I floated an idea on Facebook a couple of days ago and no one in the industry shot me down, so I wanted to explore the idea in more depth.
What if you changed the way you play the game so that you can sell more retail, get exactly the right products into the hands-hair-scalp-skin-and-nails of the clients and reinforce your role as your client’s personal beauty and style expert?
The “game” as you likely play it now is to move retail by making recommendations at the back bar, telling clients about products you are using during services or asking if they need anything at the point of purchase. And discounting, gifts-with-purchase and other special promotions? They stimulate some purchases but may not be generating repeat purchases.
But what else is a stylist to do?
How about changing the way that you play the game?
More specifically: How about changing the way you structure pricing so that some or even all of your service prices are set to include the cost of a prescriptive care, styling or finishing product?
For instance, when a client has a hair color or texture service performed, you would set the cost of the service to include a retail-sized shampoo and conditioner or a serum, gloss enhancer, texture or finishing product. A manicure or pedicure would be priced to include polish, buffing file or top coat. A massage would be priced to include an aromatherapy candle or an oil or lotion for home care. A skin care service would be priced to include sunscreen or mineral makeup.
You can assign certain products, you can make the choice for the customer based on their skin or hair type or style preferences or you can let the customer choose from among select products.
You can keep track of the products you are prescribing for each customer so that at their next appointment, a different product is included for them to take home (and hopefully, get hooked on!)
You can assign a different product to be included in the cost of services in order to move your customer through a progression of products so that they try a wide variety, or in order to move them into new lines.
By re-thinking your pricing, you have the ability to accurately state that these products are a free gift with the service. By pricing your services this way, you have the ability to put the exact products you know your clients should be at home using into their hands, and you're giving them a product they might not otherwise buy for themselves.
You’re also changing the way the customer perceives the value of doing business with you, because you are giving them a product every time they receive a service. What other salon or spa does that?
And you sell more retail, prescriptively rather than persuasively!