Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keys to successfully selling Color Cosmetics in Salon/Spa

Salons and Spas are the perfect place to sell color cosmetics.  Woman are there to look more beautiful.  As the service is being performed, the client's make up gets washed off/wiped off.

But amazingly, the salon/spa industry represents less than 1% of all color cosmetics sold!  Weird?!

So here are some key tips from the salons that do actually sell color cosmetics.

First, retail is detail!  Someone in the salon must keep up on the tester unit!  That has GOT to be someone's job.  Every day in the morning this person must look at the tester unit. 
  • Are the lipsticks halfway up so they can be seen?
  • Are there any chunks taken out of any of the cosmetics?  If so, reshape it!
  • Are dust/fingerprints to wipe off?  
  • Are there supplies for clients to try products like mascara wands, sponges, Q-tips?  Is there a trash can close by to dispose items?
  • Are the caps clean?
  • We recommend that you clean the brushes at least once a week at the end of the day.  Lay them out so the water doesn't get in the metal part of the brush and damage it.
  • Want to make the lipsticks really pop?  Flame them!  Yes, at the end of the process for making lipstick, a flame if put on the lipstick.  This makes it look brand new, shiny, beautiful.  You can do this in the salon with a lighter or a match!
  • Is the signage current?
  • Wipe the testers with a clean napkin.  This makes them look brand new again.
  • Replace any testers that you can see the pan.  It makes you look fresh.  With Mirabella, all but 4 of our items on the tester unit are items from stock.  Take out a regular item and replace the tester.  Keep track of this and quarterly, you can buy the replacements at 40% off.
Second, you need to look like you are in the business of color cosmetics.  Make sure the tester unit is in the front of the business, accessible to the clients.  Put a chair next to the make up unit.  We actually sell the chair for $200 if they want a branded piece. Though you may not have a make up artist, you look like you do!  And people want to buy from experts.  You are now an expert.  Your tester units looks great.  You have a chair!

Next, do the employees believe in your make up?  If they don't use it, it certainly not going to be recommended!  Here is a quick idea, have everyone in the building wear the same color lipstick!  Make it bright and bold so the guests will notice!  I guarantee clients will ask!

The hardest thing is the next tip.  Touch each client with the line on every visit.  The salons like Studio 404 sell a lot of color cosmetics because that is part of the service they offer to the clients, a mini touch up.  Grab a Pure Press powder, a Blush! Duo, and a Colour Shine lip gloss.  Apply and watch your client fall in love with your service even more!  Take the time!!!

And finally, be involved with your community.  There are bridal events.  There are womens events.  Join those events or hold your own events each season.

If you do these things, you WILL be amazed at the business you will create.  KRS consulting, which is part of Michael Cole and Summit Salon program, have found that salons that sell 20% or more of their total revenue sell color cosmetics.  They don't carry cosmetics!  They SELL them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pay--Wholesale or retail

I have kids in school- high school and college.  They are good students, they get good grades.  But I am not a big one on grades, formal education.  Don't get me wrong, I believe that today you need to be able to check off that box that says you got a college degree.  It is important.

But what degree you got, the GPA are almost meaningless after your first job for most people.  There are certainly exceptions to that with people who have a more specific major like nursing for example.

But employers are probably only going to care about your degree and GPA on the first job.  On the first job you need to be great!  You need to be the employee who is hungry to learn more.  You want to be inquisitive about the job.  How many new skills can you learn so that you can be more valuable to the company?  You want to be inquisitive about the company.  What industry is it in?  How is that industry doing?  What are the major threats to the company?  Who are the competitors?  Check out the competitors website.  Do they do the same thing your company does?  Or do they have a unique spin that sets them apart? 

But the most important thing you can do is be good at your job.  Get through your tasks every day quickly and efficiently.  If you have down time, ask your boss how they would like you to fill that downtime.  Most bosses would die to hear that from an employee!

Be a team player.  Help others out whenever you can, especially your boss.  Are there tasks they are doing that you could do for them?  If a project comes around, be the first to volunteer.  Your work will get done.  Be the employee that is always seeking to improve the company.

So you are the best employee within the company, what do you think that means to you regarding compensation?  I had an employee that worked for me, doing most of what I just wrote.  After about 2 months she came to us asking for more money.  We told her reviews happen at year end.  She quit. 


The deal is your employer buys you for wholesale and sells you for retail.  The difference between the two prices are the profit to the company. 

The wholesale price is what you are paid today.  The retail price is the value you create for the company.  If you are great, making the company more efficient, coming up with good ideas for the company-- your value is rising! 

The more profit you can make for the company, the more the company will be willing to pay you.  You might think that is only for sales people.  Not true.  It is truly for every employee at every level. 

You will be fired if the value you create, the retail price is lower than your pay.  If the company perceives that you are making too much money, that is not a good situation.  How many professional athletes come out with HUGE contracts and never live up to their paycheck?  That is exactly what I am talking about.  

You might think I am crazy, but that athlete is better off telling the organization to pay him his REAL value and take a pay cut.  Everyone in the organization will be thrilled.  Then when the player is making the "right" amount of money, everyone will be happy.

And that is exactly what employees need to consider when they ask for that next pay raise... am I more valuable to my company? 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Show Season!

Fly into Salisbury, MD at midnight, take a cab to the hotel, meet the team at 8 AM.  OK, show season is upon us.

Kelly Kirby and her team were starting the show season in Birmingham, AL with the Premier Show.   They had a great show as well, introducing us for the first time to so many make up artists, stylists, and estheticians.

But this show season really started for me 18 months ago at Premier Orlando.  We had 3 booths.  Somehow our full tester unit didn't make it.  We had no signage and black draped tables.  We sold a few deals that we secured with a rubber band.  I walked around that show and saw 12 other color cosmetics lines that were far more beautiful than ours.

So we have come a long way!

Shows are designed to make a statement.  Our best statement is made when our team of Regional Managers and Make Up Artists invite woman to have do a quick touch up.  With 7 make up artists at the show, each of our 5 chairs were always filled educating woman on how to apply.  And each woman that tries our product buys our product!

So you can see we did a back wall, one that simply says "Mirabella" that we keep around permanently, then another wall that changes fall and spring related to our focus for the trade show.  So as you can see, we were all about red lip pencils and a red lip gloss.  All three are long wear beautiful formulas.

But besides the walls we made up the product feature boxes.  We put an acrylic top on them and highlight the special under the glass!

Or we just stock it with our specials.  Either way, it ties together with our branding.  We are very proud at how it highlights our products.

And finally, we knew that cosmetics need to be tried.  The trade show before included our full tester unit.  The client would see the unit and say, I like this product.  We would tell them, great, but we don't have that one.  We only have these products.

We turned away a lot of business and opportunities for people to try our products.  And we are big believers that if they try they will love the line!

So the big deal is our open sale unit.  It holds every product in our line.  It is lovely!  And it allows clients to shop!  Exactly what we want in the busy environments of the distributor stores.  The open sale concept is for the stores.  But we needed to test it.  What better way than a busy trade show, where thousands of people touch the unit all the time.

It has been a huge hit.  Many salons are excited to have us roll this out to them as well.  Perfect!

It is well lit, eye catching... and expensive!  But if we are going to help our salons compete with Sephora and Ulta, they need to retail as effectively as those amazing chains do.

So why do I write about this?  As you build a brand you need to look at everything that helps clients make decisions.  And for us, trade shows are an important way our clients interact with the brand. 

As the Ocean City show was going on, many of our existing clients walked into our booth.  They saw that it was the busiest booth at the show.  Therefore, they know what we have is in demand.  They saw the branding we are doing.  So much so, they wanted to buy that stuff from us!

The result for the existing salons was more loyalty to the brand.  Many told me that they were going to do a better job of marketing the product.  We suggested that the tester unit needs to be up front and clean!  But also, if you are in the cosmetics business, you need to have a make up chair next to the tester unit.  You may never have a make up artist in the salon, but it give the impression that you are in the business of color cosmetics.  Therefore, they will try our brand.

The results for new salons was just as great.  Many salons took on the line at the show.  And that was do to seeing in action how to sell cosmetics.  They saw how popular we are.  They felt the make up themselves.  And they got to see the branding we are doing.

Overall, if you invest the money, trade shows can have a return on your investment.  The return is long term!