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

…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

 

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

Yes…there is time for that.

Yesterday I was part of a focus group. My first one ever. Joico invited me to be a part of the discussion that was closed to licensed stylists, so being invited was quite a big deal, if I do say so myself. It was quite an honor for yours truly. …and yes, I will tell my tale of my adventures in Toronto, another time. Today’s tale is for all my fellow Beauty Biz beauties, stylists, managers, receptionists and owners.

Being a focus group, everyone was giving their opinions and thoughts about the products being discussed. What I found interesting was when we were asked about the client/customer perspective, many of those around the table couldn’t answer, or added their own personal opinion of the products. All the products were seen as a tool for a stylist to use and apply or a back bar product, not a potential retail product and in turn, profit for the Salon. The major complaint was that there were too many products and that no one has time for that, so why suggest it to the clients. …umm…have you met a woman? Trust me, if it means her hair will look as great as it does at the Salon, a woman will set her alarm 2 hours earlier and will make the time. Everyday. Think about it…how many steps is the average woman’s daily facial care regime? At least 3. Time will be made and saved for that matter when the explanations are made and the proper products are in place.

I have spoken to many stylists and Salon owners and I hear the following phrases far too often;

  • our client’s can’t afford it – first of all, how can you know this? Unless you are privy to their finances, this is one of the worst assumptions to be made, and quite honestly, it’s insulting. Plain and simple.
  • our client’s won’t pay that – in my experience, clients and customers will pay for a product once it’s value is explained to them. Take a moment or two to explain the value of using professional Salon products. Explain the differences between Salon professional products and what can be found at the local drug store. Explain that they have just invested in themselves, and using the proper products will protect that investment, and in turn, they can achieve their new found style at home, everyday. …and before you tell me it sounds like I am feeding you a line, I am not. You & I both know that to keep the vibrancy of hair color, the proper products MUST be used.
  • our client’s don’t have the time to learn about products and how to use them – Yes they do. Your client has just given you at least one hour of his/her time, they are sitting in your chair. Your client wants to look good and wants to like their hair everyday. Your client wants you to teach them. Your client wants you to explain what products to use and how to use them. How do I know? Your client tells me when they have come to see me, asking me what products they should be buying, after leaving your Salon. Let’s be honest here…I fear stylist’s say their client’s don’t have the time because the stylist doesn’t want to take the time.
  • our client’s don’t care what they use on their hair – There are no words to explain the utter idiocy of this statement. Yeah, I said it. First of all, yes they do care. Second of all, if you think they do not care what they use on their hair, as their stylist, you should be explaining to them why it matters what products they use on their hair. Your clients are your advertising. To paraphrase the great Vidal…if they don’t look good, you don’t look good.
Explain what products you are using and how to use them, make this a part of EVERY consultation and/or discussion when your client is in your chair. You must STOP thinking for your clients. Stop assuming anything about them, be it their at home hair care routine or their finances. Making assumptions not only affects your bottom line, it is also a tad insulting to your client. If you have time to keep up with the Kardashian’s, you’ve got time for this. …and so do your clients.

That Girl in the Red Coat

 

 

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

It’s time to be a little more social

Everywhere you look, you see someone with a cellphone. The majority of us, after our morning greeting and good morning smooch to our loved ones (…and I hope your loved ones come first), grab our coffee and our cell phone, find a comfy spot and sit down to see what’s going on in the world. Facebook – check. Twitter – check. Instagram – check. Pinterest – check….you get the idea. Social media is our morning paper and our evening news. It is. It is also a key ingredient to any successful Salon. It is. Today’s tale is for my beloved Salon owners and Stylists. It’s time to become a little more social.

I know of what I speak. I see the results of using social media everyday. It works, plain and simple. Everyday I see the results of making sure our shop’s Facebook page is updated. (Twitter is an awesome tool as well, but more people tend to use Facebook, in my experience). I hear you now “what results could she possibly see?”. Well, how about an increase in our retail sales and revenue, and more client retention because of the tips about products shared on our Facebook page. Every day, at least 100 people see our posts. Some days my posts on the shop’s Facebook page have reached over 500 people. Yep…500 potential customers and clients. On any given day, I will receive a message from a customer or client about a product I have posted to our Facebook page. Many times the message ends with “hold one for me – I will be there after work!”. I have sold many products from hairspray to flat irons to holiday packs this way. Using social media has helped me acquire new customers and in turn new “likes” to our Facebook page. (psssst…more likes = more views and shares of your page and your posts = more clients and customers).

*It’s a great tool to introduce a new stylist to your customers and clients. Also, to alert your clients when a stylist has returned from a maternity leave.

*Changing your hours to Holiday Hours? Post ’em on your page

*Having a monthly draw? Post the picture on your page

*Follow the pages of the products you sell & share their tips and tricks – a HUGE retail aid!

*Bringing in a new line? Post it on your page

Something I hear far too often from Salon owners, Managers and Stylists is “I don’t have the time to do that.”. Okay, if you don’t have time to do it, get someone in your Salon to do it for you. I’m sure you have someone in your Salon that has their cell phone in arms reach. The owner at our shop is also our head stylist, and is booked 2 months ahead, all the time. She really doesn’t have the time, so that is why I was given administration rights to our Facebook page and I take care of the Facebook page, because I do have the time. Honestly, it takes 10 – 30 minutes of your day. I add it into my daily duties, so it isn’t missed. Orders made – check. Inventory counted – check. Schedule done – check. Facebook page updated – check. It really is that easy.

Social media can be a great marketing tool for your Salon, if used properly. I stress the word properly. We have all seen the sassy limericks – save those for your personal pages, this is a business and needs to be seen as such. Watch the language and the content. Put it this way – if you wouldn’t want your clients and customers hearing those words coming out of your mouth…then don’t put it on your Facebook page.

Social media works and can be a huge addition to your Salon’s client retention and retail revenue. It’s time to make it work for you.