Beauty, communication, Hair Care, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat

Empty chairs

Today’s tale is for all the stylists out there. In the best of times, many struggle to keep clients in the chair. In the time of Covid 19, now more than ever, client retention is more important than ever. As you know, I am not a licensed stylist. I have (physically) been out of the Salon and Beauty Biz for more than 4 years now, and although I am no longer in the Salon, every day, and I mean every day, I receive a text, an email or a face to face question, “What product should I use on my hair?”. When I ask them “What did your stylist suggest?” more often than not, I’m sad to say, their stylist either gave them no advice at all or told them to pick up their products at, gulp, Walmart.

I have covered this situation many times in the past. The following blogs were some of the more popular ones;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2014/05/20/if-you-are-a-stylist-you-are-a-sales-person/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2016/05/24/my-stylist-said/

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/05/28/a-conversation-between-two-people/

Here’s the deal. When your clients are sitting in your chair, they are putting their trust in you. Plain and Simple. Trusting you will help them like their reflection once again. Trusting you will be honest with them about which cut is best for them, how to manage and maintain their new color. Trusting that they will be taught how to achieve the same look and feel to their hair once they leave the Salon. The only way your client will be able to achieve this is with the proper products and the proper styling techniques, from how to blow dry their hair and how many products they will need. Some styles only need one product, some styles need multiple products and styling tools. As a stylist, it’s up to you to teach them. To educate your client on what’s what with products and the importance of using the correct one.

In the past 4 months I have personally spoken to 8 women who were looking for a new stylist because they did not like their hair, their stylist didn’t listen to them and just did what they thought was best, or because, I’m sad to say, their stylists made them feel stupid, or blamed the client for their hair being a mess. I told them to give their stylist one more chance, with a caveat. I give them a list of things to ask/tell their stylist. Remember, you are paying for a service, you are allowed to ask questions or give opinions, politely of course. Tell your stylist what you like and do not like. If you don’t like to use a blow dryer at home, tell them. If your unsure about styling techniques, ask them to show you. Wondering why you are never told what products to use? Ask them to show you what products they suggest. Ask them about the product they just used on your hair. If the stylist isn’t open to a conversation or questions, you now know it’s time to move on to another chair.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, Women

Shelf Talk

“Retail doesn’t work.”. “People aren’t buying our products.”. “Everyone sells product, so why should we?”. “Our product just sits on the shelves.”. These common phrases are a sampling of what I have heard over the past 25 years and I am here today to tell you that although this mentality is the norm, it is far from the truth. I have been in sales and customer service for over 25 years and the truth is, nothing sells itself. Nothing.

Many Salon owners have the same concern, that the Salon revenue is down, or the Salon is not generating enough revenue. Ladies and gents, adding retail and selling retail has the potential to cover all expenses, your hydro bill, your lease payment, even your payroll. It can. I know this because I have seen it first hand. In a town of 125000 people, with over 100 salons to compete with, I ran a shop that in a slow month sold over $18000.00 of retail product.

First and foremost, you must stop worrying and focusing on what other Salons are doing and focus on your business. Secondly, you have to sell the product. The packaging may look pretty on the shelf, if your clients do not know why those products will help them manage their hair and have a great hair day in between visits, those bottles are going to continue to look pretty on the shelf. Explain to your customers and clients the benefits of the products you are selling. Teach them how to use them. Taking an extra 10 minutes can save your client hours of anguish in front of their mirror at home, keep your relationship with them in good standing and open the door to new clients for you and the Salon. When people hear of good customer service, word spreads fast. …I have been out of the shop for over 2 years, I still have women messaging me via Facebook, stopping me at the grocery store, at the bank, even at the local shop I was working for asking me “Are you that girl that helps everyone get the right product for their hair?”.

I can hear it now “…I don’t want to seem pushy.”. Giving your client the proper product to protect their hair and enable them to feel good about their hair and their reflection is not being pushy. Protecting their hair and your hard work is not being pushy. You are helping your client protect their investment in themselves, and in turn, protecting your reputation as a stylist. Remember this, your clients are your advertising. They leave the Salon feeling like they could walk the runway, without the proper products at home, within a few days they are feeling like they should runaway. Trust me, if a bad hair day is happening, sooner or later, the stylist is blamed. Selling your clients products to use at home ensures they love their hair and your relationship with them and your reputation remains intact.

Another common phrase “…they just spent $150.00 on their service. They can’t afford to spend more.”. First, don’t do that. You do not know what someone can or can’t afford, assuming anything of anyone is rude, plain and simple. …remember the scene in Pretty Woman?…you don’t want to be like those shop girls. It is up to your client to decide what they can or cannot afford. It is up to you to explain the value. If your client does not understand the value of the product and the importance of the product, they are not able to make an informed decision. Something to remember, you just spent 2-4 hours of your day working on their $150.00 service, selling them the proper products to use at home protects their investment and your hard work.

 

Sign on the shelves look great, unfortunately they are not always read. Shelf talkers beside the products are fun to look at, they do not speak. More often than not, people want help, they are afraid to ask because of a fear of looking or sounding stupid. There are so many products out there, and to the untrained eye, all the bottles look the same. It’s up to us to take a moment or two and ask the simple question “What can I help you with today?”.