All tanning salon owners, managers and team leaders: I’ve prepared a simple, one-question test for you to take. Put on your Game Face, because how you score on this test could give you a rare look into what I call “The Salon Profit Crystal Ball”.
What you’ll need: a No. 2 pencil with an eraser – no calculators, smartphones, iPads, iPods or any other device that would allow you to just “Google” it.
Ready for the one-question test? Okay, here we go:
The attributes of our brain’s right side include self-motivation, confidence, initiative, empathy and creativity; however, the majority of salon owners and managers cultivate sales staff skills in these areas: processes, rules, theory, structure and logic, all of which tend to develop and use the left-brain. The two methods below were recently used to pump up the sales staff during pre-tanning-season meetings at two similar volume/unit tanning salons in different states. The content in each meeting shared nothing in common; one focused on games and fun, and the other was a plea to its staff to follow rules and sell more. The sales data from both salons were precisely tracked for one month post-meeting.
Which of the following methods is a more effective sales motivator: A or B?
Method A (Stimulates the right-brain) At a short, 50-minute meeting for the entire staff, the first ten minutes was spent talking about salon procedures and rules. Attendees were handed a copy of the employee handbook and instructed to read it over and sign an acknowledgement of their understanding of all salon rules and procedures. For the rest of the meeting, the management and staff brainstormed and created two sales games that would be fun for the entire sales staff to play and compete against each other. The two silly games were TANGO and TANOPOLY. At the meeting, they discussed the object of each game, then the team voted on which one they would play for the next month. Fifty minutes after the meeting started, the young sales staff left the salon giggling and strategizing about how they would win the game and all the prizes.
Method B (Stimulates the left-brain) At a two-hour meeting with an agenda planned down to the minute, the salon owner started by delivering a 30-minute, prepared speech outlining the trials and tribulations of a tanning salon owner, giving the staff a rare insight into what salon owners face and worry about. The heartfelt speech ended with a plea to the staff to sell more lotion, so they could all keep their jobs. The next 85 minutes was dedicated to every rule, process, procedure and job description outlined in the company handbook. The very precisely planned meeting ended with a ten-minute, tell-all-style open forum allowing the staff to give their opinions, and giving the management an opportunity to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each staff member. Two hours later, this young staff exited the salon quietly with much to ponder and gossip about.
My Take: The two opposite approaches yielded completely different results. If increasing profits was the goal, then the undisputed winner was the salon that utilized Method A, whose lotion sales in the 30 days following their meetings were nearly triple those of the salon that utilized Method B. If the goal was a salon that runs a little more smoothly, then Method B was the hands down winner; but did it run more smoothly because of the two-hour meeting, or because its sales numbers were 200 percent less?
David is a National Educator for Sun Evolutions, offering brands including Supre Tan, ProTan, Fiesta Sun and Hempz. He is a face-to-face sales and beauty product fanatic who gauges his success solely on his effectiveness at selling real product to real, live salon guests.
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