Retailing can be a scary proposition for many salon/spa professionals and especially for students. As we all know, retailing and making product recommendations is a big part of our job as salon/spa professionals. The reality is many of us aren’t retail gurus. Retailing is a learned skillset. Our job as educators is to teach students how to make product recommendations and how to service their customers. However, the truth of the matter is that retailing is even scary for many educators. This often causes an issue, which I like to refer to as the trickle-down effect. The trickle-down effect occurs when educators aren’t comfortable and confident with making product recommendations themselves causing their students to follow in their footprints.
I get it, perhaps you’re not a retail guru and that’s ok, you don’t have to be! The first thing that must happen is a paradigm shift. We need to get out of the mindset that retailing is all about selling. It’s quite the opposite actually, retailing is simply performing another service to the client. To help shift your paradigm and take the fear out of retailing, think about how you teach your students to perform a technical service. You teach them a system for proper execution, right? Students then practice these systems in a safe environment. Retailing is no different. To take the fear out of retailing we simply have to teach students an effective retail system and give them the opportunity to practice and learn how to execute the system in a safe environment.
Take the fear out of retailing by following this retail system:
Step 1:Introduce take home care products before the service. During the client needs assessment, simply inquire about what products your client is currently using at home and whether or not they are satisfied with the results. This part of the process is simply fact finding.
Step 2: Educate during the service. Every time a student picks up a product, they simply educate the client about the product in use. Educate the client on what the product is, why you are using it and how they can use it at home. It’s that simple!
Step 3: The Close. The last step is asking for the sale. It’s time to make your recommendations. Review the products that were used during the service. You can then say, “These are the products I’ve recommended for you. What would you like to get started with today?”
Now that you have a retail system, the next step is to make certain that students have a safe environment in which to practice this system. I suggest that you allow students to role-play to make it fun and light-hearted. Once students can comfortably communicate and execute these 3 steps with fellow classmates, they can then advance and continue to practice their retailing system in the student salon. After all, practice makes perfect!
Patti Wanamaker brings 21 years of experience to the Milady team, where she currently serves as an Academic Training Specialist. Her intimate understanding of the salon, school, and beauty industry comes from 18 years of hands-on experience as a multi-faceted training specialist, including 8 years of salon and spa ownership of 3 salons with annual sales of $5 million. Her experience in all 3 areas of our industry allows her to think outside the box and develop innovative trainings that not only inspire, but empower educators/trainers to create the most effective learning environments for their students.