It was inspiring to see so many fantastic brands at Professional Beauty London in April. For those who missed it, the best in the business were at ExCeL in April in all their glory, with magnificent stands showcasing beautiful, must-have products and equipment. It was heartening to see that the industry was looking in such good shape, inspiring confidence all around. What struck me most was the professionalism of the sector. I can only imagine those visiting for the first time being completely wowed to see our industry in all its glory again.
With summer upon us, it’s a great time to revisit customer behaviour and analyse how we can capitalise on consumer trends. During my session on one of PB’s Business Skills Stages at the show, feedback from other salon owners was good to hear. It’s great to validate the trends you’ve noticed in client spend and be assured that others are experiencing the same.
In a quick show of hands, it was clear that although clients are still coming less often, when they do visit they are generally spending a bit more and are far more open to trying alternative, holistic treatments and services – sometimes for the first time ever. Their salon experience is no longer confined to conventional beauty and grooming in this post-Covid-19 world, with a rise in treatments that promote emotional wellbeing. Looking and feeling good on the inside as well as the outside is fast becoming a priority for the day spa user, and, therefore, those experienced practitioners are more in demand than ever. It’s clear that, as always, people are willing to pay for expertise.
Another key factor seemed to be trending in our debate: it’s evident in our Metrospa, and for the delegates that fed back to me, that while the client is in the room, they are far more open to suggestions.
The clever therapist who advises, prescribes and recommends by carrying out a detailed pre- and post-treatment consultation is uniquely placed to win the trust and confidence of their client, which will pay dividends, now more than ever.
Hammering home the sharing of knowledge and expertise through upskilling a thorough consultation technique is something I will never stop championing. Sometimes it’s important to cut the conventional small talk and keep strictly on message – showcasing our knowledge and expertise and selling the features and benefits in the way our tried-and-tested brands showcase their products.
But the key is using the consultation time to encourage the quick wins – the upsells that fill the white space in our columns and turn dead time into turnover. Learning which treatments naturally dovetail as these upsells is key, and something I regularly share with my team. Maximising the captive audience that is a client wanting knowledge, advice and solutions about their concerns is not just a lucrative win for the therapist and salon, but for the client too.
Here is our Metrospa hit list of service swaps, upsells and add-ons for the summer:
There are some services that clients can be naturally apprehensive about – laser hair removal, for instance. Offering free consultations is a good way to encourage uptake of more serious services. For those really into their alternative therapies, we’ve started offering treatments such as Reiki, chakra cleansing and sound bells therapy in the Metrospa and, once tried, people love the relaxing, feel-good results.
I’m a big fan of complimentary taster sessions for people to experience the treatment without commitment. These entry-level experiences often lead to regular repeat bookings and purchases so it’s often a worthwhile exercise. It’s a bit like holding an open day when you’re selling a house. “Try before you buy” needs to become a familiar mantra in our salon treatment rooms. After all, it’s just like test driving a car.
As Apple founder Steve Jobs famously once said: “people don’t know what they want until you give it to them”, so it’s our job to help our teams lead the process and make new services part of the regular grooming regime.
Hellen Ward is managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in London and a beauty ambassador for the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF).
Article written by Hellen Ward for Professional Beauty, originally featured here
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