By Alyssa Hilliard, Sunless, Inc.
“I’m afraid I’ll look like an Oompa Loompa,” or, “I don’t want to look like Ross from Friends”: These are the comments often made by consumers when asked if they are interested in spray tanning. This perception of spray tanning is all too real, but there’s hope! Talking to salons across the country has shown me that these misconceptions are easy to overcome.
First, it is critical for the industry to view sunbed customers as an important audience for building their spray tanning business. When you get UV tanners interested in sunless tanning, you can hold onto them more easily during any media scare tactics, and you can help them get through a color plateau when they don’t get to the salon often enough.
I know what you are thinking: Sunbed tanners just don’t want to try spray. They want a tan that looks more natural and the experience is more relaxing. Well, they don’t have to switch to spray tan exclusively – just teach them to add it to their tanning regimen. Spray can give sunbed tanners a great option to get darker now, and provides salon owners a proven way to keep their customers longer.
Look for the conversation starters. It’s easy for staff members and customers to get into a routine: Say hello, check in, and use the same service as last time. However, this is a great opportunity to start a conversation. Ask visitors why they are tanning and if they are looking for more color. The answers to those questions open a world of possibilities to discuss spray tanning, especially if the tanner has an important social event.
Stay alert: tanners are always giving staffers an easy way to begin the conversation by saying things like, “I didn’t get to the salon enough this week,” “I wish I could be darker now,” “I don’t seem to be getting darker,” or, “Why do I have to wait 24 hours to use the sunbed again?” All of these remarks are common, real life comments from sunbed tanners that open the door to sell and educate on spray tanning in a non-threatening way for the staffer and customer.
Seeing is believing! Proof is the most persuasive way to sell and educate. Salon owners should encourage their staff to get spray tans frequently to act as a walking testimonial. People will believe it when they see your team’s awesome spray tans. It’s a great way to overcome the urban legends about the service.
Use the trust factor to overcome the fear factor. It’s important to remember that tanners trust spray tanning for their most important social events – weddings, prom, holidays, etc. This seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? When social stakes are at the highest and people cannot afford a beauty faux pas, that is the time they spray tan. Share this point with tanners to build their trust.
At Mystic Tan and VersaSpa, our mantra is “Create More Tanners, Sell More Tans.” We live by it, and I’m confident that these tips are a sure-fire way to help you realize that goal, too.