We’ve all had them. Those times of the year when sales seem to slump. All of sudden there are openings in the schedule and stylists with downtime. Make the most of these times by taking it as an opportunity to refocus your staff.
September and October seem to be the slower months in my salon. The kids are back to school and clients are resetting their schedules to work with soccer practices, car pooling, and all of those other fun “back-to-school” activities. It’s always at this time that I have at least one stylist knocking on my office door with concern over the openings in their schedule.
I like to use these times to remind our stylists that they are empowered to make the most of the extra time in their schedule. That having more wiggle room between clients can open the door to a whole new level of service and restarting good habits that can get lost during the busier times.
Here are 7 suggestions for how your stylists can make the most of slow times
Prepare For The Day
Start the day by looking at the history of the clients in the schedule. When was the last time they were in for services? What did they have done? What products did they purchase? When was the last time they had a conditioning treatment? Have they ever had a color service? Use this information to prepare for a great consultation.
Make The Most of Consultation Time
Don’t just assume they want what they got last time! Ask them how their last haircut or color worked for them. If they purchased products at their last visit were they happy with their performance? Were they able to style their hair with ease at home? What do they like most about their hair right now? What to they like least?
Suggest Additional Services
Based on what you’ve learned during the consultation and the client’s purchase history you can make a recommendation for services and products that would meet their needs and give them the results they are looking for. The client might just be scheduled for a haircut, but after a consultation with a focus on the client’s needs you might suggest adding a hair color to their visit to get the overall look they’re going after. Even if they opt not to get the extra service you suggested, it’s a seed that’s been planted for a future visit.
Educate The Client
Don’t “sell” products–“recommend” them. We can’t expect clients to come close to achieving the same look we give them in the salon if they aren’t using the same products at home. I believe it’s our responsibility to educate clients on what we’re using on them during during every step of the service, how to use them, and take the time to bring those products to the front desk at checkout so the client has the opportunity to purchase them.
Prebook The Client
When it’s busy it’s easier to overlook this important step. But every client should be told when to schedule their next service in order to keep their hair looking great. A follow up appointment recommendation should be made at the station as the service is being finished up. Then when the client is escorted to the front desk for check-out repeat it again to the client in front of the desk staff and write it in the client’s ticket. The front desk team will have the information they need to offer the client their next appointment.
Ask For Referrals
If you’ve got a client sitting in your chair who absolutely loves the way they look ask them to refer they’re friends! It’s a simple as telling them how much you enjoy working with them and how you’d love to have a chance to work with some of their friends. Hopefully your salon has a referral program and you can also give the client an incentive to refer their friends.
Teach and Learn
Slow days are a great opportunity to train your staff! Have newer stylists pull out mannequins and practice haircuts or upwork. Has someone recently gone to a class? Have them share what they learned with other members of the team who also have downtime in their schedule. You can also have stylists work on each other. It’s important that the design team is wearing the latest cuts and colors. If we are encouraging our clients to try something new our hair should look great too!
No one likes it when business is slow. But rather than feel bad about it, make the most of it! Prepare for the day, give an amazing consultation, suggest add-on services, educate clients about the products being used on them, prebook the client for their next appointment, ask for referrals and use the left over downtime to learn and share new skills. Remind your stylists that it’s not just about what the salon can do for them, it’s about what they can do for themselves. Empower them to be responsible for their own success.
Do you have a stylist who has a lot of open time in their schedule? Meet with them this week and share these strategies with them. Have them focus on at least two of these strategies on a daily basis.
How do you make the most of a slow season? I’d love it if you’d share your comments below!