Are today’s cost-conscious consumers giving high-end brands the cold shoulder? When it comes to the salon environment, top retailers say, “No!” and they offer up these 12 proven strategies to power sales in any economy.

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7. Throw In the Treatment

12 Ways to Get High-End Sales (Part 2)
A mockup of the L’espace Phyto shows what can be done in a mere 150-feet of space. Anthony Segretto’s flagship Zazu Salon in Chicago is one of the first salons to implement the concept.

Owners stress that treatment-based prestige lines practically sell
themselves, and if you truly believe in the power of the brand, prove
it to your clients by offering a complimentary sample.


At Zazu Salons, Segretto says their Phyto representatives come in about
once a month and offer complimentary consultations and treatments to
the salon’s VIP clients. “There are three different types of treatments
that address certain hair issues, and they use an interactive Phyto
Scope to magnify the hair and scalp with a screen that shows the
magnification. In the best way, it creates a spectacle in the salon and
gets clients talking,” he says. “For the treatments, the reps use
miniature versions of the treatment, but most clients end up purchasing
the full-size product to take home.”

Segretto has followed that lead by weaving in treatments and
value-added extras to some of his high-end services, such as his $195
Chia Premium Color Service.


“For clients who are getting chemical services, they need the treatment
to preserve the integrity of the hair,” adds Todd. “I believe it so
strongly one of my very first salon blogs apologized to clients if
their service provider didn’t offer a treatment. When clients do get
treatments, they want the related retail products that help preserve
those benefits. As a result, our challenge has been keeping Rene
Furterer products on the shelf.”

8. Create the Experience

The salon is a natural retail environment, stresses Holland, because
unlike other retail revenues, your clients are naturally experiencing
the products throughout the services—cleansers and conditioners at the
backbar and styling aids and tools at the station. “If they are having
a good experience with the product, it’s much easier to sell,” says

“But you have to think about creating an experience for all the
products you sell,” adds Chisholm. “For example if you sell candles,
are you burning one so clients can enjoy the scent?”


Segretto is taking experience-building to the next dimension this month
as his flagship salon implements one of the first L’espace Phyto


“It’ll be about 200-square-feet of beautifully branded space—a virtual
store within a store. The space will contain a Phyto Scope and an area
to process treatments, which will free up our stations for other
services. And the Phyto representative or the technician will be able
to custom-blend products to meet a client’s specific hair care needs,”
says Segretto.

9. Inspirational Education

12 Ways to Get High-End Sales (Part 2)
At the Oribe Gathering in New York, owners met to share best practices on philanthropy, conducting photo shoots and managing multiple locations. Here, Oribe (center) is surrounded by owners from around the country.

There’s nothing like inspiring education to rally the troops and give
them fresh techniques and ideas. Miller, fresh from an Oribe gathering
in New York, is still raving about its impact on staff.


“The company encouraged salon owners to bring their artistic directors,
and the first day Oribe Canales, who is a rock star in his own right,
did demos on live models. First, he used an overhead projector and he
would sketch his planned design for each model, discussing his
inspiration and points of reference,” explained Miller. “He’s done
something like 3,500 magazine covers, and he’d do these amazing hair
styles and would talk about how they use fans at magazine shoots,”
explains Miller.

“The next day, we entered this huge room and they had rows of stations
and about 200 models come in. Oribe invited the aspiring artistic
directors to sketch what they wanted to do and cut their models’ wigs.
The music was cranked up, Oribe was cheering everyone on, and then the
stylists and models did a fashion show,” says Miller. “They were so
empowered by the experience.”

Encourage your service providers to share their educational experiences
with their clients. Not only is the excitement and enthusiasm
contagious, it continues to position your staff members as true

10. The Trunk Show

In the fashion world, trunk shows give emerging designers direct
interaction with clients and instant sales, but the concept can work
well for beauty products too, advises Holland. “This also is a great
way to build some sales enthusiasm and ascertain your clients’ interest
in a new line, before taking on additional inventory.”

“At any event, I’d suggest sending off clients with samples and some
incentive to come back and purchase product,” he says. “Or, offer them
a product value the evening of the event. If there isn’t some urgency
built into it, consumers put it off.”

11. The VIP Event

Draw in clients with valuable information, and send them home with bags
full of product. “Look for a common need among clients and turn it into
an educational event, and let your staff members serve as the
educators,” says Chisholm.


Some of Chisholm’s ideas: Organize a Bring Your Own Blowdryer event and
offer instruction on how to do a great blowout. Do a holiday event and
show clients three simple updos they can manage themselves for the
party season. Take advantage of the down economy, and host an event
that offers clients tips on protecting their hair color investment.


Scott Miller’s clients thrive on the educational event and he says his
salons average about one a month. “We see our salons as a laboratory
and ourselves as the pioneer—I’d guess we do about eight make-up and a
couple of hair events each year,” he says.

12. Explore Internet Sales

While many mainstream manufacturers will discourage salons and spas
from selling their stock over the internet, some prestige brands are
more lenient. For the past six months, Segretto has offered internet
sales with growing success. “In the past few months, we’ve processed
more than 600 orders,” he reports. “Our products aren’t discounted on
the internet—prices are the same as in the salon. But we’re offering
availability on some prestige products that are difficult for some
consumers to find. And, sales aren’t just to our own clients—we’ve been
selling to customers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota from our
Chicago-based business.” 

Clip-and-Save Guide: High-End Hair Care

Carrying a prestige brand can elevate your salon in your marketplace
and give you a point of difference. Download this Clip-and-Save Guide to help you
compare some high-end options side by side.