Expert's Opinion

Provide Retailing Expertise for Your Buyers

By Lauren Gartland, Inspiring Champions | June 3, 2011

Lauren Gartland explains how manufacturers can boost professional beauty sales.

Sharing your retail sales expertise with your buyers will provide a win-win for your business profits and theirs. Distributors, salon and spa business owners or any independent beauty professionals partnering with your company to offer your product lines will benefit from becoming an expert retailer. Share with your buyers the fact that retail is their key profit driver and will dramatically boost their income, increase client retention and loyalty and provide added value. Retail will become their insurance policy to guarantee that they stay in business.

The Professional Beauty Association reports that in 2010, salon and spa profits from services ranged from 4.1% to 7.6%, while profits from retail ranged from 30% to 40%. The majority of salons and spas today are simply not earning money, with only 16% of the nation’s salons being profitable.
Create Strategic Plans with Goal Setting: To strategically help your buyers jump start their new retailing programs, instruct them to set weekly times with their team members for product education and goal setting sessions. As owners, they need to know where they are and where they’re going financially, with a strategy to get there. Have them create charts with the names of their service providers along with the days of the month. Have everyone list their numbers daily as well as their target goal numbers. Ensure they have accountability for recording them. You could even suggest that they make a policy saying if team members don’t list their numbers then they pay $5 into a charity or educational account! It is important for their teams to know their numbers.There is no way you can do this exercise and not grow.
Make A Commitment To Education: Encourage your buyers to commit themselves and their teams to retail education. How would you like to buy a house from an agent who had no knowledge of real estate or a car from someone who knew nothing about engines? They have to love and understand their products. Share with your buyers that you can help them to increase sales and provide them with new ideas and resources. Help them to create educational calendars, ensuring that you make it your top priority to provide lots of creative ideas when your new promotions come out. Have them create 12 month promotional calendars so they can plan ahead with creative ideas for product sales. Their plans should include attractive and compelling displays with great window and salon signage.
Offer Personal & Professional Product Recommendations: Instruct your buyers that their team members have not successfully completed their clients’ hair care services if they do not make product recommendations that allow the clients to duplicate their styles at home. Let them know that while their teams may think that they cannot successfully retail, it is not that they can’t do it, they just do not know how. They don’t want to be seen as pushy salespeople, since selling often has a negative stigma. Share that they should develop a new language regarding their retail. Have them use words that minimize selling and instead promote recommendations. Rather than saying ‘product,’ say ‘home care.’Instead of beauty professionals asking clients if they want to ‘buy a product,’ ask if they want to ‘take home a solution?’
Make a firm commitment to educate your buyers on your product lines, so they may in turn effectively educate their clients. However, share that they should not make the mistake of over explaining to clients by talking about product ingredients, science, technology or philosophy. Keep it simple. How exactly will the product benefit the client? Have them include emotions by telling clients what they will love about their results. Seventy percent of salon clients are never offered product recommendations, while 85% of consumers relay they actually expect and want to receive product recommendations by their hair care expert. You could even advise your buyers to implement a radical new policy.They could put up signage in their salon and spa business that says: “If you do not receive product recommendations – then your service is free!”
About the Author
Lauren Gartland is president of Inspiring Champions, based in San Diego, CA.For more information on Lauren and the Inspiring Champions collection of live training camps, coaching services, mentoring and educational resources, call 800-496-9305, email or visit them at

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