still a beginner at this, the only way to curb my spending habit is basically not to bring any of my cards out. Just enough cash for toll and parking.

Salons charge an exorbitant price for everything, so whatever i bring will not be enough to pay for whatever it is that they want.

Imagine, i was just doing my massage the other day, and the masseur was asking AGAIN if I wanted their RM60 little bottle of anti-cellulite oil serum.

If i did buy that little thing, I wouldn't have enough for parking and petrol later! ^^

Miu said...

that's why i never believe in saloon "promotions" anymore unless i am a big fan of that shop/brand.

it's always a big sale trap..
u might end up spendin more than the sale price, which you could actually pay for a full treatment at a much better/luxurious place like Soothys/Clarins.

CheaKyGal said...

true. true....

hai, apa boleh buat le.. if want refund, can le, as its paid by credit card. ATM susah nak dapat refund kalau nak in future le.

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