How To Deal With Spray Tan Competition


Spray tan techs, what do you do when the competition moves in? Here are some things to do and not to do when another sunless tanning business comes to town and how to deal with spray tan competition.

In my business doing consulting and training, I see spray tan techs get upset when a past client all of a sudden becomes a sunless pro & I’ve known other spray tan techs who are frustrated that any spray tanning business opens up nearby. Unfortunately, competition is never going to go away. In spray tanning, there will always be someone in your market who’s competing against you. When this happens, don’t get angry. It’s better to step up your marketing and promotions to let people know why it’s best to tan with you!

The Competitive Client
One of the most frustrating experiences is when a former client buys a spray tan machine and set up shop near you.  Many times you find out from a friend or another customer.  And in hindsight the techs regret answering the client’s questions when they were at their session. Do you know how to spot this type of spray tan client? This person usually asks a lot of questions about the spray tanning trade.
Here are some examples of the types of questions these clients will ask:

  • Where did you get your spray tanning machine? Solution? Other equipment?
  • How much does the equipment and solution cost?
  • How long did it take you to learn how to spray tan people?
  • Is spray tanning really hard to do?
  • How many times do you have to go over an area on the body before you know it’s done?
If a tanner asks these types questions, don’t feel obligated to divulge give them any information just to be “polite” and keep conversation going. Remember, you worked long and hard to perfect what you’ve learned about sunless tanning. When they start asking pressing you for details, simply say, “I took training and it took a long time to learn.” Don’t ever feel awkward about not giving them your trade secrets.

Take the High Road!
Former tanners who become competitors often put you in an awkward position. You might have mutual friends on Facebook or belong to the same organizations. Or perhaps you both have children on the same sports team or other activity group. This means that your competition might end up pulling from your pool of clientele. It might be tempting to criticize them or bash, whether in casual company or on social media.

I highly recommend that you don’t let yourself get caught up in the drama. You’re a sunless tanning professional so you’re expected to act like one. If a someone gets into the spray tan business, don’t say anything negative about them. You won’t look your best to the community you’re trying to impress. Hold your head up high, instead. People will respect you more when you take the high road.

Stay Away from Price Wars!
It can be shocking when a new spray tan business enters your market. In many cases, the first thing these new spray tan artists will do is drop their prices in order to compete with you. For example, if you charge $50 for a spray tan session, the new kid in town might charge $25. Naturally, this entices people, including some clients, to try that person’s services. Whatever you do, DON’T drop your prices to try to compete with them!

There’s one thing that all successful businesses have in common – they are all profitable. This is what helps you stay in it for the long run. When spray tan techs offer deep discounts, they’re really shortchanging themselves. When they set a low price, they don’t factor in the things they do for each tanner. Calling, texting, answering questions, and driving take time. Time spent eats into their profit margin. These cut rate prices will only hurt them in the long run. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake!

Step Up Your Marketing Game!
When you have competition, you should market and promote yourself as the spray tan expert. You’ll always lose some of your clients to the new competition. Other tanners might move away, etc. Focus your marketing to keep new people coming through your doors. This will make up for the few you might lose. One of the best ways to market your spray tan business is to have a website.

Here are four website marketing tips to tell people why they need to tan with you:
  1. Highlight all your spray tan training and certification. This means that you know understand color bases, skin tones, and how to develop the best tan.
  2. If you are an aesthetician, licensed cosmetologist, etc., promote these services as well. They provide another incentive for people to come to you.
  3. Have an “About Me” page on your website that really lets you shine. Tell your story, highlight your training/certification, and inform people why you’re the best spray tan.
  4. Take positive reviews from Facebook and other social media platforms and share them on your site. This is a great way to stand out from your competition.
Happy Marketing!
As spray tan techs, we sometimes get comfortable with the tanners we have. This can cause us to stop making efforts to attract new clients & that’s the worse thing you can do. It is unavoidable that You’re going to lose some people because some tanners will want to try the new spray tan artist. Also others might move away, while even more may no longer be able to afford your prices. Whether you’ve been in business for one year or 10, you should always work consistently to attract a steady stream of tanners. Do this and you’ll never have to worry about losing tanners to the competition or anything else.
Melissa Weinberg is the creator of Perfect Glow Sunless, a premium luxury line of professional spray tan solution and self-tanning products. Her products are used by countless professional salons and spas and spray tanners. She is also a South Florida spray tan expert and offers online and in person spray tan training via the Perfect Glow Spray Tan Academy.  For more course information visit
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