The Process-Focused Leader
Builds structure; needs to accommodate feelings.
Owner of three Ihloff Salons, in the
Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.
SMALL TALK was anathema to Marilyn Ihloff, until she realized it got more attention than a diatribe on numbers. That was 10 years ago, just before she discovered the 4MAT system though her association with O'Neill-Blackwell and followed through with inyu training and workshops.
Marilyn Ihloff (left) and staffer Kate Cottrill enlisted a little help from American Airlines to ship hair clippings to the Gulf Coast for free. "Now, I connect with more than data," says Ihloff.
"I always looked at numbers and went right into the what; I was missing the why," recalls Ihloff. "At meetings, there was too much reading of agenda and providing data; the staff's eyes were glazing over. I had to get in touch with my inner Type One-ness!"
To build her "stretches," Ihloff now starts with the "whys" and invites creative input. She says that the biggest payoff is in happy, well-attended staff meetings.
"To make the meetings interesting to everyone, we revamped them with music, slide shows and creative input," says Ihloff. "Three people make a presentation to a specifi c department, then we have a break-out session, during which the creative staffers can share the hows and the what ifs. Our meetings are limited to two hours; negatives are not allowed!"
Ihloff also struggled to get staffers to recommend retail. Her salons were averaging $9 per ticket, yet she knew that nearly 80 percent of consumers buy one new hair product within 24 hours of a salon visit. But, how to stop those eyes from glazing over? Here's her Type 2 list for elevating her salons' average retail ticket to $15 in about 20 months.
1. Set a benchmark. Ihloff used Aveda's $12.50 per ticket.
2. Explain the why. Retaining guests is the reason stylists are in the business. Don't ask them to sell; ask them to educate, demonstrate and recommend home-care programs, so that they can retain guests.
3. Demonstrate, provide dialogue, coach and use role-playing with feedback. Encourage employees to personalize the dialogue. Practice roleplaying until everyone feels comfortable. Make it fun and encourage employees to "fire up their Type Four-ness," as Ihloff says. At her salons, the product recommendations were then integrated into a comprehensive "Every Guest, Every Time," system, which includes the greeting, service-delivery imperatives, placing three products in a basket, walking guests to the desk, pre-booking and using referral cards.
4. Track and measure results. "To make this happen, you need a management team with representatives from all four Types," says Ihloff. "Working together makes us all more balanced individuals."
In the same series:
What's Your Leadership Style?
The People-Focused Leader
The Process-Focused Leader
The Productivity-Focused Leader
The Possibility-Focused Leader
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