Some salon owners still think distributors are only the people they get their products from. They’re much more, says Howard Hafetz, president of Raylon Corp. “Your distributor can be the greatest friend a salon business has –if you know how to use them properly,” he says. Here’s Hafetz’s advice on getting the most from your distributor.

  1. See your distributor by appointment, away from staff and clients.
  2. See only distributors who bring value to the table. If you feel your distributor doesn’t quite “get it” about your business, call the distributorship and ask for one who does.
  3. Don’t talk about products, talk about business. Products are only a small piece of your success. Talk about marketing, education, growth, and how the distributorship can help you.
  4. Work out a one-year marketing program. Make your distributor part of your marketing braintrust.
  5. Develop an annual education program of both in-salon and outside events. Your distributor can suggest incentives that can be used to reward staff members with additional education.
  6. Talk about additional incentives that could be available through the distributorship to help motivate your staff and rally clients.
  7. Limit your purchasing to two or three major sources. Spreading your business out too many distributors makes your salon unimportant to too many. You’re better off putting lots of faith in a few.

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