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Winter is a very exciting time of year in our industry! We are gearing up for the Busy Season, new products have launched and THIS year, trade events are happening again. As a lotion manufacturer, we work hard all summer long to ensure our products are ready to be shipped to salons in early October. We gather input from our training team, salon operators and distribution partners to really ensure that we offer products that have been requested by YOU.
I have been very blessed to work for a lotion manufacturer that does all product creation, testing, manufacturing, bottling and warehousing in-house. Having all the components that go into making a tanning lotion right at my fingertips has allowed me to dive head-first into the process of “making lotion.”
Whatever method you use to re-set your retail product shelves or which new products you choose, remember: education is the key to sales.
This time of year, one of the questions asked most by our salon customers is, “How and what do I phase out without devaluing the product by putting it on sale or marking it as a closeout?”
One way to approach your Busy Season product line-up is to first pick the new products you want to offer. What catches your eye? What does your distributor say will be a great seller? Take this information and compare it with your existing product SKUs. For each one you bring in, you need to remove one at the same price point. This will greatly simplify your line-up for your tanners, and make it easier to train and teach your staff to sell it.
For example, if you had two $80 tingle products, one new one and one that has been available for awhile, you are giving mixed signals to your consumers and staff.
Now, this number varies from salon to salon; but, a good quantity of SKUs to keep on your shelves is about 18-22, with a range of price points, bottle sizes and scents. A very successful salon owner-friend of mine brings in something new every month, replacing the lowest-selling product. He feels it keeps his staff excited about lotion sales.
To get your team to help you “weed out” the shelves before bringing in new items, I suggest this incentive program – one of my favorite salon sales contests. This works really well if your staff is money-motivated.
Pick a prize that will really get your employees excited about selling. On a piece of paper, create a grid with the letters T A N G O across the top, a “free space” in the middle, just like a bingo card would look – but supersize it. In the spaces, put the names of lotions you want sold. All staff can sell the same lotions, just have them initial the space when the lotion is sold (each space can have multiple initials.) Decide whether they win by completing a row, covering the board, vertical or horizontal, around the block or diagonally. The first team member to fill the spaces wins the game!
Whatever method you use to fill your retail product shelves or which new products you choose, remember: education is the key to sales. The more your staff knows about products, the more they will sell, period. Utilize your resources – your manufacturer and distributor reps. They can help you evaluate your line-up and educate you on HOW to sell new products.
Whether your top-seller launched two years ago or last month, remember: people don’t buy from businesses, people buy from people. Be educated, be confident … and don’t forget to smile!
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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