A Simple Tool for Immediate Impact
As an ambassador for Qnity, part of Kat Fischer’s responsibilities as a stylist at Planet Labs in Denver, Colorado is to help her co-workers grow their numbers and identify their weak spots.
Recently, a fellow stylist, Caitlin, was having problems hitting her retail numbers. She became frustrated when her manager told her she was not eligible for a promotion until she could reach her retail goals. That’s when she turned to Fischer for help.
“Caitlin’s super capable and does talk about retail with her clients, but for some reason there was self-doubt,” Fischer says. “I think it was the lack of having an exact plan or something she could reference.”
Getting on the Grid
Fischer suggested Caitlin use one of Qnity’s most popular tools—the 9Grid. This simple grid of nine boxes is designed for stylists to put one goal in the middle box (for example: retail), and in surrounding boxes, come up with ideas on how to reach the goal.
“As we talked about what to put in the 9Grid, Caitlin started coming up with ideas on how to talk to her clients,” Fischer says.
One of the biggest techniques the salon advocates is talking to the client four different times in four different ways during the client visit.
Caitlin wrote down ways she could do that—during the consultation, the shampoo, the service and at the close of the service. By writing it down, she reminded herself of basics she had been skimming over.
In her other boxes, she included more retail reminders:
• Talk about skin care for the new season
• Let clients hold/touch products during the service
• Pick one product to focus on weekly
• Tell clients about new products relevant to them
• Explain at-home maintenance
• Put specific products in front of them rather than show them the wall of retail
• Look at the client’s history before recommending
“The 9Grid is a way to get your thoughts on paper,” Fischer says. “Some people are reluctant—they say they already take notes and don’t need it. But the grid encourages you to focus your thoughts and becomes a universal tool of communication when everyone in the salon is using it.”
Kaitlin’s 9Grid ended up helping the whole salon staff. Other stylists could look at her ideas and quickly adapt them for their own retail business.
“And by writing it down, she realized retail doesn’t have to be a scary thing,” Fischer says.
“We’re the professionals who already know and love Aveda so much that it became more natural for her after she saw it on paper.”
Stylists at Planet Labs have also been coached in the subtle nuances of their clients’ retail personalities.
“Some clients are skeptical and want all the information—good and bad. Others get overwhelmed with information and may be sold right away while the stylist is still talking,” Fischer says. “We have to pick up on clues on how our clients are reacting to how we are presenting a product. Sometimes we stop talking and just tell them to feel their hair.”
All the training she has received in addition to creating a 9Grid have paid off for Caitlin.
She went from being under $10,000 in retail in 2014 to doing more than $13,000 in 2015 (she did the 9Grid in June, so the numbers represent only six months, not a full year).
“That was pretty huge for her,” Fischer says.
“She was able to get promoted and her average retail per ticket is a $3 increase from where it was.”
Retail remains an important part of salon business, a fact Fischer acknowledges. “It’s a conversation that never ends,” she says. “We track numbers weekly and everyone in our salon can see how retail affects their numbers overall.”
New stylists at the salon who have never worked with Aveda products will go through classes to bring them up to speed on the line, and Fischer makes sure they use the 9Grid.
“I have them make 9Grids for each product,” she says. “They put the product in the middle and the details around it. The information is then accessible to everyone. We put the grids in folders in the breakroom for anyone to look at whenever they need a refresh.”
They are a simple tool that provide motivation, clarity and goal-setting in a visual way—tailor-made for creative stylists everywhere.