The Age of Hair Color: Are You Maximizing Opportunities?
For a busy stylist, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of cutting and coloring all day long, without giving much thought to best profit practices like a better consultation or a focus on add-on services.
But what if you shifted the spotlight of your business onto your color clients? How would your revenue change? How could you maximize color dollars?
Recently, Alberto Rossell-Davis, director of hair color sales and education for Aveda, led a color webinar to share tips on elevating your hair color business to achieve personal and professional goals.
“Hair colorists can situate themselves as high-income earners,” he says. “Color is a prestige service in the salons, there is acceptance of it. Relentless marketing has created that—there’s a celebrity spokesperson for almost every line.”
More glamorous than ever, hair color is now seen on the runways and positioned as high fashion. Davis says to capitalize on that and use color to create prestige in the salon and for guests.
“No other service in the salon can promise prestige and exclusivity,” he says. “Salons and stylists who specialize in color have a certain cache. It’s an art, and the master colorist who delivers superior results is a role model in industry.”
Consumers understand home results are not as good, which creates loyalty in the salon to colorists.
“There’s mystery behind the formula and the application technique,” Davis says. “A precise formula must be created to deliver the look—customization is vital so the guest doesn’t get bored.”
Know Your Numbers
Davis’ most important piece of advice is to set a goal, and then understand the additional service dollars needed to achieve that goal.
Once you’ve figured out the additional income needed to achieve your goal, then look at your average service price and how many weeks/days you work per year. From there, you can estimate the average service price per guest for additional hair color services and how many add-ons you need to sell per day.
Depending on your goal, you may need anywhere from three to eight add-ons per color client.
“Consumers are seeing value in spending on themselves,” Davis says. “You have to maximize who’s currently in your chair rather than work more.”
Growing Your Color Sales
To maximize your dollars per guest, Davis says you need to use color as an opportunity.
“Hair color can be an impulse purchase,” he says. “It has a subtle appeal that allows professionals to lead to guests to more expensive services over time.”
So a guest who starts with a quick $20 application after a hair cut may eventually end up booking a $100 highlight service every eight weeks.
“Introduce them to something minimal like tonal gloss during the hair cut,” Davis advises. “Once they’ve been hooked, there is huge opportunity.”
However, to steadily grow your color income, you must first believe in the value of consistent effort.
Progress comes with the consistent introduction of color to ALL of your guests.
“This can alter the quality of your financial life,” Davis says. “What would one extra color guest a day look like?”
If the average color service is about $50, and you’re working 250 days per year, one extra guest is an additional $12,500 in services.
When all these guests start to come back for touch ups, there’s even more opportunity to generate another impulse buy for hair color with retail products.
At K. Charles & Co. salons in the San Antonio area, the team focused on additional color services and add-ons from the end of February through the end of May with profitable results. In one location, revenue was up 26.5 percent; in another, 7.65 percent.
Tune-In to Emotions
When Davis surveyed guests on the reasons they color their hair, he found that just like anything else, hair color is an emotional buy.
“While 46 percent are here for gray coverage, 43 percent said they colored their hair to look and feel more attractive,” he says.
And some guests are just looking for a change. Colorists should be aware that these guests may not be articulate about exactly what they want, so the consultation is important.
To overcome the fear of quoting prices and introducing new services, Davis offers these three consultation tips:
- State the total price—don’t break it down. “For example, you may say to a guest who brings in a photo for inspiration, ‘The cost is $200, and that includes everything I need to do to achieve the look in the picture.’”Is the model’s hair shiny? A different cut? Then your price should reflect any service you need to do to achieve that—toner, deep conditioner, cut, etc.“Everything we purchase as consumers is packaged, from the car wash to vacations,” Davis says. “When we package things, it’s a perceived value.”
- Plan ahead. You should have a game plan for your week, and be coming in 15 minutes before every shift. “Have a copy of your schedule, know what you are going to suggest to accurately plan out timing,” he says.
- Give at least two options. Allow your guest to spend their money as they wish—don’t spend it for them. “But tell them you find value in the service you are introducing,” Davis says.Thinking in terms of small, medium and large helps. What does a large package look like? It may have a gloss, balayage and cut. Give them options and allow them to choose.“When in doubt, quote high,” Davis advises. “It gives them the ability to take off. It’s more difficult to add on.”
The biggest mistake a colorist can make is to stop offering after they’ve heard “no” once.
“Maximize the potential of every guest,” Davis says. “Use the opportunity to make the guest feel and look amazing—that’s where opportunity lies. Consistent effort makes a huge difference.”