Whose The Focus

Dear Product Vendors…

You might want to train your sales reps to be customer focused vs “I” focused. This was in my email today from our “Customer Service Representative”  The email had 118 words and 10 times she used the word “I”. There was no personalization to email. BTW this person has been our rep for all of 2 months yet this only 2nd email ever received. Yep, no phone call(s) to introduce themselves either. Thinking this company needs my BeauteeSmarts Sales Rep Sales Class ASAP (wink)

Actual copy of email sent to me by sales rep

Sales Rep Sloppy Email

Sales Rep Sloppy Email

Sign of the Times by Carol Phillips

Want to create attention in your retail zone without remodeling? The cheapest and most effective way to generate additional retail sales is to use in-salon signs. Good signs will attract attention to your products, increase sales on the spot, educate the client by making it easier to select products. Signs will give your salon the competitive edge. You can modify selection, pricing and features instantly.

5 Key Tips for Producing Signs That Sell

1. Handmade Signs vs. Machine Made Signs
Salon signs should always be machine made. Hand printed signs look elementary to the consumer. My only exception is when I design a bridal display and use calligraphy to simulate wedding invitations. You can produce machine made signs from several sources.

If you are computer friendly, you already have access to professional looking signs. Some of the new publishing programs make signing a snap. If you’re not artistically inclined even on a computer, don’t fret. Look in your local yellow pages under desk top publishing. There should be an abundance of professionals who can design your signs. Some of the quick copy places have added desk top publishing in their stores.

Check your local college’s computer graphics department for someone to help produce your signs. College kids always need extra money. I have recently used a franchise sign company that makes instant signs and charges super prices.

2. Size It Up
The ideal sign should be no smaller than 5 1/2″ by 7″. As those 76 million Baby Boomers age the eyesight has a tendency to weaken. Avoid small shelf clip signs, they can be too small for the clients to read. Blow-up your message to poster size and place it at the reception desk and service area.

3. lnfo Crazy
When you are making a sign include 4 key items: Name of brand – Especially if the product line you are featuring has been spending big bucks on national advertising. Play off the name of the company with their advertising.

Price – Put the price of the item featured on the sign. If the item will save the client money by buying from your salon, tell them. Put you competitor’s price on the sign. Store X is charging $5.95. Hot Locks has the same item for $5.25.

Savings– Highlight in the sign any savings the shopper will benefit from: 10% Off or Save $1.25. I am a big fan of discounting products over services. Take advantage of your distributor’s monthly specials to give your clients’ savings.

Feature Plus Benefit – On your sign tell the client why this particular item would be beneficial for them by highlighting the unique feature. Avoid the trap of “it’s a great shampoo,” the client needs more information to make a decision. Let your sign tell the story. Look in your product guide for a strong statement tagging the feature/benefit of the product.

4. Getting Framed
Complete the image by finishing off the sign with the appropriate frame. Display it in the salon in a Lucite holder, a laminated frame or a matte frame for extra attention.

5. Financial Times
Good signs do pay off. One market study showed that scores featuring machine made signs sold over 200% more merchandise compared to stores with no signs. Signing in the salon is a 24 hour a day duty. Signs will talk about your product and can be thought of as a way to add sales staff at a fraction of long-term cost.

For more information on Carol’s books,  seminars, please contact her: 760.429.7772

Tips on How to Prevent Spa Industry Burnout | Esthetique Spa International

Tips on How to Prevent Spa Industry Burnout | Esthetique Spa International.

Carol Phillips, CEO of Beautee Smarts, sees trouble brewing: In our industry, we give until our batteries are worn out. We need to light to fire underneath us and strike a balance with everything we do. Carol’s newest course, Unlimited Potential: How to get more from your job than varicose veins, addresses the issue of burnout in the spa industry.

Here are some of Carol’s words of wisdom to help you recharge your batteries and remember why you got into the spa business in the first place:

  • Create a personal image package. We all judge a book by its cover. If your client can’t get beyond your looks and style they won’t care how well you do your job.
  • Invest in yourself. Beauty people wear their net worth. Develop a signature look. Dress for the type of clients you want to attract. Like attracts like and can fast track rapport.
  • Develop a written dress code for your facility. You may need to teach some of your people how to dress. Provide gifts and rewards for dressing well.
  • Millennials need special attention. They have a hard time engaging and looking people in the eye. Your young team members needs help developing the right way to approach clients.
  • Develop your Unique Selling Proposition. What is unique about practice or service? Create a specialty. Some examples: We have an in-house training program.
  • Follow the 1/1000 rule. It’s impossible to do one thing 1,000% better, but you can do 1,000 things 1% better. Write down a dozen things that you can do a little better than the competition.
  • Trouble brews with boredom. Try something new. Go get a treatment somewhere else. Network with other professionals. Get a mentor, or, better yet, be one.
  • Live the spa lifestyle at home. Focus on healthy habits. Get enough sleep, eat the right foods, exercise, drink enough water. Guard your time, ask yourself, am I doing the most productive thing at this time?

Spa RETAIL: Handy Retailing Guide for the Holidays by Liz Barrett

In the retail world, a well-done display—whether created in a window or on a table or shelf—is often the vehicle driving consumer interest and, in turn, product sales. Don’t treat displays as afterthoughts, but rather as a vital component to your retail business and overall operation. Here are some expert-approved pointers on creating displays that are easy on the eyes and heavy on the profits:

• As with real estate, displays are all about location, location, location. Oasis’ Schoenberg says that for his business, effective merchandising is a team effort: The retail director places items the spa wants to move quickly into prime selling spaces, such as the checkout area, and ensures the “hot spot” has ample lighting, and the creative director makes signage and visuals for these displays. BeauteeSmarts’ Phillips stresses the importance of getting your clients to automatically look for new products. “Carve out a permanent place for a ‘newcomers’ display, and customers become trained to always look in the same spot,” she says.

• Avoid overwhelming clients with an overcrowded space. Soukup recommends creating a retail space that’s about a quarter of the size of your spa (think 600 square feet of retail in a 2,000-square-foot spa). For smaller spas that can’t spare that much space, Soukup recommends giving vendors specific measurements, or creating your own displays to keep clients from feeling overwhelmed and overcrowded. And avoid stocking your shelves supermarket-style. “You don’t want rows and rows of products,” says West-Harrison. “Display oranges or lavender alongside products that contain these ingredients, and group serums together, moisturizers together, cleansers, etc.”

• This industry is filled with creative people—use this to your advantage. “We find that big and unusual works best,”says EsSpa’s Scott Kerschbaumer. “We recently started selling some German bath fizzies that look exactly like little cupcakes. For the display, we used porcelain, holiday cake platters and some little cupcake boxes set up at the front door with all the cupcakes showcased on a waist-high table. It literally looked like a dessert table for a wedding. We sold out of our entire stock in 36 hours!” Stacy Cox of Pampered People utilizes clear acrylic risers for skincare products as they lend a modular, streamlined look. When stumped for “pretty display ideas” she turns to friends and clients for creative advice. “I have a client who is an interior designer who just helped me design my retail area.”

• Utilize shelf talkers to help clients understand your products, or to give recommendations. “Use props to illustrate ingredients,” says Soukup. “Keep products at eye level, rotate items so customers think they’re new, and price all of your products.”

• Create a theme for each season. Phillips reminds owners that clients need to see something five times from the time they enter until the time they check out in order to “activate” its impression in their minds. “Create the same seasonal message in various places—front desk, changing room, mani/pedi station, etc.,” says Phillips. “Don’t lose sight of the promotion you want the customer to focus on.”

• Don’t keep your products under lock and key. While this may help prevent theft, it could also alienate your customers and sap sales. “Set products free!” says Soukup. “The retail area needs to be open, not locked up—customers need opportunities to touch, smell and feel. Engage the guest; let them open a jar.” For smaller spaces, like Pampered People’s 500-square-foot studio, Cox finds that placing samples of fragrances in the changing room is a great way to promote products. “Take advantage of all the square footage you have,” she says.

• Add your own personal touch. “The key to boosting spot sales beyond placement and pricing is to create signs and personal notes,” says Scott Kerschbaumer. “All of our therapists pick their ‘weekly favorite’ retail product and we place a little note—on either a bottle tag or a place-setting card-holder—next to it that says, for instance, ‘Eva’s Favorite.’ The idea is to catch a customer’s eye and provide her with the reassurance that someone else is using this product and thinks it’s good.”—Liz Barrett

Carol Phillips- A Retailing Powerhouse by Rebecca James

 Personal note from Carol.  I had to include this article by my buddy Rebecca James Gadberry.  This was back in the day when Rebecca was cranking out hundreds of  consumer and trade articles. Rebecca has been one of my a true friends for a couple of decades.  Just the other day we were talking about how long we both have working in the beauty biz and decided that if we wanted a career change we both could go back into the treatment room and start up a spa.  We decided we would name it Vintage SkinCare or Classics (haha) 

Jan/Feb 1989

By Rebecca James

Looking for proof that goal setting works? Then watch the shinning example set by Carol Phillips, the diminutive 28 year old powerhouse of ideas and enthusiasm who took the salon world by storm just five years after graduating from beauty school.

Today Phillips is the youngest of Dermascope’s remarkable list of industry Legends. And she’s earned every inch of her new title. For the past several years, Phillips has kept a grueling pace of public appearances, teaching salons to emulate her sales and marketing success. Her ideas are based on principles she formulated to turn DermaSystems, her esthetic salon in Wichita, Kansas, into a $500,000 a year blockbuster. To duplicate her efforts more efficiently, Phillips two years ago turned out a four part video series on retailing. Entitled MoneySystems, the program is doing well.

“I give the salon building blocks to lay the foundation for good retail selling skills,” comments Phillips about MoneySystems.

“Then they have an entire program to train current staff and any new employees who join the salon team.”

Recognition for her work is not new to Phillips: In 1984 and ‘85, she was voted one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the United States under the age of 30, following that award in 1986 as an Outstanding Young Women of America. American Salon named her their 1988 Retailer of the Year- the first person to hold such a title fro that magazine.

Talking with Phillips, who generates more energy in a single day than most of use muster in a month, you can sense her conviction to purpose for whatever project she is undertaking at the moment. Perhaps it is her eyes: electrifying pools of energy that convey a message of commitment to anyone in her presence. But there is more than mere commitment at work here. Phillips is intensely curious; matching this trait with a powerful need to dig in, roll up her sleeves and make things happen.

“I need to transform my environment,” she says as if sharing an important secret.

“To feel like I have made an impact for the better.”

“She didn’t follow the crowd on anything,” recalls Beulah Buhr, Phillips’ home economics teacher at Grant Park High School in Illinois. “Not that she didn’t mingle and do things with other students. But you could see that little bit of independence there as a high school student, which I think is kind of a rarity in young people.” Buhr said.

Phillips, an only child, was born in Harvey, Illinois, farming and manufacturing area 55 miles south of Chicago’s Loop. She acknowledges her parents as the first key to her success. “They never said ‘you can’t do that because you’re a girl’ ” she recalls. “Instead, they would say ‘tell us what you want to do and we’ll help you do it,’ whether it was a class play or science project.”

After working in a Merle Norman Studio throughout high school, Phillips enrolled in the Broadway Beauty School in Bradley, Illinois, to learn more about the esthetic field. Although the Broadway curriculum was mainly hair design, with hardly any makeup or skin care, she stuck with the tough 1500 hour program to achieve her goal: a cosmetology license.

It was in beauty school that Phillips realized she has tremendous charisma to the consuming public. “She brought in more new clients to the school than any of the other students,” says Marry Goggins, a Broadway instructor.

In March, 1980, after a world wind period of presenting workshops and seminars to cosmetologist, appearing as a guest makeup artist in salons, and guiding salon owners in the intricacies of setting up makeup and skin care centers for Myra Deane Cosmetics, Phillips decided to settle in Wichita, Kansas. By May, 1981 she was working for someone else and frustrated. At dinner one night, a friend suggested she start her own company.

With $25,000 in family and SBA loans, the budding entrepreneur opened her new salon’s doors on October 13, 1981. “I signed all the loan papers two weeks before my 21st birthday,” remembers Phillips. That salon became the successful DermaSystems.

But life as DermaSystems was not always roses. Realizing beauty school did not give her the skills necessary to achieve finical success, in 1982, Phillips signed on with Wichita University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. “When I took the class, I was working 12 or 13 hours a day, six days a week, and the idea of growth on any grand scale seemed farfetched,” she remembers. The course suggested a new tactic, “I listened to other entrepreneurs talk about how they made their businesses grow and realized that I could do the same thing. But to do it, I had to train other people to provide the services so that I could run the business.”

Drawing on material from the course, Phillips, then 24 generated written training programs, technical manuals on beauty products, and a way to keep track of what products each DermaSystems client had tried. A year later she talked over her cash flow difficulties with Fran Jabara, the center’s director and her teacher the previous summer. Jabara suggested that she find a way to reduce her debt, and reduce it quickly.

Recognizing “You can only give so many facials in a day,” Phillips embarked on a strategy that highlighted the sale of new products, putting services in a secondary role. She returned to her old capacity as promoter, reaching out to the women and men of Wichita with seminars and other community services to convey DermaSystems’ commitment to beauty as a total part of a person’s well being.

That’s when DermaSystems started to gross $275,000 a year in retail revenues alone.

Phillips realizes she is a role model of retailing success to many people in the beauty business. Comments her Broadway instructor, Mary Goggins; “I use Carol’s name many, many times with my current students because she is a model of success and drive.”

“Being a woman helps,” comments Phillips about the example she sets in an industry composed mostly of females. “One of the things that women who run their own company have a tendency to do is to become very isolated. We don’t have a support-base or network for ourselves. Women are not used to networking with each other. Men have always been taught to work in teams, whether it’s football or baseball. They may not act like each other but they’ll put together to achieve a common goal. Women are not traditionally taught to work in teams. They’re on their own.”

Who are Phillips’ role models? “In the industry, Robert Diemer, for his sense of caring – genuine caring about our industry, his clients and the people around him.and Rebecca James. She showed me that research pays off, and the value of communication.” Phillip is also an intense reader, finishing two books a week on a variety of topics. “I love Lee Iacocca for his Americanism. He brought back the fact that ‘Made in America’ really does have value. And Og Mandino. The man helps me remember that when I don’t feel real good about myself, when I question what I do – that despite any self doubts – I really am a miracle. We all are. But we get so bust with ourselves, we forget that.”

“I want to remind people that they must continue to try,” she adds. “Don’t be afraid of your mistakes, look at what went wrong then do it differently the next time. And don’t loose your humanness. Getting wrapped up in business can dehumanize you. Keep your sprit live, touch other people, and continue to care.”

Today, Carol isn’t in Kansas anymore. After leaving DermaSystems last year to pursue a new phase of her career, Phillips signed on briefly with Diemer’s American Institute of Esthetics as the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In pursuit of goals closer to her own interests, she’s now gone on to greener pastures. Where to?

“I’m not telling,” she says, her luminous eyes shining mysteriously. “Not yet.”

4 Fatal Mistakes Most Spas Make by Carol Phillips

Most spa owners think that if they build a beautiful facility, clients will flock to their spa. Build it and they will come? Not anymore! Great services are a given, but spa owners today cannot keep the doors open just by offering good services. You have to create an environment where customers want to shop and spend their money. Here’s a countdown to four common mistakes to avoid to help boost your bottom line.

#4 Facial Factory

Many businesses have converted into facial factories. They have gone to 50 minute services. This is called “hot bedding” (i.e. next client in the bed while it is still warm from prior client). With such a tight time frame, your staff says they don’t have time to sell as well as provide services. But, they can!

Here are some “facial factory” problems that can be corrected:

Problem: 50 minute services
Solution: Make treatments longer (read on)

Problem: Missing new customer opportunities
Solution: The first appointment should be longer and more expensive for analysis and follow up. Recommend seeing the “shopper” again in 7 days. Schedule follow-up appointments using the phrase “would that be OK with you?” Get your “shoppers” on a 3-week cycle offering lower prices for regular, repeat appointments. If you don’t see the “shopper” for 6 months, start the cycle over with the longer, more expensive treatment. Work to convert gift certificates to regular customers.

Problem: No time to build rapport. It is essential to let the “shopper” know they can trust you with facials, hair, etc.
Solution: In the first minute and on the way to the treatment room, shake hands while looking into the “shopper’s”  eyes and say something like, “I’m so looking forward to giving you a massage/facial etc today!”

Problem: Lack of analysis skills and lack of results – Treatments have become pamper-driven not results-driven
Solution: Proper analysis leads to correct treatments and real results. It also gives some real topics to talk to the “shopper” about. “Shoppers” will spend money if they have results.

Problem: Selling is left for the end of the treatment
Solution: During the service, explain what you are doing, what products you are using and what would be appropriate for a home care regime.

Problem: Miscommunication
Solution: Ask the “shopper” what results they are looking for.

#3 Sleepy Sales

Spa music is a big culprit! The “shopper” can’t make buying decisions or a next booking at end of a treatment if they are too relaxed. If possible, pick up tempo of the music at the end of the treatment. OR have a transition area for the “shopper” to recompress in at the end of a service.  It’s also good for them to be alert before getting into a car!

Problem: Sleeping vs Relaxing – “Shoppers” relax to the point of sleep
Solution: Sleeping is not necessary or desirable. You need to protect your time with your “shopper”

Problem: Spas have become pamper palaces in lieu of wellness, results
Solution: When money gets tight, pampering gets cut, but “shoppers” will spend on results

Problem: Spa shoppers have nothing to look at inside the spa. Retail is only at front desk or in separate retail areas, yet magazines in waiting areas have tons of advertisements – none for what you sell!
Solution: Provide information on how to prolong the “shopper’s” experience. Provide retail literature and samples throughout the entire spa. Guard your retail space! If you are afraid of theft, use earthquake tape or empty bottles.

#2 Lack of Branding

Problem: You have an identity crisis!!!
Solution: Look at your front desk. How many times to you see your logo?
Solution: Your corporate propaganda – business cards, brochures, prices cards – all need your logo! Every piece of paper must have your branding message on it. Think Starbucks!
Solution: Be the leader of the pack! What makes your spa different than others in your market – treatments, style, etc. You must know this in order to effectively market your spa.

Problem: Lack of internal and external marketing plan
Solution: Inside – posters, displays. Outside – direct mail, email. Don’t hide your light under a basket.

Problem: Lack of follow-up
Solution: Always send a thank-you note. And a thank-you bump-up – something every 30 days, to remind “shoppers” to come back. Offer bounce-backs – a free service, upgrade or add-on with purchase of another.

#1 Lack of Staff Training on Sales

Your staff needs product knowledge, people skills and selling skills!

Your staff needs ongoing retail training! This needs to be part of your spa’s overall training curriculum.

Bump up marketing and staff training when the market is tight!

Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results. Change what you do and how you do it and get the results you want!