"Is that going to be it? Will that be all for you?" These infamous words lingered in my head for the past year and throughout the holiday season, as I shopped for loved ones and myself. One day I had spent $397.00 on gifts. The sales associate asked me as I checked out at the register "Is that all you're gonna get today?" I was appalled and my mind started racing at the question. The tone of her voice matched the words. It was as if she did not think I was buying enough. I thought the hundreds of dollars purchase was a great sale! My final stop and I heard the most often used line "Is that it?" It made my skin crawl...and ruined the shopping experience.
Are you experiencing these same feelings and words when you spend your hard earned money? Or worse yet is your staff using these lines and you never really noticed till I brought it to your attention?
Every detail in your business counts! That includes the reception area and the client's entrance and departure from your beauty business. The finale is just as important as the beginning; we know this all too well when watching a good movie! Set the stage the way you want it to be from the first impression through the last.
As a fellow business owner, I know it is hard to find and cultivate staff that is willing or feel comfortable with sales. Not all people are born sellers, but YOU can train them to be knowledgeable about everything you have to offer the client. As well as teach them a few selling tips and tricks, especially how to close the sale.
True food for thought:
A client of mine came in with her daughter. She usually buys her daughters beauty needs but now the daughter works. She is a teenager who works part-time at Starbucks. In conversation, she mentioned she had to attend a training class for five hours and pass a test before being able to sell one product-coffee! How amazing and wonderful? I had a few questions about a new product I saw advertised by Starbucks and wanted to buy next time I was there. She knew everything backwards and forwards about the product. I am so impressed with Starbucks aren't you?
You can make a difference in your retail areas as well as at the front desk and after each service when they are ready to buy. Often we remember it is important for the reception area to take and confirm appointments efficiently and swiftly but we forget about the last of the almighty dollars. Do not have to be pushy. The client will let you know what they want if you give them a chance. Women do not HAVE to have anything...but they all want something to make them happy, prettier, or younger. Buying is an emotional transaction.
It is with great passion I urge you to train your staff and set aside an afternoon or morning when you are "closed" to build up your bottom line. Most times the reception area is where you cannot only capture further sales, but to cover the paycheck of that receptionist.
The reception area is your last chance to make a sale!
Here are a few scenarios of how you or your staff can go about this:
Say your esthetician has just finished a facial. She or he recommended a special moisturizer you carry for at home care after a microdermabrasion. The facialist is with her next client who has arrived a bit early. Why not has the reception staff make a suggestion like this?
- "So Claudine, you just had an exfoliating facial with Emily. Your skin looks great! Emily says you wanted to get the moisturizer she recommends. It has really been cold and I noticed with the dryer weather everyone's lips are being chapped and dry. We are running a special on vitamin E stick. Would you like to try one as well? It soothes your lips with moisturizing vitamin E. You can use it day or night. And it's unisex too!"
- "John, wasn't that manicure your wife treated you to marvelous? Our manicurist wanted me to mention to you we have an at home care set. It's really good for your nails and will help the look of your nails in-between manicures."
- "Mrs. English, I know you are wonderfully relaxed from that great massage with Bruce! Just wanted you to know we are running a special next month. Buy one massage and get one half off for your significant other. Wouldn't you like to consider getting a certificate for that today?"
- "Bette, your hair looks so gorgeous! I just noticed you are new to our salon. We offer a hair TRIO set for our first visit guests. It contains all you need to take care of your hair till your next haircut. Would you like to try a set? You can buy ala Carte or ala kit? The kit is the better value, Whichever you'd like to get."
THE WORKS SKIN CARE in California owner Cheryl suggests one of these ways as a way to wrap up a visit.
- "Christine, where are you at with your products? Is there anyone that needs replenishing?" Cheryl says she customizes what she says to most of her clients.
Arriving or departing I always want to be the best I can be in my studio. When a new client walks in we welcome them as soon as we can. Even if it's with eye contact and a smile. Next, my familiar and famous line is: "Welcome to my beauty candy store. I carry things to make you look gorgeous, smell good and feel fabulous!" If they are coming to shop from an ad we may have placed...we always ask which one? If it is their first visit, we TOUR them almost immediately to be acquainted with our place and know where everything is, including the rest room/changing room. We also start with offering a beverage of their choice as well as starting a chart for them for our records. This is as valuable as collecting payment at the end of the sale. You can send them (with their permission) mail outs or e-mail and keep them informed of any specials, announcements and more!
On that note let's talk a little about your mailing list and just how special that list can be! It is the blood and lifeline to my business and makes my business flow. Once you obtain their mailing address, keep in touch with them as often as you can. At my studio, we send out postcards every month and a newsletter every other month. My clients have become addicted to hearing from us. I create all the ads and sometimes even use our clients in them. Once they are hooked, do not remove them unless that address has changed and you have no new one for them. Some people do move away and somehow disappear. However, others want to hear from you whether they come in weekly, monthly or a couple of times a year. I recently deleted someone off the list who I had not seen in a few years ironically she just came back into the studio last week and spent an amazing $495.09 in one visit over a quick spot of tea and my consultation with her.
Keep in touch, do not let that hot name and address go. In this woman's case her mom died, her husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she had been busy caring for them and not taking time for herself.
A supplier of mine recently called to tell me "she was removing me off her mailing list. She left this on our voice mail and repeated several times that they were removing me off their list. However, if I would spend again and buy some of their marketing tools/newsletter I would not be removed."
I was fascinated why the CEO of this company would sabotage her business by such a cold communication and wondered just how many others she was calling.
The following week she called us again. This time I answered the phone. She repeated the same thing again. I told her that I was in the middle of a makeup lesson. She still asked me if I was sending newsletters and that she was removing me off their list. Again, I told her I was in the middle of a makeup lesson. She kept on a few more minutes until I just had to get off the phone and had to stand firm and end the call to take care of my client. Why was a busy CEO/business owner calling me to tell me she was going to eliminate me off the mailing list?
I found this scenario so offensive. Can you imagine someone getting a call from your salon and you saying, "You have not visited our salon nor bought anything in a year or so and we are REMOVING YOU off our mailing list."
How special would you feel? She mind as well have said...you do not matter anymore and since you are not spending any money with us. You are fired!
COMMUNICATION is key to your business and works all ways. Keep the communication alive and well and above all keep your clients coming happily!
Your staff up front and throughout the salon including the assistants or shampoo girl may not have a license to do any of the services you have to offer but you can give them the...license to sell. On that note I would like to add don't forget to take care of Them and keep Them informed about everything you have to offer. In my salon consulting work, it never ceases to amaze me how salon owners forget this. I see over and over staff being asked questions on say a Salt Glow service and the receptionist having to admit they never had one and don't know how it feels just that it's good for the skin. I also hear them being asked: "What is the makeup and skin care like?" And I have heard the front desk say, "I don't know...I use _________ or drug store products". It is not going to kill you to offer a nice discount to spread the word as well as treat your staff to all the services you have to offer - JUST ONCE. They will become addicted to your place. It's like eating a piece of good chocolate. It will be irresistible to them! Offer incentives to them as well! Examples: free sampling, a small commission, a complimentary Lunch for Two at a special restaurant as a reward for making monthly sales!
Or you may try what I do, keep them guessing; they never know what I am going to offer from month to month as a bonus. It could be as elaborate as a limo ride and cocktails, a gift you know they would love, or it could be a gift certificate for one of your services that they may have never had.
See, it's really easy to make further recommendations beyond the service or treatment areas. "IS THAT IT?" Should be removed from our business vocabulary as it CLOSES THE SALE in a bad way and conjures up feelings that are not good. Make sure your staff is armed with information, dressed for success with your products. If they don't wear it they can't sell it. If they are not putting their best face, hands and feet forward, they cannot entice your clients to buy more and want to come again and again. Remember makeup, skincare and other products do sell. They will not sell is not true...you or they do not sell them is. Please do not ruin the client's salon visit by saying the wrong things or by your tone of words. The shopping experience should be a wonderful one for our guests. It's not being pushy it's being cordial, helpful, knowledgeable and kind! Most people love to shop, who doesn't like to buy themselves a little something? It is adding a ray of sunshine to their day with that little or big purchase. Spread the sunshine!
WORDS OF WISDOM:
ALWAYS allow the client to end the sale not the other way around!