When professional nail technicians want to buy products they go to the store, part of the reason they shop in person is that they prefer seeing new products up close, picking stuff up off the shelf, and examining it. But the other part of the reason is that unlike their counterparts doing hair, nail technicians aren’t being regularly serviced by a full-service distributor’s sales” consultant.” At a time in the industry when beauty distributors are being bought up and merged, the ones getting short shrift are the nail technicians. Yet they are a group that holds great potential for a distributor interested in cultivating their business. The distributors that are smart and that want nail technicians’ business will recognize the following.

An experienced nail technician with a full book generates $4,000 or more per month in service sales alone, and she is usually responsible for her own product purchases.

Good customer service goes a long way.

The day is surely coming when the Internet will provide a highly convenient option for salons. Distributors must position for online service, whether it means providing online ordering answering questions directly or via e-mail, offering a full-color catalog online so customers can scan your wares and possibly even offering live or real-time technical education.

Beware the lure of the consumer dollar. There may be a great new frontier available to distributors who open their stores to the public, but they do so at the risk of their professional business. Nail technicians, like most salon professionals, want products that are not available to their customers.

You may prefer the major companies for many reasons, but variety is indeed the spice of life. Most consumers (professional and public) want choices. Offer it to them by offering many brands and maintain your inventory so the product is available on-demand. Do away with exclusive territories and back-ordered merchandise.

Provide quality merchandise at a fair price. Today’s beauty consumer knows that most of a product’s cost lies in the marketing, not the ingredients. But don’t insult her intelligence by overcharging for average goods in fancy wrapping.

Nail technicians will buy where they can find the products, but they aren’t above switching products if dealers or manufacturers make it too difficult to buy.


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