In all the consumer research that I see from various sources, one element that always strikes me is a clear disconnect between stylist and client perception. Stylists perceive they have given clients a high level of information and advice, but this is not necessarily what a client perceives they have received. There are multiple issues here.
The first is education. To become experts in our field we need to embrace continuous education. Techniques, products and equipment are constantly evolving. An openness to change and a thirst for knowledge are vital to be able to provide the up-to-date advice that customers are crying out for.
Surely if you want to run a profitable business, then everything hair-related your clients need to maintain beautiful hair should be available to them without going elsewhere?
Selling electrical and styling tools has always been a challenge for salons who lose valuable sales and profits on a regular basis.
I believe that if you need something to achieve a fabulous result on your client, then they need the same tools and products to achieve this at home. Whether that be wet products, brushes or electrical tools, surely buying from an expert makes sense to a client.
So, here is some radical thinking. If a salon owner believes in a range of wet goods, then that should be what is used and recommended throughout the salon. If a salon owner believes in a range of professional brushes, then they should be used and recommended throughout the salon. If a salon owner believes in a range of electrical tools, then they should be used and recommended throughout the salon.
Now, here is where I may upset some people. I also believe that to ensure consistency of use in these areas, the salon owner should provide these items for their team. Only then can you insist that they be used. Imagine how professional your salon could look if everyone was using the same products, brushes and electrical goods. How easy would it then be use and recommend and, heaven forbid, increase your retail sales?
One last tip we could all learn from major retailers: let people play. Always have testers for your wet products. Create a tool bar where clients can try electrical goods themselves and you can give them hands on, practical advice on how to achieve great results.
Imagine having a salon that was rent free because the profits from your retail sales paid your rent. Happy days!
Ken West is director of business experts 3•6•5
– email him on KenW@365Hair.com