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Setting: Doctor’s office
Reason: First appointment with new doctor
Expectations: First Class Competence
So, you show up a little early for your appointment, knowing full well that you won’t be seen by the doctor at that time because, well, it’s a doctor’s office. Seated in the waiting room, you grab a health magazine and read the latest article on sunbeds being the worst curse on humanity next to the plague (immediately flip the magazine upside down and bury it under the others). You then scan the waiting room walls and see that the doctor has, in fact, an undergraduate degree from a respectable college. You continue to scan and then lock in on the medical school diploma – but it has a banner at the top that reads “75% Complete.” Huh? The other seated patients all seem surprised as you decide to sprint out of the office.
Now, let’s talk about your tanning facility. What impression do you want to convey to your customers, especially new ones? If you want that impression to be one of professionalism, training is the key to making it happen.
Some of the tanning industry’s better product manufacturers and distributors invest significant time and money to train salon operators and staff on the advantages of their products and services. IST Magazine offers education as well, with the acclaimed Sun is Life® Salon Operator Training and Certification program. Salon operators and staff who take the training receive a certificate signifying successful completion. Most immediately frame it and display prominently in the salon for all to see. Do you think such a certificate – or one from any type of tanning industry training – would give a customer or potential customer a better feeling about your competencies as a salon operator? Well, of course it will!
One industry veteran who has logged many, many miles and hours training salon staff all over the world is Lisa Parsons, Director of Sales & Education, Devoted Creations
“Ongoing education is the key to success!” she exclaims. “As salespeople, we never stop learning, we never stop growing. I’ve been in this business for 15 years, and I still learn new sales tools all the time. As times change and the way we shop continues to evolve, a salon sales staff needs to evolve, too. Training is so crucial to business success for salons because it ensures the frontline staff is ready for whatever comes their way. Not only that, I find that when I leave a salon after training the team, they are more motivated and excited to do their job. Having us come to educate them seems to light a spark, and that always reflects in sales.”
David McFarland, Sun Evolutions International Sales Trainer, absolutely agrees. “Training is the key to building confidence in fledgling lotion sellers,” says “When they have confidence in what they say, it’s easier for them to talk to salon guests, and talking to guests will always be the most important job they have! Look at lotion/sales training just like elite athletes look at training for their sport: the more they train, the better they perform!”
Brenda Fishbaugh, President of Eye Pro, Inc., makers of Wink-Ease disposable eye protection, also strongly believes in salon staff training.“Why do doctors and attorneys display their diplomas and licenses on their office walls?” she asks. “They do it to show they are certified professionals, of course. That’s why at Eye Pro, we’ve created a free, 20-minute eye protection course for salon staff that shows 20 photos of eye damage that can occur from unprotected UV exposure. The free online video also covers proper goggle cleaning techniques, state and federal laws concerning selling or providing eye protection for free, and even ten tips to eliminate ‘raccoon eyes’ tan lines! Salon staff completing the training receive ‘Eye Protection Expert’ certificates to display in the salon, as well as product samples and educational materials to share with tanners”
The value of training is not lost on most tanning industry leaders. These sage words of wisdom come from longtime friend and industry veteran, Chris Shaffer, VP of Sales at Australian Gold.
“As a 27-year veteran of the industry and originator of Australian Gold’s training programs 22 years ago, I can attest to the fact that a sustained approach to training is necessary for success. Even the oldest of industry veterans should be challenging themselves to learn something new that benefits their business daily. The minute you stop challenging yourself and your staff, you’ve become complacent and you are going to see the effects on your bottom line. Training enhances the professionalism in the salon and in turn, the satisfaction of the consumer. In 2016, New Sunshine trained over 22,000 people worldwide on our family of brands: Designer Skin, Australian Gold, California Tan and Swedish Beauty. Certificates of completion for salon operators and staff are available upon request for framing and display. Consumers need to feel confident that the representatives of our products have been trained to make sure they get the right product for their individual skin care and tanning goals.”
Chris, that’s an awesome way to sum up the importance of training! In researching background for this story, I was astounded to see just how many websites offered tips on increasing professionalism. For your perusal, here’s a strong Top 10 list from Monster.com with my additional insights in parenthesis. Note that the first one is on “knowledge.”
“Training is so crucial to business success for salons because it ensures the frontline staff is ready for whatever comes their way.”
Lisa Parsons, Devoted Creations
“Look at lotion/sales training just like elite athletes look at training for their sport: the more they train, the better they perform!”
David McFarland, Sun Evolutions
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
Copyright 2016 ist Magazine