Q. Do retail contests encourage staff to sell and clients to buy?
A. Yes, but only when structured properly, says Ogle. Be careful what individual goals you are rewarding, or the same people end up winning each time and everyone else gives up. Ogle structures competitions to include an overall team goal and reward with individual goals and rewards. “We track retail dollar per ticket for everyone here, and often will reward a growth in percentage of retail dollar per ticket. But you have to realize it’s much harder for someone averaging $20 in retail per ticket to double their percentage as it is for someone whose averaging $7—so you have to mix up your rewards.”
During his last contest, Ogle organized a three-month competition. For the team reward, the salon rented out a party barge and entertainment for a Sunday afternoon event on a local lake.
“When the salon reached the goal, everyone shared in the reward, but staff members who reached individual goals got to invite a friend along.”
Ogle stresses for these competitions to work, results must be posted daily, “as much as humanly possible.” For this recent promotion, his staff created a chart with a boat as the goal, and as products were sold, the water level on the chart rose toward the boat. “Our staff were so excited, they actually would call on their days off to see how we were doing,” he laughs.
Valenzuela recommends pulsing promotions—alternating contests that reward service providers every eight weeks with contests that reward clients.
“For example, during an eight-week period, every time a stylist sells a dozen of a promotional product her name goes into a hat for a prize drawing that’s determined by your budget. Then, for the next eight weeks, every client who purchases two products gets to enter in a chance to win a spa gift card or whatever you want to give. The pulse keeps the momentum of the motivation going by switching it up.”
Valenzuela believes in the “chance to win” contests, because like Ogle, she stresses that competitions can’t simply reward those who sell or buy the most. “If they do, in the end, the only people competing are those in the top two spots—everyone else simply gives up.”
Q. How can I encourage my staff providers to share their successful retail strategies?
A. Julie Shepperly, director of education, consulting and training at Milady, suggests the involve-revolve strategy: get the team involved in product knowledge, then have meetings revolve around teams educating one another on why they love a certain product.