- Big box retailers take advantage of their location, their ability to offer a wide assortment, their purchasing power, lower pricing, etc.
- Specialty retailers take advantage of their location, their appeal to a niche—or a specialized assortment, their product knowledge, etc.
- The Internet takes advantage of convenience, low price, low overhead, high volume/low price, etc.
The salon distribution channel has powerful advantages too. Think of it like this. Imagine yourself talking with one of your good clients—not your best client because she already buys her product from you. To your good client imagine yourself saying this,
“Instead of giving your business to them, what if you let me earn it?”
This question is designed as an in-the-moment tactic to help you start a conversation with a good client. It is also intended to be strategically helpful as way to start a conversation with your staff.
As a salon owner, this is your tremendous advantage:
“You have a personal relationship with your client and you, uniquely, have the expertise to diagnose her hair.”
Getting your staff to use this powerful advantage is more about shifting their perspective than it is about sales commissions or training. They need to shift their idea from “Just doing hair,” to “Serving their whole client,” and respecting their own work. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, famously said,
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
Only a true professional hairdresser says, “I’m not going to allow someone to sell my client random hair care products she doesn’t need and that won’t solve her problems. She is my client before, during, and after her appointment and I’m going to make sure she buys the right products so she can feel as good about her look at home as she does when I do it here.”
Yes, sales training is important too. It is. But this single shift in perspective will help your staff grow into their potential, develop their professional status, serve your clients more deeply, and ultimately earn more retail sales.