Industry News

If You Hate Retailing...

Carlos Valenzuela | December 10, 2012 | 10:08 AM

I was born to have a chauffer. The universo passed on giving me any auto mechanic genes; instead, it created yellow cabs, trains, buses and friends with cool cars. The taxi stand on my corner? It’s a sign--I am sure.If You Hate Retailing...

 If my car stalls, I get out, boldly open the hood, and stare at the engine (I think) for a long, long tiempo. Finally, I dial my rente-un-mecanico-amigo, Paco, who always says, “You can’t fix your car because you don’t pay more attention to it.” At a total loss on how one revs up atención to a car, I flash my numerocinco-guilty grin. Maybe at the end of the dia, I could rest my cabeza on the hood and whisper, “Buenas noches, mi Honda?” or, “Hey everyone, it’s my Accord’s aniversario, vamos to the new Shell for all-you-can-pump Premium. Dress casual.”

 Paco disappears under the hood as I wonder if I am only good at what I like, or, if it is posible, with practice, to get good at something I don’t like—or, doesn’t like me back?

 Is talento a gift or a reward for lots of focus?

Are salon professionals born gifted, or is it practice?

Could ‘marry him, you will learn to love him,’ be for real?

Can my neighbor, who jokes about being such a bad cook her cat only has three lives left,become a chef supremo with a steady dieta of the Cooking Channel?

 My brain wanders into why salons retail so poorly. Is it that we don’t pay atención to it? Could it grow on us? Is it worth a shot?

 Apparently, it is.

Surveys show that those who retail retain mas clientes. I was taught to integrate retail into the complete salon experiencia. “It’s just part of the visit,” said my trainer. “Just like desert with a meal.” That visual did the trick, because, as my waist will attest, I totally consider postre important with, or without, meals.

Here are cuatro easy to recall steps for instant retail results: (You can only pass on reading these if you are a retail superstar, if not, review daily until you get there.)

 1. Yes, you begin at the shampoo bowl explaining what you use and why. Say, “Doesn’t it smell great?” You always get a yes. This, I learned from my Nana for use when cooking something you know won’t turn out well.)

2. You explain every productoand truco to achieve the look. You see, you are never selling; you are empowering and helping the cliente get that winning look.

3. You insure color with color care shampoos and conditioners. Would you buy a new car and not insure it?

4. You set up a salon system with a front desk that has the products pulled and waiting as the client checks out and rebooks her next visit. She could pass, but usually doesn’t.

 Oh, you say, that’s just too pushy. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Clientes really expect product knowledge and techniques. Tip: don’t stand by the shelf and point to a bottle;use the product and show how cool it works. Clients want to know how to reproduce the estilo. This alone is what gets you more clients.

 “OK, Paco, how do I pay more attention to my carro?”

After a long pause, from under the hood comes,

“Why don’t you just call me?”

Now, that’s client retention.

Or, did he just call me estupido?

Hasta la vista,


Carlos Valenzuela, president of Carlos Valenzuela Resources, is a Latino marketing consultant, author, beauty educatorand motivational speaker.

Contact Carlos at


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