Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing
Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing


71%: The percentage of salon guests who walk out every day without receiving a recommendation to buy a retail product. According to the latest research by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), retail sales of beauty products are growing, but the share of retail products being sold in salons, spas and beauty stores is declining.


83%: The percentage of salon guests who never or rarely buy products from a salon. Add it all up, and we're not doing a very good job of marketing the salon experience, and only we, the professionals, can change this trend. 


Rueben Carranza, from P&G Salon Professional, made a profound statement at the July PBA Symposium" "Your guests go into the local drug store or WalMart to buy something; they come into your salon for an experience."


We all know all the reasons why we don't actively 'sell' retail to our clients. The list of excuses is endless, but they are just that – excuses. According to the PBA study, 44 percent of salon guests would buy the products you recommend if they are asked. The research also shows that 47 percent of your guests consider you as a trusted resource!


Remember the old adage, "You never know until you try." It doesn't just apply to making your kids eat their peas. Don't let profits walk out your front door because you didn't say anything.


Your marketing challenge this month is to change your culture, your philosophy of being a beauty professional, and your attitude. If all you do is "do stuff," you will fail. If you create an experience for every guest, you will thrive. And the experience must include a retail recommendation that hopefully leads to a sale.


Did you know that client retention significantly increases if your client buys her professional hair care products from you? That's money in your pocket. Retail has the potential to increase your clients' satisfaction by up to 27 percent.


Here are five Marketing You tips for this month. Since the kids are going back to school, you should too. Just saying you're going to "focus on retail" is not enough. You need an action plan.


1. Clean up your retail area. No more dust. No inventory gaps. Have a popular product or two on every station.


2. Always explain which products you are using throughout your service and why you are using them. It builds confidence with your client, and it opens the door to a recommendation at the end of every service. Keep it casual, and let your service be the focus.


3. Know your clients, but never assume you know what she or he wants or needs. For all you know, your client's next stop is WalMart to buy shampoo. Friends don't let friends buy beauty products at WalMart.


4. Treat your new guests differently from regular guests. Not only should you make a product recommendation, offer a deep discount or even give the new guest a free bottle. It's a fantastic way to show that you care and that you are product smart. Do the same for guests who have not been in for a while, or who may be experiencing a job loss in the family.


5. Don't be afraid to guarantee the product you recommend. Just set a condition that if they don't like it, they have to return it two weeks and the bottle/jar must be 3/4 of the way full. If you know your products and you let the guest experience the fragrance or color in advance, you probably will not have any returns.


Seventy-one percent? Call everyone in your salon together and ask which of the five tips above you want to focus on to increase the number of product recommendations this month. You have the best professional products in the industry. Make sure every guest knows that you are 100 percent committed to delivering an experience that lasts after they leave your chair. It deos not matter whether you cut and color hair, or perform nail or sap services. This opportunity applies to every professional. This is Marketing You.


(Republished from the August Cosmoprof PROCLUB newsletter.)



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