First to the podium, president and CEO of InSPAration Management Dori Soukup spoke about setting yourself apart from the competition with video marketing. She touted it as economical and the best way to engage consumers in today’s technology-obsessed age. “Everyone is always attached to their cell phones,” she says. “You need to capture visitors and videos bring your website to life.” She offered these video tips: position yourself as an expert on products; educate clients on at-home care; take viewers through a spa tour; focus on problems and solutions; demonstrate before-and-afters; and set up an in-salon red carpet area where clients can give video testimonials. “[With videos,] you can get started with as little as an iPad or iPhone,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be perfect!” When posting videos to social media platforms, Soukup suggested to create links that drive potential clients back to your website where they can opt-in to a landing page and give you their information to take part in a special or gift offer. “It’s very effective,” she says.
The host of the afternoon, Repêchage president and founder Lydia Sarfati, put video to the test for her speech, which was shown on Facebook Live, and then spoke about what makes her company a perfect partner and retailing. She stressed to watch out for companies that are all “smoke and mirrors” and pinned Repêchage’s 37-year success on being true and honest. “We do what we say we’re going to do,” she says. She then talked about the “art of recommendation” saying that many estheticians work hard but not smart as they fail to recommend proper at-home care. “All it takes is to make the decision to not say, ‘See you soon’ at the end of the service but to instead ask, ‘What are your concerns?’,” she suggests. “Then offer product recommendations and ask, ‘How will you be paying for this today?’’’ Other highlights of Sarfati’s speech: Treat clients as if they’re the only one you have and you will get 100 clients in return; believe in the products you sell; GWP (gifts with purchase) will make your business grow; and the launch of At-Home Repêchage Fusion Face Masks. “The most important thing is to have fun with what you do because if you enjoy it, so will your clients,” she adds. “You’ve got to give it all you’ve got, believe it will work and [if you do] you will be successful no matter what obstacles arise.”
Next, president and CEO of Christie & Co. Salon & Spa Lois Christie talked about salon practices and staff, telling guests not to be afraid to ask high-end manufacturers for help, to touch clients within 30 seconds of their arrival and how to connect with various generations of employees. When it comes to the newest millennial generation, Christie said not to expect them to stick with you for the long haul. “They won’t be staying with you for 30 years,” she says. “But that’s okay! It’s about how can we make money today.” She stressed the importance of making learning fun and keeping it interactive with, for example, pizza nights, outings and friendly competitions. “Our store is always evolving to keep it fresh and new,” she says. “Your staff must buy into your culture and goals.”
To conclude the day, Lauren Snow, director of membership for Associated Skincare Professionals, briefly spoke about the potential for lawsuits and the importance of knowing what type of insurance your salon has and if and when it covers you. “Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye,” she says. Think: burns, allergic reactions, slips, trips and falls, and personal property damage. Snow suggests asking yourself these four questions: Am I covered individually?; Is every treatment you provide covered?; Is the policy current?; and Are you covered anywhere you work? “Be smarter for 2017 and check, verify and get approved for everything you do,” adds Sarfati.
–By Molly Church