Professional beauty and hair care products will not sell themselves no matter how beneficial they are or how attractive the packaging.

Even though they’re perfectly positioned to be the 'go to' option for hair or beauty products, the reality is that salons in general have failed to capitalise on the advantage.

Professional beauty and hair care products will not sell themselves no matter how beneficial they are or how attractive the packaging. To sell them successfully requires skill, knowledge and confidence. Good retailers have this along with high standards of product merchandising and a disciplined approach to inventory management.

But unfortunately, the professional training that hairdressers and beauty therapists receive in order to qualify doesn’t include much if any teaching of retail management. As a result, it’s not high on their agenda or something they’re passionate about. Most salon owners fail to give it much attention, are uncomfortable with selling and leave retail products to sell themselves.

Under such circumstances, you don't need to be a scholar or a management consulting firm to recognise that in order to gain the commitment of a salon owner to invest in stock you need to provide them with the opportunity to generate retail sales with the least amount of effort and stock.

Yet, from my experience you will be hard pressed to find a supplier who’s figured this out. To have any hope of capitalising on the relationship between salons and their clients, the manufacturers and distributors of retail products must consider a salons trading context. These are the contributing factors that apply to how a typical salon operates and include:

  • The traditional pathway to salon ownership is through success as a therapist or stylist. Therefore, success depends on technical expertise and skill rather than experience in retail management.

  • Just like the entrepreneurs in any other industry, salon owners have put everything on the line to start their own business. Every spare moment is spent ‘doing’ business with little or no time left to consider ‘how’ they do business.

  • Most feel uncomfortable with selling – concerned that clients will feel pressured to purchase.

  • In order to sell effectively, salons need product knowledge training, coaching in effective selling techniques and educating in inventory management.

  • Few salons maintain client records and even fewer write consultation notes for their clients.

  • Salon owners typically have strong relationship building skills but lack business acumen and decisions are often made based on emotion and gut feel rather than logic and reasoning.

  • Consumers are active and frequent purchasers of skincare and hair care product and purchase mostly from department stores, pharmacies, supermarkets or on-line.

  • It's fair to assume that consumers want the best products to suit their individual needs at an affordable price.

.... Continued with Part 3


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