• Matt Haddon

Soaring Sales & Productivity during the Festive Season


The festive season is upon us. The longest month-end Saturday of the Year! Clients have received their December bonuses, decorations cover every inch of the malls and our TV screens and it is time to buy gifts for those we love.

The festive season presents unique challenges within our industry. We have the surge of increased turnover as would be expected in the retail industry, yet we’re offering semi-skilled services. Our staff are expected to operate within their own reasonable discretion, while also adhering to the policies and procedures of our salons.

The festive season is however not the time for developing new rules or to put out fires. It is time for optimizing maximum sales and maximum turnover, and with this, I present 10 tips for maximum sales and productivity during the festive season.

1. Know the trends In this instance, I am not specifically referring to products or fads that are currently popular, but rather, when to expect customer traffic to change. For example, it will be important for you to take note of school holidays, religious days and marketing trends. These will give guidance as to what kind of customers to expect as well as when not to expect other customers.

Customers coming to the salon/spa during school holidays might arrive with children, and they will greatly appreciate a colouring book or Wi-Fi connection to keep their child entertained, it will be easier to service the parent and help them with home-care products, if their children are not distracting them.

Additionally, converse with Centre Management regarding which days have the highest foot traffic and if they have traffic sensors, ask them for highest foot traffic outside specialized stores.

2. Get the staff ready

Some newer staff members will not know how drastically different the changes are in the retail industry, and many experienced staff will forget.

In the upcoming weeks, be sure to remind staff that the festive season will be crazy, and that at times it will resemble controlled chaos. During this time ask staff for suggestions and emphasize that there will be an increase in sales for all staff.

This process allows staff to mentally prepare for the changes that will prevent complete and utter shock when you have a waiting line at reception. The overwhelming feelings will cause your staff to become closer and more unified.

3. Empower the flow You will notice at times there seems to be a bottle-neck in the customer service experience. Either the receptionist gets confused with the card-machine, or every customer tends to bump a specific chair.

Analyze your business, and do your best to determine where the bottle-necks are, and work with that employee to find out how the bottle-neck can be opened.

At this time of the year, you will need to do your best to find ways of improving customer turnover. The greatest challenge for salon owners is to push customer turnover without impacting on customer experience.

4. Up the energy of the retail sale Services and treatments tend to focus on relaxation and the release of stress, either through a long calming massage or venting about frustrations. During treatments, we will need to ensure that the client is receiving their treatments the way that they would like it, however, retail sales do not have to follow this same atmospheric control.

Retail sales begin with a simple question or with the salesperson noticing a specific need that the customer holds. Remember that the festive season is going to establish a general increase in the likelihood of a sale but will still receive last-minute resistance and uncertainty.

With this, it’s important to remember two things. Firstly, take note of the client in as many ways as possible. If you are giving a skincare, nail care or haircare service, take special note of these aspects of their lives, and make suggestions accordingly. Don’t dawdle and look uncertain about yourself. If you know a product will help a client, it is your duty to show these benefits to the client. If the client doesn’t take it, you have not failed, your client has simply made another decision in their mind.

Secondly, help the client experience the product. The smell and texture. Put the bottle in their hands and let them hold it while you get a pamphlet or applying it. Guide the client through the shelves and brands and explain the various benefits. Keep the energy of the sale going and in this energy, process the payment naturally, making sure that the client receives the correct change and/or receipts, and keep educating your client even after they’ve paid.

5. Make time for short staff meeting Staff meetings help the team become aligned and synchronized. This time of the year makes it difficult to have lengthy staff meetings, so staff meetings should be quick and to the point. Make sure to have a chat about staff and high-demand products, this will indicate what stock levels you need to be keeping.

Sometimes you will only need to meet with different parts of your team at a time. For example, if there is something that needs to be clarified for all the cleaners/general assistants in your team, or with reception or stylists or therapists/technicians. Again, these meetings should not be long, they are purely an opportunity to keep everyone’s mind on track when distractions are abound.

6. Use this time to show appreciation

Staff members will be working long hours and will be overwhelmed during this time of the year. Wherever possible, show your appreciation to staff. Examples include simple things, such as: “Thank you for your help today” “Thanks for beating the traffic” “Thanks for preparing for this client”

Very often business will opt to have staff parties and team-building during this time of the year. Obviously December bonuses are very popular, but these need to be reasonable and in line with the needs of your business. If this is not possible, a simple picnic or braai or snack and cake in the salon/spa will still boost team morale.

7. Do a Countdown It is natural for staff to miss their families during the festive season. For many of us the festive season is a difficult time to keep the customer service smile when clients arrive with their family and talk about their holiday plans. I have found that the best way to curb this is to put up a Countdown to Christmas. Starting on the 1stof December, put up an A4 page in the kitchen or staff room with the number of days left. Asking each staff member to draw a number for each day will also add to the team-building nature of the countdown.

8. Check figures more frequently The overall success of your business is measured in the culmination of thousands upon thousands of transactions. Sales with each and every customer, as well as stock coming in, payments going out. Maximizing sales is redundant if we allow our expenses to double. Do your best to keep track with stock levels and excessive payments.

9. Rest effectively Some of our staff members will enter the festive season as excited as we will. They will work long and hard hours, then spend evenings with their loved ones, enjoying their company and being merry. Unfortunately, not all staff members can keep up this type of behavior for long and will crash sooner or later.

In your staff meetings, remind staff the importance of proper and sufficient rest, as well as the importance of stretching at the beginning of the day. The last thing we need is, to collapse on a client because of a back spasm or fatigue.

10. In preparation of something great

Social media has overwhelmed us with ‘Januworry’ and the struggles of the beginning of the year. To prevent this, many salons offer a pre-paid salon service. This means that a client can pay for a treatment in December, to be received in January.

I prefer to put a positive spin on this type of sale, such as the ‘Amazing year ahead’ special. This special can include treatments that will prepare the client for returning to work or carrying out their New Year’s resolutions.

The EOHCB For more information on the EOHCB please contact us on: Contact: 012 807 1628 Email: info@eohcb.com Website: www.eohcb.co.za Facebook: EOHCB National Instagram: eohcbsa Twitter: @eohcbsa

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