5th December 2020
NEW TEXT IN CAPS
There are some hairdressers out there who ‘get’ retail, who genuinely understand the significance and value it brings to their clients and to their salon business.
GUARANTEED THESE ARE THE HAIRDRESSERS WHO EITHER ALREADY HAD AN E-COMMERCE / M-COMMERCE PLATFORM, OR BUILT ONE SOON AS LOCKDOWN HIT.
THEIR GENUINE UNDERSTANDING OF RETAIL MADE THEM AWARE OF THE ADVANTAGES ONLINE SHOPPING COULD BRING [THEIR] BUSINESSES WHILST CLIENTS WERE SAT AT HOME BROWSING THE WEB, WHICH EVERYONE DID ALMOST DAILY.
BY SHARING UPDATES ON SOCIAL MEDIA, ABOUT THE BUSINESS, ABOUT THE SERVICES, AND THE RETAIL AVAILABLE FOR HOME DELIVERY, THESE SALONS WERE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR NAME FIRMLY IN CLIENTS MINDS.
These hairdressers seem to have a built-in confidence about ‘selling’. Nothing phases them. It’s not seen as an arduous task, a niggle in their day-to-day creative existence, it’s just a natural part of their time spent with customers.
THAT TIME NORMALLY SPENT COMMUNICATING FACE TO FACE WAS FIRMLY DROPPED INTO THEIR SOCIAL WORLD TO MAINTAIN A SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS AND CARING.
These creative selling types of people are in the minority when it comes to looking at facts and figures about how much professional product is sold in salons, as opposed to what is purchased by the client in supermarkets, chemists and on-line.
In other words, the majority of hairdressers don’t ‘sell’ much at all. The national average in the UK is currently 11%* of customers buying from salons.
*NO UPDATE TO THIS FIGURE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED SINCE LOCKDOWN, BYT MY GUESS IS THAT THE 11% HAS REDUCED SLIGHTLY AS MORE PEOPLE TOOK TO PURCHASING ONLINE
The honest truth is, lots of hairdressers simply forget to sell, they occasionally take the money (and credit) when a client buys something from them, which is usually something they have asked about and not had recommended to them.
For example, this is very much the case with flat-irons. When a client comes in and purchases a pair and the hairdresser jumps for joy because they have sold something that they didn’t actually ‘sell’.
It might sound a bit harsh but it’s true in many situations.
What then is the easy option that can help salons encourage more clients to start purchasing from them?
THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT CAN HELP CHANGE THE WAY YOUR TEAM RETAIL, ONE IS DIRECTLY DOWN TO THEM, THAT’S BEING MORE FOCUSSED IN HOW THEY COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR CLIENTS, THE OTHER IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, AND THAT IS HOW YOU SHARE THE MESSAGE SOCIALLY.
The obvious ‘easy option’ is mentioned above i.e. take the credit for something the client wanted to buy that wasn’t actually being ‘sold’ to them. Although this puts money in the till, it’s just a happy accident, over which you have no control or influence.
Getting teams to physically go through the motions of selling is a completely different matter.
Interestingly, there are occasions when hairdressers do put more effort into the art of retail.
Usually these moments are after an educator has visited the salon, or a retail course may have been attended. Maybe there’s been a promotion in salon to win something, staff incentives always bring out the hidden salesperson in everyone. A new range introduced onto the shelves can have a boost too, but ALL of these occasions are momentary spikes in the number of products sold and tend to have little or no long-lasting effect.
EDUCATORS VISITING SALONS, TRAINING SEMINARS TO ATTEND; ALL HAVE MORE OR LESS FADED AWAY THIS YEAR. YES, LOTS OF COMPANIES, ME INCLUDED, HAVE DELIVERED ZOOM TRAINING SESSIONS TO HELP, AND THIS WILL CONTINUE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
BUT SALON LIFE IS MORE OR LESS UP AND RUNNING NOW, APART FROM THE LOCKDOWN SCENARIOS THAT EVERYONE KEEPS FACING.
AND, YOUR CLIENTS HAVE CHANGED!
THE HUGE SURGE IN ONLINE SHOPPING MEANS THAT MOST PEOPLE HAVE BECOME USED TO BROWSING AND PURCHASING FOR ALMOST ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS, THIS INCLUDES HAIR CARE.
SO IT’S TIME TO GO BACK TO BASICS IN SALON AND GET EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT EVERY PRODUCT THEY USE ON THEIR CLIENTS HAIR, AND IT’S TIME TO BECOME A SERIOUS RETAILER ONLINE.
The real easy option is, focus on one product at a time. Team members shouldn’t panic about the fact that lots of products are used during a client’s visit, (that’s a hint about what follows in the next chapter, it’s called the challenging option).
Encourage your team to focus on one product for a given period of time, about 4 – 6 weeks.
The natural start point should always be shampoo as most times it’s the first product the client is going to come into contact with. Don’t limit this to one shampoo. That’s simply too narrow a choice and won’t suit everyone. So, make the challenge a shampoo focussed one that gets your team talking to every client about that one simple product.
THE ABOVE STATEMENT STILL STANDS, IT’S THE EASIEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET YOUR TEAM INTO THE MINDSET OF TALKING RETAIL AS A NATURAL PART OF THE TIME THEY SPEND WITH EACH CLIENT.
HOWEVER, YOUR CLIENTS HAVE BEEN EXPERIMENTING, PURCHASING PRODUCTS THAT THEY SAW ONLINE THAT CAUGHT THEIR EYE.
SO STEP 1 IS TO GET THE TEAM TOGETHER, DISCUSS SOMETHING YOU ARE GOING TO PROMOTE THROUGHOUT THE SALON AND ONLINE, IN YOUR E-COMMERCE WORLD AND ON YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS.
AS WE HEAD EVER CLOSER TOWARD CHRISTMAS, THE TIME SEEMS RIGHT TO PROMOTE ANY GIFT SETS YOU MIGHT HAVE IN SALON.
THIS IS A REALLY ‘EASY OPTION’. YOUR CLIENTS ARE SHOPPING, THEY ARE BUYING GIFTS, SO PROMOTE THE GIFTS YOU HAVE.
THE ‘EASY OPTION’ OPENING SENTENCE, FOR EVERYONE TO USE IN SALON, AND FOR YOU TO SHARE ONLINE IS…
HAVE YOU STARTED YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING YET? ITS A GUARANTEED CONVERSATION STARTER!
ONCE THE CONVERSATION STARTS FLOWING, EACH TEAM MEMBER WILL FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THE FAB HAIRCARE GIFTS YOU HAVE AVAILABLE.
Then use your social media to share frequent messages about what shampoos actually do and the ranges you carry. This will achieve a number of things: it demonstrates your expert knowledge and shows customers that you really know what you’re talking about; it creates greater [social] awareness of your own salon and staff; and it’s a clever, subliminal way of advertising.
DON’T FOCUS SOLELY ON HAIR ON YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS, FOCUS ON HAIR CARE AND CHRISTMAS GIFTS, BE BOLD IN THE MESSAGES YOU SHARE ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM ETC. LET EVERYBODY KNOW YOU ARE THE GO TO DESTINATION FOR CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS.
SHARE PICS OF THE GIFT SETS, SHARE PICS OF YOUR FESTIVE SALON FEATURING YOUR PRODUCT STANDS. CREATE LINKS TO YOUR WEB-SHOP (IF YOU HAVE ONE).
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A WEB-SHOP, BUILD A FACEBOOK ONE, IT’S EASY, A LITTLE TIME CONSUMING INITIALLY BUT WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT, CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
It’s an easy ‘ask’ for you and your team to try out and it’s simple and easy enough to be a stretch without being too challenging. Run a promotion if the need is there, to encourage the team to be pro-active, and make sure everyone is on board with the plan. Getting everyone to talk the talk about one product in isolation will generate more incremental, organic sales and start the ball rolling.
IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL OFFERS, BUY TWO GET ONE FREE ETC, MAKE SURE YOU SHARE THESE MESSAGES AS WELL, IN SALON, FACE TO FACE, AND ONLINE.
Of course, not all clients are suddenly going to start purchasing shampoo from you, more will for sure, but the objective of this easy option is to start the process of changing your team’s mindset and habits around selling.
START THE PROCESS NOW WHILST CLIENTS ARE IN THAT FESTIVE SHOPPING FRAME OF MIND, AND YOU WILL REAP THE BENEFITS NEXT YEAR AS THEY BECOME MORE IN TUNE WITH SHOPPING AT YOUR SALON OR ON YOUR ONLINE SHOP.
NOTE: Sell is a dirty word to us hairdressers! My advice, ditch it, don’t sell, don’t think about selling, it causes panic in most hairdressers and throws a curve ball into our creative world.
So, don’t sell. Do tell!
STILL THE MOST IMPORTANT PHRASE, DON’T SELL, DO TELL.
TELLING IS THE MOST SUBTLE AND MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF ENCOURAGING SHOPPERS TO PURCHASE FROM YOU. YES, PROMOTE THE PRODUCTS YOU WANT TO ‘SELL’, YES, LET EVERYONE KNOW HOW MUCH THEY COST AND IF THERE ARE ANY SAVINGS OR FREE GIFTS TO BE HAD, BUT DO IT IN A SUBTLE AND INFORMATIVE MANNER, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO IT IN A FUN WAY!
BY DELIVERING THE INFORMATION, ONLINE OR FACE TO FACE, IN A FUN, INFORMATIVE WAY, YOUR TEAM WILL BECOME MORE INTUITIVE IN THE WAY THEY SPEAK TO CLIENTS, AND YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS WILL BECOME MORE ENGAGING FOR YOUR FOLLOWERS.
When we talk, we do it effortlessly and with normal human charm and, after all, hairdressers are naturally good conversationalists.
So just tell clients about products instead of trying to sell them. I absolutely guarantee your salon will have a seismic shift in the number of products sold.
If you tell not sell then you can also change the sold to told. One letter difference … swap S for T and the mind change in your team’s approach to retail alters drastically.
NEXT, THE CHALLENGING OPTION …. FOCUSSING IN ON 2021