Four top North American salons that partner with P&G Salon Professional share tips on how they are increasing salon color sales in today's economy.
Sonya & Christopher Dove
Listen in to Recovery Roadmap, a series of podcasts sponsored by P&G Professional to help salons thrive in tough economic times. In this first edition, Stacey Soble interviews Sonya Dove, Wella creative director and the co-owner of the Doves Studio in Santa Monica, California.
"We call it up-selling—building our color sales with the color clients we have already," explains Christoper Dove, co-owner of The Doves Studio in Santa Monica, California. "We encourage add-on services to clients who are already buying color services. Your current color clients are already sold on the benefits of hair color. They are the best people to target."
One add-on service Dove recommends is Touch of Gloss, a new shine service from Wella Professionals Color Touch that provides long-lasting, shampoo resistant shine. Available in a range of subtle colors, Touch of Gloss is "a great in-between appointment service for all of my color clients to refresh both shine and color," Dove continues. "I use the Transparent tone for my highlighting clients."
Clients are stretching time between appointments as much as two-three weeks, resulting in a decrease in annual revenues by as much as 20 percent. Retaining client loyalty, and increasing frequency of visit in these tough times, is the best way to put revenue—and profit—back on track.
"We offer a special discount if clients rebook with a friend or book their next appointment before they leave the salon. This ensures our stylists' books are full," says Lois Christie, owner of Christie & Co. Salon and Spa in Bayside, New York.
To convert color-shy new users who are unwilling to make the financial or time commitment of permanent color, Dove recommends trying a demi-permanent color service like Wella Touch of Nature from Wella Professionals Color Touch.
"In our salons, receptionists cross-promote color-to-style and style-to-color," says Dan Johnson, of Mario Tricoci Salons and Day Spas in Chicago, Illinois. "When a guest calls to book future appointments, the call agents offer a color consultation. If a guest is booking a color service, they offer to have the client book a cut, style and blowdry to complete her look.
Johnson also suggests keeping compelling visuals and marketing tools, like the Wella Professionals Color Touch Look Book and salon posters, in the reception area to inspire clients. If clients seem interested but unsure, he'll recommend a low-risk service like Touch of Vibrancy from Wella Professionals Color Touch. "With fashion-oriented tones, Touch of Vibrancy allows new clients to experiment with color," says Johnson. "They appreciate the freedom and love the benefits of multi-dimensional color and shine."
"Clients sometimes fear the maintenance of color services," says Dove. "They think they will have to be in the salon every two-three weeks. This is where Touch of Nature is perfect because it doesn't leave a demarcation line and it gives perfectly natural-looking color and luminous shine."
Color clients are emotionally and financially invested in their hair and they count on the salon to tell them how to maintain the look of fresh color. Build your retail sales by taking the time to explain the importance of home care. Show your color client the products she needs, like Sebastian Penetraitt Shampoo and Conditioner, to keep her hair strong and guard it from the stress caused by chemical treatments.
"You actually add value to a client's service by recommending take-home products that improve the quality of the hair," according to Manhattan salon owner Eva Scrivo.
Scrivo also recommends creating a retail environment that mirrors your high-potential client, as clients are more likely to feel comfortable and buy in a salon that reinforces her self-image.
Everyone is curious about haircolor, so it is an easy topic to bring up with your clients. Don't miss the opportunity to educate them about color.
"Clients come into the salon for a conversation and we always talk about color," Dove said. "We talk permanent color, paint-on lights and highlights. Color is part of our conversation from the moment clients come into the salon."
Click here for the P&G Salon Professional website to sign up for emails that will keep you on top of your business game. If you need a crash course in business, there's none better than Maximize Your Business at The Studios and other locations nationwide. Ask your P&G Salon Professional sales representative about local, regional and national opportunities for education you might take advantage of during slow times at the salon.