What's the first thing a client see whwen she walks throught the door of your salon? Here are Carol Phillips' top tips for maximizing your retail sales by focusing on the first 10 feet of your salon as its strongest selling area.

1) The 80/20 rule: 80% of the display should be product.

Don’t get carried away with tons of filler and decorative doo-dads. They will take away from the featured product.

2) Make your display theme clear.

When a client looks at the display, she should be able to instantly decipher your retailing message. Place signs, cards, or brochures to support your messages.

3) Have a central point of the display.

Select a visual hot spot to draw attention. This can be  accomplished with color, shape of the product arrangement, or movement within the display. Look at adding a turntable or running lights, blinking lights, or strobe lights to help attract attention.

4) Product test-drive.

Make sure you have a tester of the product features for the client to open, smell, and try. Clearly mark the tester product.

5) Use color to create attention.

Color is your primary way of attracting clients’ attention. Use contrasting or harmonious colors to attract clients toward the product. Primary colors work best, unless, of course, you are featuring bridal looks.

6) Fresh as a daisy.

Keep displays looking fresh and brand new. Clean off used product, and change items if color fades or consistency changes. Dusty product tells the client that this bottle or jar has been hanging around for a while.

7) Professional display signage.

Use only professional lettering and have it checked for grammar and typos. Computer-generated type can usually be easily obtained at the local print shop. Calligraphy is more expensive. Resist using your own hand-lettered signs.

8) Display rotation.

Change your display frequently. Use your average client visit as your guide. If you see most of your clients every six weeks, your display may be changed every six weeks.

9) Use displays for staff training.

 Reinforce the message during staff meetings to continue talking up the featured items.

10) Walk around the elephant.

Walk around the display and make sure the theme can be seen from all sides.

11) Face out.

Position each product so that the front of the item is in full view for the client to see and read. Check periodically in case a product has been fiddled with and no longer faces out.

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