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?”.

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women

A little retail therapy

When you hear the phrase “retail therapy” the most common picture that comes to mind is a woman or a group of women strolling down the street with many a bag in hand from their favorite shops and boutiques…or Wilma and Betty shouting “Charge it” as they run into the mall. Yes, retail therapy can brighten the darkest of days for us. It can also brighten the darkest of days in the Salon as well. Understanding the importance and the impact of retail sales in the Salon can seem overwhelming for many stylists, Salon Managers and Salon Owners…until now.

 

I have written many Salon Tales covering retail. Today, I am sharing some links for you to make it that much easier to see just how simple adding retail to your Salon’s revenue can be.

salon_mag_logo   A few articles by yours truly featured on http://www.salonmagazine.ca ;

http://salonmagazine.ca/en/news/1146-why-fear-holds-back-the-best-stylists.html

http://salonmagazine.ca/en/news/1282-3-salon-fails-sales-rep-sees-don-t-tell-you-about.html

http://salonmagazine.ca/en/business-retailing/2122-salon-holiday-retailing-tips.html

 

Piidea Buyers Guide ….and my most popular blog on retail to date, featured in the Piidea Buyer’s Guide;

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

Retailing product in your Salon is a win/win. Your clients will be able to protect their investment in themselves, will be able to achieve their new style in between Salon visits, your client retention and your Salon revenue will increase. Plain and Simple.

 

 

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women

A Blonde’s best friend

As we all know, yours truly is a natural platinum blonde…well, I was until the age of 3. Fast forward 36 years and VOILA!, blonde once more. Over the years, my stylist, my reps. and my family have heard my moans of disappointment when the my true hair color of dark brown takes over my latest ‘do and the brassy tones begin to reveal themselves. I had given into the fact that although my hair would be platinum for a week or so and I could use a purple shampoo until I started to sound like Barney himself, the brassy gold tones were inevitable….until now!

Let me introduce you to Schwarzkopf BC Excellium Spray – Beautifying Silver Spray!

Schwarzkopf BC Excellium Spray

The powers that be and the gems at Schwarzkopf have created the ULTIMATE spray for us lighter blonde to platinum Blonde beauties.

Although BC Excellium is a line created for the ladies and gents with 70% – 100% silver/white mature hair, it’s hidden secret is it’s FAB! effect for lighter blonde to Platinum blonde…like me! It’s exclusive formula with silver pigments neutralizes yellow tones, adds shine and UV protection.

I have been using it daily for over a month now and am quite pleased. No staining. No altering of my hair color…except the removal of brassy tones. The spray did not alter the tone of my magenta streaks, unlike other products I have tried. …and it smells wonderful. To use; apply to wet hair, everyday if you wish, before applying any styling products. Blow dry and style.

Yours truly and her platinum almost 3 weeks after my color appointment…

That Girl in the Red Coat BC Excellium Spray              That Girl in the Red Coat BC Excellium Spray

 

Safe to say, I am a happy girl!

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Tales of Truth – the final edition

Well, here it is. The final edition of That Girl in the Red Coat’s Tales of Truth. I thought I had heard, seen and smelled (yes … smelled) it all. Over the past weeks, I have been proved wrong. With the full moon, a heat wave and news of the shop’s closure, it has been an interesting 2 weeks around the shop and I must say, I know for sure there is a higher power, because yours truly has been able to hold her tongue and keep it professional. So, gather ’round ladies and gents, boys and girls, for it is time for Tales of Truth.

  •  A woman came in looking for hard wax to do her own Brazilian wax at home…I guess she is really getting into representing the host of the summer Olympics. Anyway, as I showed her our selection, she asked me if instead of using a spatula to apply the wax, could she just use her fingers, like the last time. I asked her “The last time? I thought you said this was your first time?”. “Oh, it is. The place I go to, the girl says using her fingers was easier.”. I took a breath, swallowed the little bit of puke that came up and asked her if “her girl” wore gloves. “No. She just applied the wax, ripped, then put her finger back in the wax and did it again”. …..*THAT GIRL IN THE RED COAT tip – if your “wax girl” is using her fingers and double dipping with you, she is with everyone else. If you do not see gloves and a spatula….RUN!!!

 

  • Since the shop is closing, we have our products on sale. The signs say Everything on Sale. A woman came in and asked “Is everything on sale?”. “Yes, everything.”. She tilted her head to the side and said “So everything right? I’m not gonna get up to the counter and then you’ll pull the rug out from under me and charged me full pop on some things?”. I told her “That’s correct. Everything. No rug being pulled out.”. “Well, I’m gonna add up my total on my phone and it better match yours!”. …they matched.

 

  • A woman asked if she could return a product she bought a month ago and then buy it back with the new discount.

 

  • I was asked “Since you are closing, does this mean you won’t be open anymore?” …I am still trying to figure that one out.

 

  • A woman started to spray every hairspray she picked up. I let her know they weren’t testers. “What’s it matter? You’re closing anyways!”.

 

  • A woman came in for her hairspray. I let her know that unfortunately we had sold out of it and the owner was not ordering any more product. I shit you not, she leaned on the counter, turned her head to the side, spoke out of the side of her mouth and said “Listen, you order me 12. Sneak an order in. No one has to know. I’m good for it.”. …okay there Fredo.

 

  • We open at 9:30 a.m.. At 9:45 a.m. I hear the chirp of the Salon door and with it a shriek of “NO!!!!!!!” – so loud one of my stylist’s shut off her dryer and walked away from her client to see what the shouting was about. “You can’t close! You can’t! Where will I go now? You have ruined my whole day!!!!”. …and good morning to you as well.

 

  • “You’re not closing.” a woman said as she came in the shop. I told her the owner had decided to close. “No she didn’t. You’re not closing!”. It took 5 minutes to convince a woman that the shop was in fact closing.

 

  • A woman came up to the counter with her product and told me “I have a bone to pick with you! I was in last month and you said nothing about closing. You let me buy product at full price! I am not impressed!”. I let her know I understood her disappointment since I didn’t know a month ago either. …she stopped talking after that.

 

  • “Well, aren’t you just the most annoying thing today!” – what a woman said to me when she saw the shop is closing.

 

  • A woman came in, stared at me, stomped her feet, pouted then sat in the chair by the front door for 5 minutes staring at me without saying a word. (I know it was 5 minutes, because I timed it). When she finally stood she looked at me and said I was being unfair for closing the shop. I let her know the owner had decided to close and before I could explain why she told me “If you cared, you would have made her stay open. This is horrible. Now I have to drive further for my products!” …took every ounce of restraint to not say “time to get off your cross, someone needs the wood”

 

  • “Well, aren’t you shit out of luck. All you can do is this and now the shop is closing.” …just another gem bestowed on yours truly. …you would be happy to know I didn’t hold my tongue on this one and assured the woman that I was not just a girl standing in a shop.

 

  • As I rang through a women’s purchase, I told her the total and as she gave me the cash, she smirked and said “Shop’s closing huh. No job for you!”. …I know of the soup Nazi, guess she is the job Nazi.

 

  • “Where am I going to get my shampoo now?!” – something I hear at least 20 times a day. When I let them know they can check the local Salon’s “Can’t you call around to all the Salon’s for me?”….sometimes, there are no words.

Last but not least, the woman who flashed me her red bump riddled bikini line came in and said “Sorry to see you’re closing! Who’s gonna help me now? Who am I gonna show my issues to?!?”. …I…shit…you…not.

 

Tales of Truth

 

 

 

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

Luster-licious

This morning, did you find yourself looking at your reflection and your dry tresses, wondering where the shine and vibrancy of your color went? Did the thought “I wonder if I could pull off a pixie cut?” pass through your mind because you felt there isn’t anything to help your hair and return it to what it once was. Well Beauties, do I have news for you. There is a new kid on the block and it will become your new bff! The Beauties at Joico have created a real gem. Let me introduce you to Kpak Color Therapy Luster Lock!

Joico Kpak Color Therapy Luster Lock INSTANT Shine and Repair Treatment!

Luster Lock offers a FAB! glow, shine and vibrancy to your color treated tresses. It is formulated for all hair types, from fine to thick. For blondes, brunettes, highlights, lowlight, ombres…you name it…Luster Lock rejuvenates any color, all the while boosting your hair’s strength to make it 9 times more resistant to breakage. *For this non-blonde blonde, let me tell you, it’s like the heavens opened up and the angels began to sing!

With it’s formulation of nourishing Manketti oil and Argan Oils Luster Lock repairs and seals the hair’s outer protective layer to lock in color vibrancy. Silk, soy and seaweed extract help to add some slip to prevent damage during styling. Luster Lock offers two application choices;

  • apply to dry hair as a pre shampoo treatment for that extra boost of repair and protection.

 

  • apply to clean, damp hair. Leave in for a minute or two, then rinse with cool water. Dry and style as usual.

Myself, I prefer the old fashioned application on clean, damp hair. Luster Lock brightened up my magenta, added luster to my blonde and did not weigh down my fine tresses in the least. I found my hair to feel softer and my flat iron glided with ease. (Those of us who like to play with our color know all to well the tug/skid feeling we can get from our flat iron).

So, before you pick up the pair of scissors closest to you or call your stylist to book an inaudible hair appointment, save yourself some grief and your stylist nightmares from hearing the sobs through the phone and go get yourself some Luster Lock. I promise you, you will not regret it.

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Business, Hair Care, That girl in the red coat, Women

Part of the package

As many of you now know, yours truly has spread her wings a little wider and has become an Independent Retail Consultant. Over the years in our beloved biz, I came to realize many Salons were missing out on the perks of retailing their products in their Salons. Not only does retail increase Salon revenue, it enhances your client’s experience and gives them the tools to have a good hair day everyday between their appointments. Retailing in the Salon helps your clients protect their investment, in themselves.

Over the years, and during some of my consultations, I have come across the same concern from every stylist I speak with. “I don’t want to seem pushy.”. With over 25 years of sales and customer service under my belt, let me tell you this…if you are coming from a place of honesty and integrity, you are not being pushy. If your client has just had her hair colored red and you tell her that you highly suggest a color shampoo and conditioner to purchase to use at home to protect her new loved color =not pushy. You are trying to keep her red as vibrant as it can be for as long as possible. Selling said client a clarifying shampoo that she does not need = pushy. A clarifying shampoo would ruin her red. Giving your clients the tools they need to protect their investment in themselves is all you are doing, plain and simple.

 

Another common question/statement is “I don’t see the value of it.”. I have one question in response to this one, would you skip adding developer to your color? Of course not, because without developer the color wouldn’t process properly and in turn, you would have an unhappy client sitting in your chair. The same goes for retailing product. Think about it. Your client is sitting in your chair touching their hair telling you “I love it!”. They leave your shop with a spring in their step, feeling as though they can take on the world. They wake the next day, begin to style their hair only to have it not work out or look as good as it did the day before, and begin to feel as though the world is caving in on them. They may not be in your chair, trust me, in this moment, you have an unhappy client. Everyone wants to have a good hair day, the ladies and the gents. Everyone. Selling your clients product to take home and taking a moment to teach them how to use them ensures your clients will not only be happy in your chair, they will be happy until they are back in your chair with their next appointment.

All Salons have packages, be it a wash, cut and style or cut included with each color service, we all have packages. So, why not add some retail to the package? You are using the products. Your clients smell the products. Your clients see the products on your station. Your clients asks “OOO! That smells great?! What is that?”. All the work has been done for you. All you have to do is answer their questions, have a conversation. That’s it. Plain and simple. In my experience, once the value of the product is explained, the cost is never an issue. The client wants that product. Take flat iron sprays – once I explain the value of a flat iron spray – it protects the hair from the contact heat of a flat iron, that it helps to protect the vibrancy of hair color and that it helps to combat frizz and fly aways, when they leave the Salon, they have a flat iron spray in their hand.

Retail is already part of the package. Your clients love their hair and want to continue the love affair. They need you to help them keep their relationship with their hair “all moonlight and roses”. Adding retail to the package will do just that.

 

 

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

Hair-surance

Last week I had a woman come in looking for a silicone oil for her hair. I asked her why she was looking for a silicone oil for her hair and she told me “that’s what my stylist said to use to fix my extensions, to make the frizz go away and to help get the knots out.”. I asked her how long she had her extensions in for and she told me 1 week. (I swear, I would have guessed a month.). “Oh, I see” I said. “Yeah, I know they look horrible. My stylist told me I am not taking care of them properly. I guess I am just stupid or something.”. It was then that I asked her if her stylist had told her how to take care of her extensions to which she said “Yes. She told me to go to the drugstore and make sure the shampoo was moisturizing and then she said…” it was then that I stopped her. I actually put my hand up and said “Stop right there. Hold on one minute.”. I took a breath and said “this is not your fault. I am sorry that you spent so much money ($400.00 by the way) and were given the wrong instruction.”. I let her know that she should wrap her head each night, or at least put her hair in a low ponytail/braid before bed. That only professional Salon sulfate free shampoo should be used with extensions. That a flat iron spray should be used when using a flat iron – not a silicone oil like her stylist told her. The poor girl just looked at me. Her eyes began to well up, then stopped. Her look turned from despair to anger, and rightfully so. “My stylist didn’t tell me any of that. In fact, she made me feel like I was an idiot and disrespecting her when I told her I thought there was a problem with my extensions!”. We spent the next 20 minutes talking product and after I rang her through, she thanked me for my honesty. “You are the first person who told me the truth about my extensions”.

The point of today’s tale? Clients and customers come to our Salon’s because they trust us. They trust us with their family secrets, the latest neighbourhood gossip, their fears and their self doubt. Most importantly, they trust us with their hair. It is our responsibility as stylists, Salon managers and Salon owners to guard that trust and help our clients and customers to protect their investment in themselves. It is our responsibility to explain;

  • the importance of the proper shampoo, especially for color clients. Explaining that professional Salon shampoo will protect the their color whereas drugstore shampoo will effect the vibrancy of their color = color fade.

 

  • how to apply shampoo – to emulsify it in your hands, then apply mid shaft and work your way up.

 

  • that sulfate free shampoo’s do not make lots of bubbles or suds. To make more of a lather, add more water. Adding more shampoo just wastes the shampoo and leaves the hair greasy and lifeless.

 

  • the difference between leave in conditioners and conditioning treatments. Yes, sadly many woman I have helped were using a conditioning treatment and leaving it in, which in turn messed up their hair, on many levels. * I ALWAYS stress the importance of rinsing out vs. leaving in. Trust me, your client may look at you like you have three heads, but they will thank you for it later.

 

  • all mousses and root boosts are thermal activated. No blow drying? No volume. Plain and simple.

 

  • the importance of thermal protection. Every client that uses a flat iron MUST have a flat iron spray at home and it MUST be used each time a flat iron is used. *the hair spray today will be cooked into the hair tomorrow without the use of a thermal spray.

 

  • All oils and serums should be applied to damp hair BEFORE blow drying or to dry hair AFTER using a flat iron or curling iron. * oils and serums are not thermal protectants. I want you to think of a hot pan on the stove – what happens when you add oil to a hot pan? Exactly.

 

  • how to take care of extensions. How to wash them. How to style them. Which products are best to use.

 

  • how to take care of their hair after a perm

 

  • how to maintain smooth tresses after a chemical straightening

 

  • how to wash their hair when they have had vibrant colors applied.

In my experience, almost every customer thanks me for being honest with them, for taking the time to explain things to them, the how’s and the why’s of hair product and hair care. Take a moment to speak with your clients about their hair and hair care routine, explain the importance of protecting their investment in themselves. They will thank you for it. As for me…no thanks needed.