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Confidence is the key to sales – make sure your team is comfortable and confident with continued education.
We all know that selling tanning products can be confusing. The labels on the bottles have wording like, “50X Bronzer,” “XXX Bronzer,” “Streak-Free Bronzer,” “Accelerator,” “Maximizer,” “Optimizer,” “Tingle,” “Heat” and “Sizzle” – just to name a few. Especially for your new staff starting out, they not only have to learn your equipment, procedures and computer system, but also ingredients and selling points of countless lotion SKUs on your shelves. Bringing in new product inventory can be daunting, even for veteran salon staff. This month, I’ll talk about some ways that owners and managers can simplify the process, so that your staff can quickly become comfortable with and efficiently sell the products in your salon.
First and foremost: narrow down your product selection. As I’ve previously mentioned, I believe your shelves can have too little or too much variety. For me, the perfect number of SKUs is 18-25: this puts about two or three products in each price point. I visit countess salons, and the aesthetics of the lotion displays is something that stands out to me and tells a story right away. For instance, if you have too few products on display, consumers get the impression that your shelves are “picked over” and that what is left is what no one wanted, making it appear to be “low quality.” On the flip-side though, if you have too many products or too many different lines, it can appear that you don’t really stand behind any of the products you carry, and it can look to be more of a flea market than a high-class salon. As salon owners and managers, we can simplify this process by making clear and concise buying decisions that really reflect our demographics and the needs of our clientele.
Brand Uniformity: I find it easiest to learn about products that belong in the same family. Generally, manufacturers make their product lines all go together – meaning that the higher priced bottles are generally larger in size and offer better skin care, and as you go down in price, you go down in bottle size and core ingredients. You are still receiving some of the benefits of the higher-priced products but not “everything.” This creates a buildable sales effect that allows the higher-priced products to have more selling points.
The easiest way to become familiar with a brand or the products you carry is with education. Most manufacturers offer in-store and web trainings that your staff can attend to learn from professional trainers how to sell their products, as well as the key ingredients that make them unique.
Continued Education: Typically, product trainers are in your store to work with your team for two hours, once a year. Beyond that, the job of maintaining the sales momentum and continued education of your team falls on you. I think flashcards are great for this purpose. When I’m teaching sales classes, I always stress that I believe for every $15 of a product’s retail cost, you need at least one selling point. This helps to explain why your higher priced products are more effective than the lower-end. Good info to have on a flashcard is the product’s “basics.” Does it have a bronzer? If so, how much? What is the base hydration ingredient? Also include some skin care bullet points to memorize. So, for example, if a product’s retail price is $60, you want to highlight four key selling points.
Give your staff guidelines. I think that every day they are working, they can memorize one flashcard, starting with your high-end products and working their way down. Studying and memorizing four or five bullet points a day makes the task much less daunting.
Simplifying the way we select and train our staff will help them be more confident with presenting products to your guests, and also make learning about products much less intimidating. Confidence is the key to sales – make sure your team is comfortable and confident with continued education. Never stop learning, and never stop growing!
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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