It was Friday night and we were going out to dinner with some friends. You know the situation, special occasion and you have set a bit of a budget in your mind just so things don’t get out of hand. The restaurant was great, obviously a place for people who appreciate good quality and not overly pretentious so you felt like you had to wear designer clothes to gain entry.
The evening started with drinks at the bar before we were escorted to our table and introduced to our waiter. We were shown the menus; both the food and drinks, then left to ponder our choices for the evening. So far the service was impeccable. We browsed the menu, had a ‘sticky beak’ at everyone else’s food, got a bit overwhelmed on how to choose from this amazing selection then got chatting again, soon losing track of time – in stepped our waiter.
In a matter of minutes he captivated our attention, tapped into all our taste buds by process of elimination, had us all ordering starters and mains, a bottle of wine was brought to the table, the boys had their beers refreshed and he left with a hint of what to expect for dessert; this left us more than intrigued. None of us thought to check the prices as his suggestions flowed and we waited with an excited air of intrigue for our meal to be prepared and served.
What does this have to do with Hairdressing you ask?
Up selling of course . . . !
A common complaint from clients is that hairdressers can be too pushy when it comes to product sales and a common fear for hairdressers is actually selling. It should not be that hard. When you are passionate about what you are ‘suggesting’ to or ‘educating’ your clients with (let’s leave out the word ‘selling’ altogether) then these products should literally walk out the door.
Our meal was fantastic! Every person at the table was more than thrilled with their choice of food and eagerly awaited the dessert board. This waiter was on fire, we were literally eating out of his hand. His charisma and obvious passion for the food he was serving shone through, creating unexpected entertainment for the evening. We all ordered dessert and of course a dessert wine to compliment our choice – how could we not when he introduced the bottle with descriptions of blonde virgins picking the grapes in the fresh morning dew . . .
We knew he was giving us the sales pitch and we were loving it. Would our experience have been just as good with a different waiter, maybe? I am sure you can all think of a time when you came across a clever salesman and you laughed all the way to the register with no problem handing over the cash?
The world is full of people giving us the ‘pitch’ for their products. How else would we all know about and commonly own snazzy mobile phones, ipod’s, shoes, latest fashions, make-up, cars – well everything really. Here are some of my thoughts on up selling whether it is retail, treatments or add on colours within your salon.
· Product Knowledge
Go to product education nights, sit and read the backs of the products in your down time, talk to other staff members on their experiences with the products. You don’t need to relay lots of technical jargon - it only confuses clients. What you do need to know are the main points and also understand the technical jargon.
· Believe in what you are talking about
People can tell if you are being honest or if you are just giving them the ‘spiel’. If you don’t like the product in your salon, maybe you need to find a salon that offers products that you do like? If your clients like what you suggest, they will repeat their purchase without you having to initiate the sale, if they don’t, you may never regain their trust again.
· Be honest
So try the products. If you can’t talk from experience, find people who can and invite them over to talk to your client. Take products home, use them yourself so you can speak from experience, experiment with them at training and on your regular clients who love giving new things a go!
· Follow up next visit
Make a special note to ask the client on their next visit how the product or service you recommended worked for them? It is a great way to gain insight into the product to pass onto other clients and a great way to confirm you actually care.
· Be consistent
Commit to talking about add on services and products as part of your routine and educate every client. If you don’t tell them how to make their hair look and feel great, someone else will. Do you leave home with no product/colour in your hair?
· Never categorise clients (or people in general)
The person who you label ‘could never afford to’ could just become your best client. After all it is none of your business how they spend their money, your job is to educate them on their options and the buying is up to them.
· Refund policy
A great way to gain confidence from your clients and your team is to offer a refund policy if the client is not happy. That way they feel like there is a safety clause and are more likely to give something ago. It can also help the Team gain extra confidence when they are closing a deal.
Not many people walk out of a Doctors Surgery and throw their prescription in the bin; they fill it, right? There aren’t too many people who do not want to look and feel the very best they can and it is our job to help them!
As for our evening at this restaurant (including the exorbitant bill) – superb! They provided a faultless experience and I am happy to pay for quality – aren’t you? Would I go there again regardless of the price? Absolutely . . . !!
*Footnote: Name of restaurant available on request…!