September 2008

Tips To Up Your Retail Sales

By Tiffany Neumann

As a salon owner or manager, you may not realize you are missing thousands of dollars in professional retail product sales every month. Many salons are not familiar with the best techniques to successfully stock and sell retail products.

With these helpful tips, you and your salon will be able to effectively turn around your retail sales.

You may be wondering why strong retail sales are critical to a salon’s success.

Let’s put it literally. To earn $100 from a haircolor treatment, you must provide a commissioned or salaried employee, a station for the hairstylist to work at, working equipment and supplies. You must also be ready to cover dozens of other related expenses such as liability and disability insurance, laundry, maintenance and other necessities.

On the other hand, $100 of retail products occupy only a tiny space, they always show up for work, they require no supervision and they resell themselves.

How is this possible? With a little extra marketing help around the salon, you could be making more money from the back to school rush than you did all year.

Following are a few tips to get you started.

Point-of-Purchase Materials

These devices are colorful, bright graphics designed to encourage a purchase decision, direct attention and improve message retention. Make sure to have them professionally printed. Include your logo with a photograph of the service or product you are featuring. Avoid hand-made signs.

There are many different types of materials you could use:

Counter Cards: This display is a reasonably priced and eye-catching point-of-purchase sign that grabs your client’s attention. Many 8.5 by 11 inch signs can be displayed next to the register in a clear plastic frame. Counter cards help your clients find what they are looking for. They will help to inspire impulse sales for both products and services. They are also ideal for promotional and seasonal sales.

Service Menu Boards: These boards make great displays in that they make it easier for your clients to select services or products. They clearly inform your clients of service and product prices. Sometimes when you don’t display prices, clients may shy away from asking about them. By placing pricing beside all services, you will have a much better chance of getting a sale.

Mirror Cards: You may want to place a series of small colorful signs at each hair salon station or nail station to promote your twice-monthly specials or to cross market other services.

Wall and Ceiling Posters: Consider large posters and window banners. Once printed on plastic or heavy cardboard, these can hang from your walls or ceiling. These are great to promote gift certificates, makeovers and any new service.

Double Up Your Hairstylists

Using and explaining the benefits of your professional retail products during any salon hair appointment will help increase your income and profitability.

For instance, you can use a hair design accessory such as the Whirl-a-Style hair design device for both salon services as well as an extra retail product. During each back-to-school hair appointment, hairstylists could teach girls how to create a fun new look with a half-up chignon while also selling the tool. You could also have feathered or colored hair extensions to create a funky look while promoting back to school.

Clients you personally help and educate, while being careful not pressure them with product assistance, are much more satisfied, spend more money per visit and will return more often. So remember not to hard sell retail products from your styling chair. It is not necessary. Instead, teach your clients how to use your appliances, products and tools as well as the special benefits of each, so they will want to buy them. Most clients like to buy what they want, but hate to be sold what they don’t want.

If the idea of spending money to make money isn’t appealing, you may need to consider what you could be missing. Keith West-Harrison, CEO of Spa Enrichment Strategies, a spa and salon consulting firm, explained the cost of what you are missing by saying, “Think about it. If you miss just $100 in sales per day, and most salons miss far more than that, this quickly adds up to more than $2,000 per month and more than $24,000 annually. For the average salon, that’s about two to four product sales per day. This is a tiny increase for even a single hairstylist. Imagine if your sales increased by $400 daily. That would bring in over an additional $100,000 in total salon sales income. Is this money you can afford to ignore? In other words, you’ve been paying to not have a consulting team help you develop business growth.”

Don’t be a salon owner or manager that doesn’t realize they are missing thousands of dollars in professional retail product sales each month.

Tiffany A. Neumann is a Marketing Coordinator at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, visit www.MktgSols.com, call 703-359-6000 or email MktgSols@MktgSols.com.

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September 2008