As a salon owner, is it important to you to become more financially prosperous? Is it vital to be able to pay your bills and therapists on time, and still have enough money left over to invest money back into your business and to take home a worthwhile pay check for yourself? I would say that the answers to these questions should be a resounding “YES”.
I have yet to meet a salon owner who went into business for herself because she wanted to struggle to make ends meet, or to make less money in her own business than she did working for someone else. That would be plain crazy.
And yet, many salon owners are in exactly this position. They are working longer hours and making very small profits (often none at all).
Working for yourself should be a rewarding experience. It should be rewarding as a professional so that you can develop and deliver outstanding treatments to your clients and also financially rewarding, so that you can enjoy a better life for yourself and your family.
More stress and less money is definitely not the order of the day!
Because of this, mastering the art of selling to increase your turnover is something that every salon owner and therapist can and must learn to do effectively. Without the ability to sell, it will no doubt be an uphill struggle to grow your business financially.
Selling is not just retailing product to your clients. It is the ability to promote yourself, your salon and your services to existing and prospective clients so that you can become more profitable. To do this effectively, you need to have a “selling” mindset, and more often than not, to move yourself and your staff out of your comfort zones.
On the whole, selling is not a popular pastime for many therapists. They often feel uncomfortable in the role of salesperson and would undoubtedly prefer to be providing services that the client has requested. This is not unusual or unexpected. After all, most therapists become therapists so that they can care for and pamper others.
This is fact.
Just get a group of therapists together and ask them why they chose to get into the profession of beauty therapy, and you will learn just how right I am.
The only time I ever see this change happen by itself is when those very same therapists become salon owners and assume responsibility for making ends meet. No sooner do the first month’s bills arrive in their letterbox than they realize that they have to be able to generate as much money as possible from their business.
This means being able to sell their products and market (another word for sell) themselves successfully. The mindset transformation begins at this point.
This is a good thing if you are now a salon owner who suddenly understands the importance of not just providing relaxing and pampering services, but of actually making sales…but what about your team of therapists? What is driving them to have a change of mindset, and a willingness to step outside their “minimal selling” comfort zone?
Step 1: Change the mindset
To break your therapists free of their limiting mindset, it is vital that they understand how selling additional services and retail can benefit not only the salon, but their clients and themselves as well.
Clients who are not being offered results driven services and products are actually being denied the opportunity to purchase something that will improve their lives and give them the outcome that they want to achieve.
A client who is not getting their desired results will often begin to look elsewhere to have her services or purchase her home care products. So how does withholding a beneficial product or service help the client?
Put simply, it doesn’t!
These are five great reasons for therapists to become experts in selling. They will have:
- better job security,
- more satisfied clients,
- greater professional satisfaction,
- a less stressful working environment and often
- bonus payments.
- Ensure your team of therapists understands the full impact of being able to sell your services and products to their clients.
- Hold a team meeting and ask your team to discuss ways to improve their selling outcomes.
- Have your best salesperson share with the rest of the team how they make selling fun and easy
- Employ a coach to train your team in relationship retailing techniques that will benefit not only the salon, but also the clients and the therapists.
- Set team and personal targets and provide an adequate reward if they are reached.
- Make sure that your therapists understand what is in it for them by becoming an expert in sales.
Step 2: Learn the technique
Whether you are selling a product or selling a service to your clients, the same technique applies.
When products are being sold, most people make the mistake of trying to either sell the ingredients (tea tree, AHA’s etc) to their clients, and then follow this up with the generic benefits (which I am going to refer to instead as “advantages”). They cannot be classified as real benefits to the client unless you first understand what it is that the client is actually looking to achieve from the product.
For instance, if you have a client that tells you she is concerned with wrinkles; it is pointless to sell her on a product because it can lighten age spots and has a sun screen.
To get your client’s interest to the point where she will buy, it is vital to address her real concern, which is wrinkle reduction.
So instead of promoting a moisturiser by saying something like “this moisturiser contains alpha hydroxy acids and an SPF 30 and all my other clients really like it”, you would have better results by saying “this moisturiser contains alpha hydroxy acids which can increase the rate of cell turnover, and that means that you will see a big improvement in the depth of your wrinkles”.
By defining how the product can address your client’s specific concern, you can move your chances of making a sale from 20% to 90%. The secret lies in knowing what the client’s concern is and then making sure you tell her how your product can improve it.
So simple and yet not done the majority of the time.
So how do you know what your client’s real concerns are? The most straightforward way to achieve this is to ask relevant questions that will allow you to identify them. You are then able to focus on talking about the benefits that they are most interested in receiving.
By simply talking to your clients and asking them question that are centred around their concerns, you will quickly know what matters most to them.
Selling services uses the same technique. For instance, you may sell a wonderful facial which has numerous generic benefits. It may be hydrating, it may be relaxing, it may be anti-aging and it may also be firming. All in all, lots of benefits to be had.
But by knowing which of these benefits your clients are looking to receive, you are able to “sell” this service to them much more successfully.
This is where the consultation process is invaluable in finding out what you need to know.
I am a great advocate of the brief consultation even for a returning client. This kind of consultation does not have to be as formal or lengthy as the initial consultation, but it does have to be in-depth enough to be able to pinpoint what your clients really want from the treatment.
If you have a client that is stressed to the max and is looking for a de-stressing type of treatment, it would be fairly pointless to talk about how hydrating and firming the particular treatment is that you are recommending.
Many therapists fall into the deadly trap of trying to sell a product or service to a client for all the wrong reasons. It doesn’t matter to your client if it is your favourite product/service or if all you other clients love it.
If it doesn’t meet her particular and special needs, you will in all likelihood not make the sale.
Train your therapists on how to focus on finding out what it is that their clients are looking for by asking great questions before making any recommendations.
Ensure all of your returning clients receive a brief consultation prior to their service
Use the FAB statement which goes like this-
- Because this (product or service) contains/involves (feature)
- It can (name the advantage)
- Which means that (sell the benefit).
Here’s an example:
The client concern is fine lines and loss of elasticity
Because the XYZ facial includes hydration and firming ingredients (feature)
It can plump up and tighten your skin(advantage)
Which means that you will gain a smoother, softer and firmer skin tone after having this treatment. (benefit)
Now you know how to change the mindset and implement the technique. Are you ready to take 2 steps outside your comfort zone and start generating greater profits in your salon today?
If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.
Copyright ©2012 SalonSavy
Images courtesy of Microsoft Images Online
_______________________________________________________________________If you would like to improve sales and retain more profits in your salon, why not grab a copy of my book, 3 1/2 Secrets to Salon Success today.
About the Author: Pam has over 30 years of hands on business experience that she uses to help her clients reach their goals. She is a qualified Beauty Therapist, operated two successful salons, is an Accredited Business Coach and Trainer and author of “3 1/2 Secrets to Salon Success“.
Copyright ©2012 SalonSavy
Images courtesy of Microsoft Images Online