Salon Spa Business Information for Salons and Spas

How To Consistently Hit Retail Targets

05.02.2017 · Posted in Articles


If hitting and even exceeding retail targets is something you can only dream about then you must read this article. Skin care & cosmetic sales are a multi-billion industry so it would be a real shame if your business was not getting its fair share.

That having been said we have to face the reality that in recent years the professional beauty industry as a whole has seen an eroding of retail sales. We have always had to contend with big-bag department stores, chemists, and the neighborhood Mary Kay and Avon ladies. Then we had the online onslaught that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. First it was the type sites now even our old adversaries Myer and David Jones have cosmetic shop online sites. In addition there are companies like L’Oréal who spend millions of dollars on advertising and marketing campaigns.

On the face of it the competition is very tough, however we have one very big advantage and that is we have the clients attention for quite a considerable time. Having this attention means our ‘message’ about our professional strength retail products doesn’t have to get through the advertising and marketing clutter it instead goes straight from our mouth to our clients ear. But do clients always receive the full message, the right message, or even any message about the products you stock? Often not unfortunately. Part of the reason is the extremely outdated “my client is here to relax” attitude many therapists have grown use to using as an excuse.

Excuses aside if this advantage is not being capitalized on, then who’s fault is it? Stop passing the buck right now because it doesn’t matter if the problem  goes all the way back to lack of training at beauty school, the skin care supplier not educating their products effectively, the employee, or even you the business owner. It is what it is, accept it, but commit to change. If you want your business to hit retail targets then it will be you the business owner or manager who has to drive sales. And to do this effectively and profitably will require a Retail Selling System and ongoing sales training.

Beauty businesses receive sales or revenue from two areas, they being service and retail sales. Each support the other but are two different but equally important areas. The sole purpose of a salon, spa, or clinic is to help clients attain their own ‘personal best’ in regards to grooming and skin health. This means a two prong approach of in-house treatment and take-home products. It’s the only way to guarantee clients the results they are paying for and the benefits your business should be providing.

Without a Retail Selling System retail products invariably stay on the display shelves looking pretty but gathering dust. They will not sell themselves mainly because the vast majority of clients think of us as only service providers. And whose fault is that? This means your business needs to have a very focused retail area supported by high level consultation and analysis, and dedicated trained staff to educate their clients. Remember while the products stay on the shelf no matter how good they are they will not benefit the clients skin or your business profits. Retail Selling Systems are created to get the products off the shelf and home with the client. That’s why we call them home care products.

Do you or your staff have a negative attitude to selling? Do you or your or they believe you are professionals service or treatment providers, and not sales people? Nothing could be further from the truth. From day one every therapist must realize that selling retail skincare is part of their job description and is part of their client ‘duty-of-care’. Explain to them that your business consists of two departments. The service department which will require them to perform expert and skilled treatments. And the retail department that will require them to provide expert prescriptive recommendation and completion (or closing) of the sale.

Merchandising is a critical part of the Retail Selling System. So it needs to be dynamic an eye catching so as to gain clients’ attention and highlight relevant to skin care needs. Using shelve talkers and skin care collections to provide ‘solutions’ for specific skin conditions. And keep all displays current and fresh because an old display will be as stagnant as the sales they don’t inspire.

Apart from good merchandising sometime a brand will just not to well. It may have in the past achieved good retail sales but has gradually slowed. Or the business owner may have chosen the wrong brand in the first place because it is one they are personally familiar with. But the question that should be asked is “are these products what my clients want?” Could it be they are bored with the brand or that it no longer meets their needs, or that it never fitted the client demographic in the first place. Consumer needs change and sometimes to meet these needs a new brand is necessary, particularly if the current stocked brand has met its “Use By” date in your customers view.

Today’s client expects real measurable results quickly. They are not prepared to wait but expect immediate visual results often with just one treatment.  Fortunately for us there are now numerous professional strength skin care ranges that can deliver just that. Choose a brand that’s back bar professional products are more intense than the clients take home products. The professional treatment must provide results that can only be obtained through in-house treatment and met clients goal expectations. If this doesn’t happen it will be difficult if not impossible to convince clients of the need to purchase home care. Home-care is designed to maintain professional treatment results not to be in place of.

Part of the Retail Selling System should be the weekly sales meeting. During this meeting apart from current promotions, “Product of the Month”, and sales targets the next weeks facial clients solution plans should be discussed and strategies agreed upon. Each team member comes with that weeks’ client cards to the meeting and needs to be prepared to outline their recommendations for the treatment and home-care. By sharing with other team members each will gain valuable information on how to  ensure ‘personal best’ results for their clients. This is a great method to keep staff on-tracked and focused, and is a huge support and help for any new therapist.

I also recommend a minimum of four VIP events per year, these will be great sales generators, attract new clients, develop client loyalty, but they also keep your team motivated. Events work best with high level supplier support including a representive in attendance. This promotes higher brand awareness and support for their product range and your business. In addition suppliers should be supporting the business with product knowledge workshops; in-house power training sessions; Skype training; and staff sales incentives.

Consistently hitting retail targets need not just be a dream but it will require commitment on your part and on-going training for your team, but the sales results will be well and truly worth the time and effort. Happy Selling!

© Copyright Caroline Nelson 2016

Caroline Nelson is a beauty industry expert who specializes in helping businesses develop their brand, improve productivity, and increase bottom-line profit. To learn more about her step-by-step program for salon spa success visit  or phone 0410600440.


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