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WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT Here’s more advice from Gina Marie Burkholder: > There should be no anxiety on your part or the client’s part. Offer recommendations because you believe your client will truly benefit. > Don’t get discouraged; people often don’t buy until the third recommendation. > Believe in yourself. You’re the expert ... and clients want you to be. > Read the client. You won’t recommend the same products to everyone. > Don’t be cocky. > Know your salon’s products!

daughter would enjoy the pampering. Burkholder suggested a bottle of mango foot cream to go with the gift certificate. “How great is that?” Burkholder says with excitement in her voice. “Wouldn’t you love to get a some beautiful foot cream with a gift card for a pedicure?” Her motivation wasn’t the “sell”; her motivation was seeing her client get excited imagining her granddaughter opening the gift. “The granddaughter is going to love using the foot cream, and every time she does, she’ll have a fond memory of her experience here, and of her grandmother,” says Burkholder. Burkholder understands she is in a position every day to educate clients and to offer them products that will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. “It’s not a mindset that comes naturally to everyone,” says Burkholder. “But it’s one everyone can develop.” Burkholder holds a “client consultation” with all new clients so she is able to learn about their needs. “I ask clients what brought them into the salon, what they love about their nails, and what they would like me to do to help them,” she says. “Some clients only want their nails to look pretty for an event,

or they want to come in to feel pampered, and that’s OK.” Most clients, however, mention areas of concern: Their nails have trouble growing or they split easily or they suffer from dry cuticles. Burkholder tailors her service to use products that address those areas of concern. (If most of your clients are regulars, you can still conduct a “client consultation.” During a regular appointment, ask clients what originally brought them into the salon and if there is anything they wish you could “fix” about their nails.) Along with the client consultation, Burkholder’s salon has other systems in place that make recommending products more natural. In the numbered boxes, she explains how her salon has made retail a part of the culture.

4. Place products you recommend in a retail basket: “We’re required to place three to five products we use or recommend in a small retail basket,” says Burkholder. As she discusses the products she is using, Burkholder places it in the basket. Perhaps her client will say something about a friend, family member, or event that triggers her to think, “Oh, they could use/would love the XYZ product.” Burkholder gets up from her desk, shows the client the product, and explains why she thinks it’s relevant to what the client just mentioned. Then, she places it in the basket. At some point, perhaps while the client chooses polish or dries her nails, Burkholder takes the basket to the front desk. When the client checks out, the receptionist says, “Gina put a couple of items aside for you. Are you interested in purchasing any of these items today?” The clients get personal recommendations, they don’t make a purchasing decision in front of the nail tech, and they aren’t distracted by all the products on the shelf, which can be overwhelming. These disciplines can make talking about retail an easy segue with any client, but salons can provide additional ways to aid staff. A customer reward program allows clients to receive benefits, discounts, and free gifts. Shelf-talkers, fully stocked shelves, and aesthetically pleasing displays provoke interest in clients who love to buy something special for themselves when they’re in the salon. Gomez says salons have experienced good results by wearing T-shirts advertising the salon’s reward program, a new product, a sale, or a seasonal service. If your salon sells merchandise, have staff wear and use the products so they can make sincere recommendations.

Nail techs at Salon Art-Tiff place retail product in small baskets and bring them to the front desk, offering personalized recommendations for each client.

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Nails Magazine October 2011  

Magazine for the professional nail industry.

Nails Magazine October 2011  

Magazine for the professional nail industry.