“The Thrill of the Kill”

by | Farr Factor

Every tanning business needs an “April” – she’s every salon owner’s dream staff member, striving to ramp up sales revenue and customer satisfaction. Notice the connection of the two: ramped up revenues and ramped up customer satisfaction.

Contrary to many notions that these two qualities can’t be achieved because ramped up revenues somehow means customer sacrifice, April combines customers’ increased investments in their salon experiences with an overwhelming increased satisfaction with the value of their experiences. She’s a natural born killer in the best sense; not in the Jeffrey Dahmer sense, but in the Joe Girard sense. Joe Girard is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s greatest salesman. In his career, Joe sold more than 13,000 new cars one by one (no fleet sales, but “belly-to-belly”) to individuals. And, he did this year after year on a Chevrolet lot in Detroit. Is April ready for the Guinness folks yet? Well, maybe not – but I’m convinced that if there was a “book of tanning sales records” (we should have one!) April would be well on her way to that top entry.

So, what makes the Joes and Aprils so delightfully dangerous to consumers with pockets full of cash? It’s simple. They care first about the customer and then adjust their sites on “How do I get this person to step up their commitment to what I’m selling?” They both have an extroverted, inviting persona that welcomes customers into their world and asks to become a part of the customer’s world. How do you do that? By investing sincere time in getting to know not only someone’s tanning plans, but when appropriate, their life plans. And yes, there is a balance between really getting to know customers personally and just being nosey. But, April does it with real sincerity; she really does care how her salon customers feel about their lives and not just their tans. And that works, because the oldest axiom in the “sales book” is that people buy from those they know, like and trust. Believe me, you need a lot of that to sell 1,800 cars in a year like Joe once did, or in April’s case,
make sales with a $25 per tan average.

The key objective is to guide the customer to the decision to buy and to do so at higher levels. Great salespeople position the customer to buy what they want, and not just sell them something. When a consumer feels he or she has made the decision to buy (with your “guidance”), it’s rarely accompanied by buyer’s remorse or what we sometimes could call, “EFT Cancelling.” April sells relationships. And, when April sells – excuse me, guides – a customer, they stay a customer and are very happy to do so.

What a “Sales Killer” works on is that goal to get every customer to know, like and trust them and with an automatic instinct to do so. It’s not contrived; it’s a natural, internal drive to rack up another happy “victim.” That is why I call April the “Shark.” She sniffs blood in the tanning consumer waters and goes for the kill. This all makes for a pretty grisly metaphor, right? Phrase it any way you like. But what salon owner wouldn’t want an inviting, engaging person on their team racking up a $25 PTA? Gotta go… I sense April’s fin is up… and so will be the sales!

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