Ex-Import Niche Products

General Manager of Ex-Import Niche Products, Otto Mitter, provides an insight into his company’s preferred manner of doing business with salons.

What can salons do to encourage staff to attend training, both internal and external?
We all know how important education is in today’s world; in the beauty industry in particular, there are new products and treatments being developed or re-invented constantly and to keep your salon ahead of the pack you must have your finger on the pulse and be willing to be creative with your treatment menus and attentive to what is going on in the industry. Importantly, keep your staff well-informed of everything that is happening (if they aren’t already) and keep them motivated.

Motivating your staff to attend workshops is not always an easy task, usually what gets results is to offer your staff an incentive for putting in the extra effort.

Recognise and reward your staff for being motivated, keep your communication open with them and explain the benefits that they will receive from learning something new; you could provide opportunities for advancement or give them tasks with greater responsibility if you feel they are competent enough to do so after their training.

This will give them a better sense of personal development and obviously help them become more accomplished in their profession.

How do you recommend salons increase their retail sales?
Firstly, make sure your staffing secrets extend beyond hiring the best, to hiring the best for your organisation. This is certainly going to help you increase your retail sales with the right staff in place. Specifically:
• Seek talented people with related experience
• People with a passion and enthusiasm for results
• Have effective communication skills and great listening skills
• Take pride in making sure treatments include home care maintenance and remember that it’s the therapist’s responsibility to make sure this happens.
It is essential to offer products that are high in quality, offer good return and that can be adapted easily into your treatment menu. Do your research into just how much return you do get from a product.

Listening to your clients is also important to help increase sales; make sure you are offering them products they actually need, otherwise it could turn into a very sour pitch and actually detract from a sale.

Why not take half an hour to look at the treatments and services you offer in your salon and think about what your clients might need or appreciate between appointments.

Aside from product, what do you believe to be the greatest contribution a supplier can make to a salon?
Salon support is certainly a must do for any supplier and providing promotional material and items that the salon can use to help them explain products and benefits to their clients is always helpful.

Training is definitely important, helping therapists develop new techniques, tips and tricks that will help them perform the treatment to the highest level.

Our company performs workshops regularly throughout Australia and New Zealand and the response from therapists is very positive. Therapists that want to be at the top of their game are constantly looking for ways to increase their knowledge and boost their profits.

Another point is to ensure your supplier has your details to help create business for you. Communicate with your supplier and let them know how you are going in your salon and what you are offering; this will help them remember you if they get any inquiries from the public.

What are the essential components of salon professionalism?
Customer service: Always make an effort to be happy and make your clients feel very welcome when they come into your salon. Here are some aspects to look at:

Knowing your customers' needs
Identifying your key service activities
Delivering superior service

In a competitive marketplace it is important to provide superior service. Customers base their purchasing decisions on the service they receive, not just price, quality and availability.

Here’s a customer service checklist to look at:
Do you tend to over-promise and under-deliver?
Are there opportunities to improve your service?
Do you know if your customers value your customer service initiatives?
Do you have systems in place to deal with unhappy customers?

A clean and tidy work environment: Presentation is one of the first things a client will pick up on. Keep your salon looking slick! Check that all areas and equipment are in good working order and maintained, after all you make your livelihood from the beauty industry and your environment needs to project beauty.

Staff presentation: Make sure your staff is well groomed at all times.

Qualifications: Making sure your salon obtains the highest standards of training and qualifications is essential. Displaying your certificates of achievement in the salon will show your clientele that you are fully qualified and professional.

Procedures: Ensure that all your staff is up to date with workplace procedures and that they are following your salon code of conduct.

What do you believe will be the greatest challenge facing the aesthetics industry over the next decade?
Obviously the economy is a big factor and is the word on everybody’s lips at the moment. We all know that this is a time where people are being a little more cautious about their disposable income and the beauty industry falls right into an impacted category.

However, on the other side, it is certainly an opportunity for many businesses to hold strong and be ready to capitalise when the market corrects itself. So keep your creative ideas coming, and stay positive.

For more information contact (07) 5576 6388 or visit www.belmacil.com

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