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.