By Bryan Durocher, Durocher Enterprises
Q: How do you feel about giving discounts off services?
A: I am not a big discounter. I believe it attracts a couponing type of client who is just moving around looking for the next deal. I am more about adding extra value to service, such as a complimentary scrub with a certain manicure or a paraffin treatment when you book a spa pedicure.
Q: How do you handle clients that arrive late to their appointment?
A: They get the remaining service time available. If they are extremely late, they should pay for the service time and re-book and then pay again when they show up on time for their next appointment. Your time is just as valuable as theirs.
Q: How do I start a conversation with a new client prospect?
A: 1) Compliment the client in regards to something with their appearance. 2) Make a connection: Find something you have in common with them such as you love to shop at the same stores. 3) Offer a complimentary consultation: Invite them in to see your place. It increases the chance of them doing business with you.
Q: How do we change the mindset of "old" staff to trying new ways of doing business?
A: This should be done through small transitions that can accumulate over time. Tell them you are implementing small changes and will review and monitor results on a 30-, 60-, and 90-day basis and discuss the outcomes with them. Everyone needs to be open to new ways of doing business in this economy in order to thrive.
Q: I am new to the industry and need help with gaining clients. Where do I start?
A: Start with joining a networking group in your area such as BNI or LeTip. People who belong to at least one group make 20% a year more than a counterpart doing the same thing who does not.
Q: I have some really great clients who for years have been punctual and consistent. Recently they have been showing up late or rescheduling for their convenience. How can I assertively address this without them taking it personally?
A: Acknowledge their patronage and then let them know what you have been observing and that you need them to be mindful of their service time in order to be respectful of your other clients with appointments and that when they cancel at the last minute it does not allow you enough time to replace their appointment and you lose income opportunities.
Q: How do you feel retail commission should be structured? Do you believe in compensating retail sales based on group goals or individual achievement?
A: I believe in retail incentives. A tiered structure is best, with the idea that the more you sell, the more you can earn. Start with commissions at 5%, moving to 20% based upon how much they sell. Incentives for retail sales are good as long as they are short contests with the idea that whoever has the largest percentage increase during the timeframe wins the prize instead of whoever sells the most as that can discourage certain staff members from even trying. I believe people should earn individual commissions versus being tied into other people’s possible lack of performance.