Are today's cost-conscious consumers giving high-end brands the cold shoulder? When it comes to the salon environment, top retailers say, "No!" and they offer up these 12 proven strategies to power sales in any economy.

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7. Throw In the Treatment

12 Ways to Get High-End Sales (Part 2)
A mockup of the L'espace Phyto shows what can be done in a mere 150-feet of space. Anthony Segretto's flagship Zazu Salon in Chicago is one of the first salons to implement the concept.

Owners stress that treatment-based prestige lines practically sell themselves, and if you truly believe in the power of the brand, prove it to your clients by offering a complimentary sample.
At Zazu Salons, Segretto says their Phyto representatives come in about once a month and offer complimentary consultations and treatments to the salon's VIP clients. "There are three different types of treatments that address certain hair issues, and they use an interactive Phyto Scope to magnify the hair and scalp with a screen that shows the magnification. In the best way, it creates a spectacle in the salon and gets clients talking," he says. "For the treatments, the reps use miniature versions of the treatment, but most clients end up purchasing the full-size product to take home."
Segretto has followed that lead by weaving in treatments and value-added extras to some of his high-end services, such as his $195 Chia Premium Color Service.
"For clients who are getting chemical services, they need the treatment to preserve the integrity of the hair," adds Todd. "I believe it so strongly one of my very first salon blogs apologized to clients if their service provider didn't offer a treatment. When clients do get treatments, they want the related retail products that help preserve those benefits. As a result, our challenge has been keeping Rene Furterer products on the shelf."

8. Create the Experience
The salon is a natural retail environment, stresses Holland, because unlike other retail revenues, your clients are naturally experiencing the products throughout the services-cleansers and conditioners at the backbar and styling aids and tools at the station. "If they are having a good experience with the product, it's much easier to sell," says Holland.

"But you have to think about creating an experience for all the products you sell," adds Chisholm. "For example if you sell candles, are you burning one so clients can enjoy the scent?"
Segretto is taking experience-building to the next dimension this month as his flagship salon implements one of the first L'espace Phyto concepts.
"It'll be about 200-square-feet of beautifully branded space-a virtual store within a store. The space will contain a Phyto Scope and an area to process treatments, which will free up our stations for other services. And the Phyto representative or the technician will be able to custom-blend products to meet a client's specific hair care needs," says Segretto.

9. Inspirational Education

12 Ways to Get High-End Sales (Part 2)
At the Oribe Gathering in New York, owners met to share best practices on philanthropy, conducting photo shoots and managing multiple locations. Here, Oribe (center) is surrounded by owners from around the country.

There's nothing like inspiring education to rally the troops and give them fresh techniques and ideas. Miller, fresh from an Oribe gathering in New York, is still raving about its impact on staff.
"The company encouraged salon owners to bring their artistic directors, and the first day Oribe Canales, who is a rock star in his own right, did demos on live models. First, he used an overhead projector and he would sketch his planned design for each model, discussing his inspiration and points of reference," explained Miller. "He's done something like 3,500 magazine covers, and he'd do these amazing hair styles and would talk about how they use fans at magazine shoots," explains Miller.

"The next day, we entered this huge room and they had rows of stations and about 200 models come in. Oribe invited the aspiring artistic directors to sketch what they wanted to do and cut their models' wigs. The music was cranked up, Oribe was cheering everyone on, and then the stylists and models did a fashion show," says Miller. "They were so empowered by the experience."

Encourage your service providers to share their educational experiences with their clients. Not only is the excitement and enthusiasm contagious, it continues to position your staff members as true professionals.

10. The Trunk Show
In the fashion world, trunk shows give emerging designers direct interaction with clients and instant sales, but the concept can work well for beauty products too, advises Holland. "This also is a great way to build some sales enthusiasm and ascertain your clients' interest in a new line, before taking on additional inventory."

"At any event, I'd suggest sending off clients with samples and some incentive to come back and purchase product," he says. "Or, offer them a product value the evening of the event. If there isn't some urgency built into it, consumers put it off."

11. The VIP Event
Draw in clients with valuable information, and send them home with bags full of product. "Look for a common need among clients and turn it into an educational event, and let your staff members serve as the educators," says Chisholm.
Some of Chisholm's ideas: Organize a Bring Your Own Blowdryer event and offer instruction on how to do a great blowout. Do a holiday event and show clients three simple updos they can manage themselves for the party season. Take advantage of the down economy, and host an event that offers clients tips on protecting their hair color investment.
Scott Miller's clients thrive on the educational event and he says his salons average about one a month. "We see our salons as a laboratory and ourselves as the pioneer-I'd guess we do about eight make-up and a couple of hair events each year," he says.

12. Explore Internet Sales
While many mainstream manufacturers will discourage salons and spas from selling their stock over the internet, some prestige brands are more lenient. For the past six months, Segretto has offered internet sales with growing success. "In the past few months, we've processed more than 600 orders," he reports. "Our products aren't discounted on the internet-prices are the same as in the salon. But we're offering availability on some prestige products that are difficult for some consumers to find. And, sales aren't just to our own clients-we've been selling to customers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota from our Chicago-based business." 

Clip-and-Save Guide: High-End Hair Care
Carrying a prestige brand can elevate your salon in your marketplace and give you a point of difference. Download this Clip-and-Save Guide to help you compare some high-end options side by side.

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