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It’s no secret: tanning products can be confusing. Labels have wording like “50X Bronzer,” “XXX Bronzer,” “Streak-free Bronzer,” “Accelerator,” “Maximizer,” “Optimizer,” “Tingle,” “Heat” and “Sizzle” – just to name a few! Especially for new staff who not only have to learn your salon’s equipment, procedures and computer system but also the ins and outs of the countless SKUs lining your display shelves. This can be daunting for even veteran staff when you bring in new products. Let’s talk about ways to simplify the process of quickly and efficiently making staff more comfortable with selling.
First and foremost, narrow your selection. I have discussed this in previous articles – I believe your shelves can have too few OR too many products. I feel that the perfect number is between 18-25. This typically includes about two or three products at each price point. I’ve visited countless salons and the aesthetics of their lotion shelves is something that stands out to me and immediately tells a story. For instance, if you have too little selection, customers get the impression that your shelves are “picked over” and what is left is what other people didn’t want, making it appear to be “low-quality.” On the flip-side, too many products or too many different lines can communicate that you don’t really stand behind what you carry and it can look more like a discount store than a high-class facility. Salon owners and managers can avoid both scenarios by making buying decisions that really reflect your clientele’s needs and demographics.
Make sure your team is comfortable and confident by constantly continuing education.
Also key is brand uniformity – I have found it easiest to learn the selling points of products that belong in the same family. Generally, manufacturers create product lines that all go together; the higher-priced bottles are generally larger and have better skin care and as price decreases, so do the bottle size and core ingredients. You are still receiving some of the benefits of the higher-priced products, but not all of them. Giving higher-priced products more selling points creates a buildable sales effect.
The easiest way to become familiar with the brands you carry is with education. Most manufacturers offer in-store and web-based product training, so that your staff can learn from the professionals how to sell the products and what ingredients make them unique and effective.
Long after the training sessions, the job falls on you to maintain the momentum of sales and continued education. I think flashcards are great for this. When I teach sales classes, I always stress the idea that for every $15 of a product’s retail cost, you need to know at least one selling point. This helps staff explain why the higher-priced products are more effective than the lower-priced products. Good information to have on a flashcard is the “basics.” Does the lotion have a bronzer? If so, how much? What is the key hydration ingredient? Also, include some skin care bullet points to memorize. For example, if a product costs $60 retail, you would want to highlight four key factors about it.
Create guidelines for staff during this learning period. I think that every day they work, they can memorize one flash card, starting with your highest-priced products and working their way down. Studying and memorizing four or five bullet points during a shift makes this task much less daunting.
In summary, simplifying the lotion selection and staff training processes helps them to be more confident when talking to tanners about the products and also makes learning about products much less intimidating. Confidence is the key to sales – make sure your team is comfortable and confident by constantly continuing education. Never stop learning, never stop growing … and happy selling!
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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