In my October column, I shared an epic, inspiring true story about a salon that had all the right people in all the wrong jobs and how on one extremely busy Friday night in 2010, three simple observations sent a shockwave of changes through the entire staff – everyone from bed-cleaner to owner – and set in motion a 360° turnaround taking a salon just two more lackluster sales months away from extinction to an unheard of 300 percent jump in sales just two seasons later.
This story has many inspiring sub-plots and personal details, but the one that WILL affect your salon’s financial future profoundly is that the “turnaround” had nothing to do with a radical change in the way they conducted the day-to-day activities at their salon, but had everything to do with recognizing that employees will have very different natural strengths, gifts and weaknesses.
Stop thinking in terms of, “I need to hire a certain number of cast members to handle a certain amount of traffic and jobs” and start thinking in terms of, “I have four main roles that I need filled in order to crush my competitor, and do I have the cast members to fill those roles?” Having three out of four results in failure every time … you need all four.
Use my acronym T.E.A.M. as a simple guide to the four staff roles you need to fill. Now, all you have to do is figure out which cast members will fill each role based on their strengths and weaknesses.
T. Team Leader – The visionary; could be the owner/manager; lives, breathes and sleeps tanning and communicates the company vision that inspires the rest of the staff.
E. Exceptional Busybody – The multitasking worker bee; learns quickly and can do many different jobs and loves to work hard. This role is vital because it keeps the salon organized and running smoothly.
A. Averter – The problem solver; usually the manager or owner who is not only good at all the roles but can also teach them and troubleshoot problems along the way.
M. Master Connector – Connects with everyone; can out-sell all other team members and thinks of each salon guest as a friend.
Keep your eyes open and trust your gut. Take performance notes on each cast member you employ and highlight in those notes their natural talents and weaknesses. You have one who is super organized and loves to keep things running smoothly, but guests get on her nerves when they ask too many questions. Or, you have a manager who is amazing at connecting with and selling to guests, but he has a hard time teaching new cast members how to do the same.
In the case of the most epic salon turnaround I’ve ever witnessed, that salonhad a neat-freak manager who cared more about lotion bottles being out of place than how much lotion was sold nightly, and an 18-year-old bed cleaner who was in trouble and written up all the time by the neat-freak manager for chit-chatting with every guest who walked through the door AND was the worst bed-cleaner, ever. Oh, and BTW – this bad bed-cleaner went on to be and continues to be the salon’s best salesperson, ever … she just hated cleaning beds!
50 Shades of Green $$
(Finding your “Inner Sales Goddess”)
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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