By Grant Miller
One of the most frustrating issues I have to deal with as a salon owner is the constant need to motivate my staff to sell. After 31 years in retail in various industries, not a lot has changed. You always have a small percentage of staff that are highly motivated to sell, a pretty large chunk that can sell occasionally, and then there are some that all they say all day is “You’re all set in room #5 for 20 minutes.”
Yes, the frustration can be enough to make you pull your hair out. The first reality is, if you are a salon owner, you got that way by being self motivated. You made the decision to take charge and you have significant skin in the game and bought or started your salon.
On the other hand, your staff is frequently working in your salon part-time while they finish school or because you offer a nice place to work without a lot of stress. So how do you motivate staff to sell better? I’m a big believer in paying for performance. I like to pay a fair wage for their time in the salon, but I really like offering a bonus program to greatly reward the people who can sell well.
A well-conceived bonus program can be the ultimate win-win for the owner and the staff. I personally like bonuses that are solely based on the performance of the individual and not the entire team or store. If I’m a high performer, I wouldn’t want some slackers messing up my bonus. The better I sell, the more I make is the attitude I’m looking for. Typically, people that like the team bonus concept are the staff members who aren’t that good at selling and are counting on the better performers to lift them up.
You also want a bonus program that focuses on the items/services that you want the staff to sell. Most customers walking into your salon are already going to want to buy some tanning. However, most customers are not planning on buying an EFT membership or lotion, so that’s what I incentivize my staff to sell.
We also track performance based on the average amount of revenue each tanning client spends. Most computer systems refer to this statistic as average revenue per customer transaction (PTA, PCA, etc.). The thing I like most about this statistic is that it’s a great equalizer. Regardless if you tan 10 or 200 clients per day, your PTA number is still an average of how much revenue you generated per client.