Why a fear of success could be stopping you from increasing profits in the salon ten-fold.
We all have fears. Some of us have a fear of spiders, some a fear of germs, and some of us, for some reason – especially in the beauty industry – have a fear of heights…not the looking down from the penthouse patio kind of heights. The “What if no one buys it?” fear of heights.
I manage a retail shop/salon that is not a franchise. We are locally owned and operated. In our shop we carry over 25 professional hair care lines…which, by the way, is not the norm. Most salons retail one or two lines…well, the product is on their shelves. Unfortunately, not much selling is taking place. For some unknown reason, most stylists have no problem charging $150 for a color service but cannot ask their client if they need any product for at home.
Everyday, I mean EVERYDAY, I have at least five women come into my shop who have just left their stylist’s chair at another salon, to buy product from me. Four out of the five said women, when asked what product their stylist used, have no idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the business and am more than happy to help anyone keep their hair looking great. What I cannot begin to fathom is why their stylist would not want to help their client with their new cut, and why wouldn’t the stylist want the client to protect their investment? Yeah – I said investment. People work hard for their money and $150 is an investment. More importantly clients are our billboards, our free advertising. Why the hell wouldn’t the stylist want their walking portrait to be as beautiful as possible?
What I have come to realize over the years in my beloved industry is this: most salon owners and stylists are afraid. They are afraid to invest in themselves and in their salons. Afraid that the customer won’t buy the product and they will lose money. Guess what sunshine? You can’t sell what isn’t there. What salon owners and stylists should be fearing is not that their clients won’t buy the retail they bring in; they should fear their clients not returning because of the lack of customer service.
Getting your client an espresso and a magazine while their color is processing won’t always be enough. Without explaining the importance of using professional salon products at home and how to use them, sooner or later your client is going to start thinking it is you that is ruining their hair because they can never get their hair to look as good as the day it was done. More often than not, people will start feeling they were played the fool. Trust me, I hear it everyday. Think about it: when you bought your cell phone the salesperson didn’t hand it over to you and say, “Thanks again! Best of luck!” We shouldn’t do that to our clients or customers.
Before you start to think “If my client can make their hair look as good at home they won’t come back” or “No one will buy shampoo from me!” – give your head a shake and calm down. Of course they will come back. They need you to help with the cut and the color, and of course they will buy shampoo from you. They spend $150 for you. They trust you with their hair; I am sure they will trust your advice about shampoo.
What will begin to happen is you will find they come back on a regular basis and may even bring you more clientele…because you have given them 100% of your time and attention, you have given them the best form of customer service. You are helping them look good, feel good, and protect their most important investment: themselves. Not so scary now, is it?
Sara Stancu is the manager of a salon and retail shop, and has over 20 years of experience in customer service and sales. She blogs regularly as “That girl in the red coat” with the aim of educating and enlightening clients, stylists and salon owners. Her plain and simple approach to telling it like it is when it comes to all things salon-related comes from her experience as a customer and a decade of working in the beauty industry. She also used to be that woman who could not stand her hair (but now it is fabulous).