Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Imagine a client comes into your salon/day spa between visits to buy something. She goes to the front desk and asks for the product, the person at the desk gets the product and cashes the client out without asking who had recommended the product.

So the client gets her product and she’s happy, the salon/day spa makes a profit and maybe the person at the desk gets credit for making the sale, so everyone’s happy right? Whoa, hang on a moment, what if the technician, the person who had serviced the client, actually did a consultation and made a product recommendation (an offer) that the client didn’t take advantage of on the day of her visit. However, the information remained in her head and she eventually took action. Shouldn’t the stylist get credit—in one form or another? You’re “doing the right thing” as an owner/manager by taking care of your team. One way to take care of your team is by putting a system in place, a system where you find out whether or not the technician made the recommendation—to find out if the technician actually “did the right thing.” So what is the right thing they’re doing? They’re being truly professional. They’re doing what professionals do and focusing on the client by doing the consultation and making the recommendations for the service and the product. As a savvy owner you know just because the technician does the consultation and recommends products/services (makes an offer) doesn’t mean the client will automatically purchase the product or take advantage of the service on that very day. And why don’t clients purchase? For any number of reasons—already have enough, bought another brand in between visits and are too embarrassed to admit it—you know all the reasons and they’re always the client’s reasons never yours. However, the number one overriding reason is nobody asked them to purchase (the offer). In the real world, nobody in any salon/day

spa in the world has a 100% batting average, where every client, every day, purchases everything that the professional recommends. (Okay, if someone sees one client a day, maybe it’s possible; however, that’s not what we’re talking about.) Just because it is true doesn’t mean any stylist can’t have a 100% batting average in doing a consultation and making a recommendation (the offer). After all, sales are simply the outcome of certain actions. How can someone have a 100% batting average in doing a consultation and making an offer? Because that’s something they can totally control. They have it within their power; whereas, the client has the ultimate control in deciding whether to buy. In the consultation and making the offer it’s only the chatter going on in their brains that’s stopping them. If your technicians are being true professionals (just like a doctor making the diagnosis and the recommendations), every member of your team can bat 100%. And the good news is it’s totally possible because the only thing stopping them is themselves…not you, not the client, no one. The higher the batting average, the greater the likelihood a client will buy, whether on that day or later on between visits. Just imagine what would happen to your business’ sales if that occurred. Well it may not be happening 100% now; however, it’s something to work towards because the payoff for everyone—the client, the team, and the business—is huge. You can get there if you’re reinforcing the professional behavior you want by giving credit where credit is due, and give credit to the technician, if they’ve made the recommendation (because they’ve been professional and really have taken care of the client).

The Salon/Spa Owner’s Real Job is Leadership

Have you ever hired someone who had experience in a particular job only to find out they didn’t know how to do it? Every company has different systems, procedures, methods, and ways of doing things. It’s part of the company’s environment. It’s up to you, the owner, to create the environment of your company.

It’s your job to make sure everyone is clear about what they’re signing on for. It’s your job to make sure they know how things are done. And it’s your job to make sure they’re doing it. This may sound a bit tough, if you want your business to actualize your vision then you will do what it takes to make that occur, otherwise it won’t. It’s as simple as that. Let me tell you a story about accountability. The other day I was in the retail/reception area of a salon waiting for my son who was getting a haircut. Mind you, this salon is well known in the neighborhood, beautifully designed, etc. As I was waiting, one of the stylists came up to the front desk and told the other stylists who were there (there were three of them on duty) not to come and find her before seating the client, but to seat the client

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first. She asked them to offer them a beverage and then come to find her. This may or may not have been the salon protocol for handling a client, I was put off by the whole thing. This sort of behavior in public is destructive to the business. I could have been a new client who was waiting to be seen. I know people can do so much better. They can have much more pride in their work, no matter what the position. However, it all starts with leadership. Moreover, leadership starts with how you think, your point of view. Since I have been dealing with salons for nearly my entire career, I knew immediately that there was a salon system breakdown. Wanting to confirm my hunch, I casually asked one of the front desk people if she was new on the job. She said that it was her first week. Having decided to play salon sleuth, I created an opportunity to talk with another front desk person (a more senior one) and after asking her what retail would be right for me, I asked her about the incident. She sighed, then I asked her if there was a training manual that they use for new people. She really couldn’t recall. THIS IS

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ONE OF Salon Today’s TOP 200 SALONS! I hope you get where I’m taking this. These folks, as nice as they may have been, didn’t have a clue

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about customer service. More than that, I’d bet that if you asked the front desk what their job is they’d say, “to book appointments,” and technically they’re right. It’s just that booking appointments is a function of the job and not what I’d call a result statement of that position. Here’s the thing. It’s not their fault that they don’t know about customer service. It’s the owner’s fault. It is his responsibility to make sure they have systems (including training systems) in place so that everyone knows what they have to do

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and how to do it. Furthermore, I know that this company is struggling with its retail sales and with its retention. There is an old Sicilian saying which is, “the fish stinks from the head down.”