Staff Training and Motivation
Even when we’re talking about technology and hands-free operation, so much of success in the salon still depends upon personal interaction. Software companies address this by building staff motivation right into their systems.
“You can set up commission programs to motivate your staff to sell more,” comments Mace. “For example, you can have a stylist receive a five-percent commission if she sells one product per day and a seven-percent commission if she sells two products a day.”
Pagliaro recommends setting retail goals both for the entire business and for each staffer. “Track your goals weekly, not monthly,” he advises. “If you track monthly, you have less opportunity to make changes if necessary. Tracking weekly lets staffers know they need to do better next week. We’ve seen that this works.”
Goal setting, however, can take place just once a year. “Fill in 19 numbers in our software, and that will give you a daily target for both service and retail for the year,” Pagliaro explains. “But in all cases, make sure their retail performance is frequently discussed.”
It’s the old saying, “What gets measured gets done,” agrees Renaud. “Our software tracks how many clients the stylist saw, how many of those clients were recommended retail products and then how many of the recommended clients had those sales close,” Renaud says. “This allows your staff training to be very targeted.”
Reavis suggests programming your goal-setting in units rather than dollar amounts. “Stylists can visualize bottles,” she notes. “Percentages and ratios are the worst way to introduce the concept; you can develop that culture, but it takes time. At the beginning, have your staff aim that for every two hair cuts they do, they will sell one bottle. Now they’re applying retail to something they can relate to.”
Leadership always counts in the salon industry, and so it is with retail: It’s probably more critical for the owner to master the retail software system than for anyone else on staff. Notes Scudder, “A ‘power user’ still uses only 60 percent of our system.”
And before you know it, there will be more to learn. New developments are surfacing all the time to drive business growth. Many are salon adaptations of advancements that have shown success in other retail venues.
“As online booking increases, I can see retail being more available online,” forecasts Mace. “The client could order the products at the time of booking so that everything is ready when she checks out.”