If you want to increase retail sales, stop “selling” retail.
Have you ever been asked “would you like to buy some product today?” by a staff member at a salon or spa? If you answered yes, then you know this question is an enormous turn-off. It is also a quick and easy “Yes-No” question that the customer feels very comfortable saying “No” to. This is not the question you want your staff tossing around haphazardly at your customers. So, what do you do or say in order to increase the amount of retail per ticket?
Your staff consists of therapists, stylists, colorists and other “artists,” not used-car salesmen. Your customers trust the artists and professionals that work on them to be experts in their field and knowledgeable about the products they use, but are turned off by a commercial salesman pitch that is not organic or authentic. To address this problem, your staff needs to behave like the artists and professionals they are by “prescribing product” instead of “selling it.”
When a customer is finished in the stylist’s chair, they look and feel great. This is an opportunity for your artist to prescribe product by saying: “I want your hair to look as good as possible for as long as possible, so don’t leave without this product!” This is not a question with a “no” option, but rather an imperative command that says: “I worked really hard on your hair to make you look terrific, so don’t mess up my artwork by putting something other than (this) into it.”
The artist may even want to follow the customer up to the front desk and address the receptionist right in front of their customer, “don’t let her leave without this, she needs it.” This leaves the customer with the option of paying for the product or ignoring their artist’s instructions, increasing the odds of a product sale dramatically. For example, when your doctor says: “If you want to feel better, fill this prescription and take two each day… etc.,” you rely on your doctor’s expertise and fill your prescription. In much the same way, when your staff starts “prescribing” product instead of selling it you will notice that your customers are more receptive and less likely to say no, resulting in increased retail sales.
Not only are customers ready to be instructed by artists that they trust with their appearance, but the artists themselves are empowered by behaving like professionals, not salespeople. Although you must determine what approach works best in your environment and what statements are best for your staff to make, you will find that your staff will happily buy into this new method. Prescribing product makes your staff more retail sales commission, your business more retail sales income, and your customers use the products that are best for them.
VP Sales and Marketing
ProSolutions Software, Inc.