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You can look…but you can’t touch

This past weekend, yours truly attended the ABA’s in Toronto. It is “the hair show” to go to. It is the place to be to find out about the latest techniques in color placement and cuts, this year courtesy of non other than Guy Tang. It is also the place to be to find and purchase products…or so I thought. For those of you familiar with my Salon Tales and my private Salon Consultations, you are well aware that I am a firm believer in the importance of retailing products in the Salon. This past weekend, I had an unusual experience, a recollection that I cannot seem to shake, and quite honestly baffles me. Today’s tale is for the distributor’s, managers and sales reps.

 

At the ABA’s, every distributor and company has their own booth or booths, displaying their product lines, demonstrations of products, color placement and cuts are around every corner, and every booth has a cash register for the sole purpose of purchasing said products. One of my fellow attendee’s, who shall remain nameless, loves the Peter Coppola Infusion Anti Frizz Cream – a lovely lightweight, moisturizing cream that locks out frizz and keeps your hair smooth, sleek and shiny until your next shampoo. (…it is also a beautiful shade of pink and smells heavenly). So, I took her over to the display, picked up a bottle of it, noticed there was not a price displayed, so I took it over to the cash register and asked “Excuse me. We would like to purchase this product. Do you happen to have the price?” to which a Sales Rep. came up to the counter and asked me what I was doing. I let this gent know we wanted to buy the product and were wondering the cost. “Oh, that product is not for sale. It is display only.”.  “So, I can’t buy a bottle?” I asked. “No, it’s display only.”, he took the bottle and walked away. Yes, you read that correctly, I was at a trade show, that promotes products for Salons to use and purchase and I was not able to purchase said product. …also, not once did said Rep. offer me any information on the product, he just walked away. Poor soul, if he had asked, or tried to speak to me he would have realized that I manage a shop with over 25 retail lines and the women I was with had a lot of purchasing power and many, many Salon connections, all over the province. I started looking around at the other booths and seeing the same thing – all product lines were displayed, but not all the products displayed were available for purchase. This got me thinking… a lot.

In our industry, many times than not, Salon owners, managers and stylists are blamed for the lack of retail sales. While this may be true in some circumstances, I have a question – how do distributor’s expect Salons and Stylists to grasp the importance of retailing products when the distributor’s themselves aren’t retailing/selling the products? Yes, we were at a trade show, and yes, it was just one product. Take a moment and look at the bigger picture. One person purchases a product, loves it, tells her Salon about it, they bring it in and next thing you know, every client has tried it, had it in their hair and the potential of 5 – 10+ bottles a week are being bought from the distributor and purchased by clients at the Salon. Plain & simple. It also had me wondering, how many other people had the same experience as yours truly, and how many potential sales, present and future were lost, to never be recovered? This is not how retailing is supposed to work. Retailing starts with a conversation, that turns into an explanation of the product, which turns into the value of the product being understood, which ends with a purchase.  How do I know? This is how I have personally introduced new lines and new products to the owner of the shop, the Salon’s clients and the Salon  & shop’s customers. Everyday.

I didn’t like “look but don’t touch” when I was 5, I really don’t enjoy it now.

 

That Girl in the Red Coat

That Girl in the Red Coat

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Taking a Quantum leap

Yours Truly has some exciting news. I am officially a Retail Consultant! Thanks to the beauties at Piidea Canada and the powers that be, next week I will be conducting two retail consultations for a Salon group in Hamilton. To say I am excited is an understatement. To prepare for the upcoming evenings, I began to research the product lines that these Salons now carry. Their main focus is Quantum and after using this product line over the past weeks, I can understand why. So being me, I have a little review for you all.

QUANTUM

 

Located in Montreal, Quebec Canada, Quantum is a dynamic part of the global beauty group Shiseido (under the Zotos International Inc. division). Quantum’s products are cruelty free (not tested on animals) and Quantum products are eco-responsible = uses green technology to produce their products and uses recycled packaging whenever possible. *Quantum is now able to bottle it’s products in eco-friendly packaging containing up to 70% Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content.

Quantum prides itself on it’s Micro V technology. With it’s blend of Keratin, amino acids, silk protein and vitamins, Quantum products can deliver lasting nourishment, moisture, strength and beauty to all hair types, all the while, offering UV protection and anti oxidants to protect your investment in your hair color. Quantum offers an array of shampoo’s & conditioner’s for every hair type/ hair issue and offers a great selection of styling product for any style. Many of their styling products are alcohol free. Here is a sampling of some of their FAB! products;

QUANTUM PROTECTIF Moisturizing Care – a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This gem packs a moisturizing punch! …most moisturizing shampoo’s make me nervous for they usually leave my hair a lifeless, greasy mess. What I loved about it? I have baby fine hair, just lots of it and this shampoo did not weigh down my hair or leave it lifeless. My hair felt silky and soft and I was still able to get volume and bounce with my styling products.

QUANTUM FIXATION Mousse – a volumizing mousse that offers a firm hold. An alcohol free formula that also adds some shine with the added benefit of thermal styling protection. Being a “non-blonde” blonde, I need all the help I can get from keeping my tresses looking fuzzy and dried out. This mousse offered great volume and didn’t get sticky.

QUANTUM FINALE FORTE – A maximum hold hairspray that offers humidity resistance. Although it is a maximum hold hairspray, I could still restyle my hair without a flaky mess being left behind throughout my hair. I also found it helped with static – the furnaces best friend.

QUANTUM HUMIDITY GUARD – a humidity resistant spray that offers thermal protection. Those familiar with my tales may remember my Monday Motivator on this gem

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2015/06/29/monday-motivator-quantum-humidity-guard/

QUANTUM REFRESHER – an invisible dry shampoo. Yes, you read that correctly, an invisible dry shampoo. You see, most dry shampoo’s leave a powdery residue on the scalp after it has been applied. Quantum’s Refresher does not. Just spray where needed. No mess. No fuss.

Quantum has introduced a new line – Quantum Ultra that offers an array of products from mousse to hairspray. The following are the products that I have tried and gotta say, I am a fan!

Quantum Ultra

QUANTUM ULTRA SHINE – a dry oil spray for the hair and the body. It’s lightweight formula locks in color, adds shine and a silky texture. It helps to reduce frizz and flyaways …and it’s smells heavenly

QUANTUM ULTRA FIBRE – a fibrous texturizing taffy. A cream that acts like a wax! Offers a medium, flexible hold that can easily be restyled. *the fibres help to separate the hair to create movement. When working with the product, you will see the fibres in your hand, but not in your hair. (pssst…..if you like Schwarzkopf OSIS Thrill – you are gonna love this!).

 

Another perk of Quantum…their price point. All Shampoo’s and Conditioner’s come in a 500ml bottle that costs less than most 300ml bottles from other companies. All their styling products are between $2.00 – $5.00 less per bottle and preform just as well as their competitor’s. It’s a win win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Motivator – KMS Tame Frizz de-frizz oil

Here we are again. It’s Monday. Sigh. As I pouted over my coffee this morning trying to wish Monday away like a toddler pouting over cookie, I remembered something that brought a smile to my face, and in turn, reminded me that I could bring a smile to your faces as well.

For those of us who love our KMS California products, we were all sad to see the last of Silk Sheen Polishing Serum…for those who had not heard the news, my sympathies. At least once a week, a woman would come into the shop, look at the Silk Sheen collection and sigh. Well my Beauties, it’s time to put down the tissues and to start breathing sighs of relief because yours truly has some FAB! news. Meet KMS California’s Tame Frizz de-frizz oil!

KMS Tame Frizz De-Frizz Oil I too was a fan of Silk Sheen Polishing Serum and let me tell you, this gem is a more than suitable replacement. Tame Frizz de-frizz oil offers;

  • Humidity resistance = No frizz *for up to 3 days!
  • Thermal protection
  • A non greasy, lightweight formula that absorbs instantly.
  • Lovely shine without a hold factor -no interference with your other styling products. I love to cocktail it with KMS Hair Play Molding Paste for a high hold, high shine look. …psst…it also makes the Molding Paste easier to work with.
  • Helps to control static…at least I found it to do so.
Just as with Silk Sheen Polishing Serum, Tame Frizz de-frizz oil can be applied to damp or dry hair. If applying to damp hair, I suggest applying it before any mousses, root boosts or styling creams. On dry hair, apply where needed or desired for a smoother, sleeker look and to help lock out any frizz that may try to arise throughout your day.
You’re Welcome.
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…knowing is half the battle

So, it happened again. I had a Rep. come in, actually, just show up out of the blue. No appointment. No phone call. No email nor a text. Oh yes, and it was on a Friday afternoon. Nothing makes me feel like I am a valuable customer than a total disregard for my time. As they waltzed through the door exclaiming that they had new products to show me that I MUST HAVE!, I let them know that I didn’t have much time to chat, because I didn’t know they were coming. …sadly,  the hint was not taken. “Oh, it’ll just take a minute!” ….hmmm, only a minute to tell me about a new product line…must not be much of a line if it only takes a minute to tell me about it. Long story short, after a quick overview, I was told it was fabulous and one of a kind. I thanked my Rep. for their time and let them know that we weren’t looking to bring in a new line until at least March, and that when we do bring in a new line, I need it to be different, to offer a product that no other line offers. It was then that my Rep. put their foot in their mouth. “This line is different! I would hate to see you miss out on this and be left behind. No other line offers a BB Cream for the hair!”. “Actually” I said, “there are lines that offer a BB Cream…” and before I could name them I was told with a laugh “I don’t think so. I think you are mistaken.”.  …sigh. It was at this moment I gave my Rep. a crash course on P.K. (product knowledge), that AG Hair was one of the first to bring a BB Cream for the hair, over 2 years ago – it’s actually named BB Cream. Soon after Schwarzkopf followed suit with their BonaCure Moisture Kick Beauty Balm. Needless to say, my Rep. had nothing to add.

 

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. A Sales Rep. coming into my shop, guns blazing about a new product, with no appointment or call made, interrupting my time and my answers for that matter. The worst part? Their lack of product knowledge, not just about their “new product”, but of the other products out there that may be the same or comparable. So today, my tale contains a little list for the Sales Reps.. Don’t get me wrong, there are some FABULOUS Sales Reps. out there and I am blessed to have some of them. Appointments are made and kept, texts and emails are answered, orders are taken care of, proper product knowledge is given and many friendships have blossomed. If the above description doesn’t ring true to you, this list is for you. You’re welcome.

  • make an appointment and keep it. If possible, make the appointment for the same day and time each week or biweekly. Trust me, your Salon’s will appreciate it and it will make your job easier.
  • if you cannot keep your appointment, let us know. Text us. Send us a message via Facebook. Tweet us. SnapChat us if need be. In this day and age, there is no excuse for a no show.
  • when you have a new product to show us, let us know ahead of time. There are many times I do not have extra help in the shop, so if a customer comes in, they take precedence. If you want my full attention, let me plan my schedule so I can do just that.
  • when presenting your new products, it helps to have them with you. I understand that many companies do not offer samples like they used to, but a tester helps. So I can smell the product and actually try it, feel it and play around with it, even if it’s for a minute. I cannot sell what I do not see, or know for that matter.
  • THIS IS A BIGGIE!!! when telling me about the new products, give me a reason to retail them. The majority of the time all products are seen as Salon tools or back bar items. Yes, we are in a Salon. We are also in a retail environment, which can be the bread and butter of a Salon. Sell me the value of the product, so I can in turn sell it to my customers and the Salon’s clientele. ….pssst…the more I retail, the more I order and in turn, the more you make. Just sayin’.
  • never assume you know everything about products. When you are told that another line has a similar product, the proper answer is “Oh. I hadn’t realized. Can you tell me about it?”. TIP! – laughing and telling me I don’t know what I am talking about or telling me I must be mistaken insults me a little and makes you sound like one of the mean girls from high school and makes you look like an ass. Plain and simple.

 

Here’s the deal. If you are a Sales Rep., you gotta know your competition. You gotta. Educate yourself on the other product lines out there, not only to increase your sales but to save yourself the embarrassment of having egg on your face.

 

Timing

That Girl in the Red Coat