ENTRANCE POLICY: Professional Beauty is reserved for trade and professional visitors only. Due to the professional nature of the event, babies and children under 16 cannot be admitted.
What story do you tell your clients?9 October 2017 Venetia Butler presenting her workshop at the Spa & Salon ConventionThe story that salons and spas tell their clients is the story they will buy, so don’t keep saying that times are tough and that the economy is difficult. This was the advice from Venetia Butler of Sales Guru, who presented a sales workshop at the recent Spa & Salon Convention, which ran as part of the Professional Beauty Johannesburg Expo in Midrand. “If you don’t like how your hard luck story is going to end, then change it. If you want to change something then you physically have to do it. You can’t make someone hungry but you can serve something they would like to eat. If customers are optional to you then you will be optional to them. You can’t connect with someone unless you serve the food they eat. People don’t stop buying, but they may stop buying from you.”Butler went on to suggest that spa and salon owners implement four principles in the running of their businesses, namely Goal Plan; Authenticity; Give; and Feedback. She continued: “A lot of people dislike goals because they haven’t been briefed properly but without a plan, there is no direction. That direction is the plan. We have less than three months of the year left – do you know how it will end for your business? You cannot recognise the end if you have no starting point, i.e. goal plan. “Ask yourself what you want to achieve in the next 30 days. Failure is not forever but the lessons you learn from it are. Share your goals with your staff and monitor each month in terms of what worked and what didn’t. Remember that positivity works and that excuses limit you.”Butler expressed the belief that authenticity is lacking in the industry if stakeholders don’t know themselves. “You expect clients to return but did you give them a reason to? The best sales tip ever is to listen before you speak; ask before you tell. Every guest is different. Because we don’t listen, we don’t connect. Everyone wants to be seen. Clients are not just a cash register. Authenticity can’t exist without integrity. If something is not true, then don’t lie to clients.”She stressed that when staff feel safe, they will trust you. “As spa and salon owners you should always give before you get. The same principle applies to sales. Personally, I find spas make me stressed out if the therapist starts doing the sale pitch during my massage session. “Sales is a simple concept – it’s helping people to be better on their wants, needs and objectives. Give your clients options and let them know that your job is to help them make informed decisions.” Butler maintained that the complaining customer is your best customer. “This is because we learn from customers who complain. If you are not open to feedback, you need to get out of your own way. Feedback is either your best friend, or the reason you’re hungry. “What you do with information defines the outcome. So many times we defend feedback and yet feedback is your best friend – you should ask for it every day. Regarding the people who work for you, remember that disconnect with staff is never a one-way street. The greatest privilege is to be heard. “Clients have to pay to be heard. When a customer is forced to compare salons, convenience will be the deciding factor. What you don’t know about your business is what will damage it, because if you don’t know what the problems are, you can’t fix them.”In conclusion, Butler quoted American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou: “People might forget what you say or do, but they will remember how you made them feel.” (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)