One of the salonâs most valuable sources for education, business, marketing and
product advice is the Distributor Sales Consultant (DSC).
This month Salon Today asks a salon owner, a distributor and a manufacturer:
How do you get the most from your DSC?
Premiere Beauty Supply
SALON OWNERS NEED to take advantage
of all the information and assistance that
distributors and distributor sales consultants
have in their arsenal. The best way to do that
is to plan strategic meetings at least once a
month to discuss topics that include upcoming
promotional opportunities, educational
offerings and a strategic marketing calendar.
Salon owners should use their time with the
DSC to plan three or four months out so that
there is plenty of time to implement the plans.
Salon owners are busy, and I am sure they
often are not aware of the ways in which a DSC
can help them, or they simply do not think
to ask. Owners need to clear their schedule
to make quality time for DSC meetings so
the time is not merely devoted to discussing
inventory and taking product orders. No two
salons are the same and owners should never
hesitate to say, âHereâs what we need. Can
you help make that work for us?â
The salon industry has changed dramatically
in the more than 20 years I have been
in the business. Today, most salon owners are
very savvy business people and DSCs need to
do a lot more than sell products. A good DSC
gets that and is focused on listening to his or
her customers. So, salon owners, donât be
afraid to ask questions. You may be surprised
to find out all that the DSC can do for you.
FOR ME, ITâS COMMUNICATION (and
lots of it) that is key to the successful relationship
that I enjoy with my distributor sales
consultant. Before each visit to the salon, we
talk on the phone and exchange a few e-mails
so that we have a clear and concise agenda
in place when he arrives at the salon. As an
owner, I appreciate and need my consultant to
be organized and ready to go when we meet
because I frequently have 10 other things
going on at the same time.
Itâs important to meet with the DSC at
least bi-monthly. If you establish a continuity
and frequency, the consultant is always up-to-date on the salonâs current needs and he
or she has the opportunity to get acquainted
with your staff. Our consultants are great at
understanding the pulse of our business and
the needs and personalities of the salon team
members. Since products and trends are so
fluid in this industry, I need another set of
eyes and ears to help me grow my business.
When you and your consultant are on
the same page and you view him or her as
a partner, rather than a âsales person,â you
can achieve some amazing results together.
THE BEST WAY TO MAXIMIZE the relationship
with your distributor sales consultant is
to understand how he or she can help your
business and what kind of support you can
and should expect. A good DSC should be
able to advise you on many matters and help
take some of the load off you by performing
some basic, but important, tasks:
Inventory Control: The DSC should monitor
and balance inventory so that the salon has
the proper amount of back bar and retail products
without too many or too few of any item.
New Product Introductions: The DSC
should keep the salon completely updated on
the latest product launches as well as trends
in salon services.
Review Distributor Promotions: Salons
should know when the products they carry are
available at the best price.
Plan Salon Promotions: The DSC should
be able to tell the salon owner what is working
for other salons in the area.
Retail, Merchandising and Space
Utilization: The DSC can help with positioning
products on the shelf placing displays to
create a natural traffic flow to the retail area.
Education Calendars: The DSC should be
the salonâs primary source for information, planning
and booking of in-salon, seminar or classroom
education, and for the purchase of show tickets.
Do you have a hot topic on which youâd
love to see different perspectives from the
industry? Send it to Stacey Soble at
firstname.lastname@example.org and weâll
get the dialogue started.