"Everything I do is to help drive sales," said Carol Phillips, as she introduced herself at the 2013 Millennium Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. And, Phillips, a former salon and spa owner and the founder of Beautee Smarts, did just that in an hour-long breakout session which was jam-packed with strategies, tips and inspiration.

The sales guru pointed out six areas where she believes most beauty businesses are missing the mark in sales:

Lack of Focus: What does the shoper see when they walk in your front door? "Take out your phone and take a picture as you walk in your salon," she advised. "Is there a clear focus, clear message, a clear retail department?" She encouraged attendees to find their flavor of their business, then determine whether their space needed a makeover. 

Lack of Shopping Excitement: On average, a client needs to see a promotion an average of five times, advised Phillips.  "And the key place to put signage is in the retail area, at the station, in the treatment room, in the relaxation area and at check out." Phillips stressed that displays need to rotated every 4-6 weeks or shoppers and staff develop blinders. "And every time a client comes in your salon, you need to give them a reason to buy today, whether it's a seasonal special, a problem-solving solution or a can't-miss promotion."

Lack of Ownership or Leadership: Next, Phillips challenged owners on whether they made time to manage, plan, organize and think about their businesses. She recommended that owners book an extra day following the next educational event they attend just so they can take what they learned and turn it into an action plan. "You always have to ask yourself if are you doing the most productive thing for your business, or are you just being busy?" she said.

Lack of Branding: Clients need to see your brand outside your salon and as soon as they walk in the door. "And it should be on the wall behind the front desk where they see when when they make out their checks," she said. Phillips asked owners if they have a signature smell, then challenged them to consider how their branding appears in their shopping center or in their community. "Your brand and message should answer two questions for anyone seeing it--'So what?' and 'Why you?'"

Lack of Customer Contact: When you put a sales message out into the world, you have to cut through the clutter, and you can do that by providing valuable content to your customers, such as tips, technique and beauty advice. "You need to become the go-to experts for your clients," said Phillips.

Lack of Staff Training: Finally, Phillips advised owners that, especially the younger generations, they need to more than offer product knowledge. "You also have to teach people skills like making eye contact and how to shake hands," says Phillips. "And, you need to give staff selling skills, ongoing retail training and you need to make training fun."