By Scott Nichols, salon GM and consultant
We have found that there is no such thing as a secret promotion or sale that is going to increase your sales every day of the year. Sure, you might run a promotion that will increase your sales for the length of it, but as soon as that promotion ends your sales go right back down. So what do we do? We run another promotion and then another and another. Pretty soon, you’ve became a discount tanning salon where customers will only buy when there is a special promotion.
There is no secret to increasing sales. It’s going to take hard work and a great staff. We know many of you reading this right now are willing to put the hard work in, but how do we make our current staff great?
We want to take you through a five step program that has been successful. S.A.L.E.S is an acronym that has been used in the past that gives a great outline for managers and employees to follow, with the goal of all employees raising their sales when a promotion is running or not running.
S – Swing Door Open
This is a very important part of the sales process! As soon as your front door opens, and a customer walks into your lobby, the employee behind the desk must give their undivided attention to the customer. If the employee does not give the attention needed, we already start off on the wrong foot. The negative start can be difficult to make up.
A – Ask Questions
“Last name?” “First name?” These are not the questions you want to ask your customer. Imagine greeting your customer by asking “last name,” then trying to promote any type of special you might be offering. The questions need to be about how the customer is doing, and most importantly, the reason for their tanning visit. Make sure you still ask these questions during every visit. Yesterday, the customer might be tanning for vacation, but today, the customer might be tanning because they might have a job interview. By asking these questions, you can then start to create a tanning plan for the customer that will make sense.
L – Listen
Once you have asked your question, make sure you let the customer answer. Give the customer your undivided attention. This means you make eye contact with the customer and stop typing. Wait until they’ve completed their thought and don’t interrupt. Show the customer you care, and the best way to do that is by listening to them.
E – Educate
Above, we talked about promotions and sales, but to make a sale happen, employees should be educating customers on the importance of buying into the promotions. We believe a promotion should only be brought in at the end of a sale to help close the deal. A customer is coming in to your salon and looking to get the best tanning experience possible – not the best promotion possible. Our job as owners, managers and employees is to teach the customer the importance of the products and services we sell that will fit their needs. Education is a must and it will effectively work when done properly.
S – Swing Door Closing
If you have accomplished all of these steps, and you have sold a package, membership, sunless tan or lotion to the customer, it’s vital to ask them about their experience with it afterward. Answer any concerns or questions they may have with a positive attitude. Finally, when they are all set to leave, make sure you close by thanking the customer and wishing them a nice day.
These are five steps that will help increase your sales all year long, but it will take continuous training to ensure success. Each step is vital, and each employee may excel or struggle at different areas, but it’s your job as the owner or manager to ensure each step is properly executed.