Distributer sales consultants provide salons with business-building, merchandising and educational support in addition to providing professional products. SalonCentric recognizes the importance of this relationship and is committed to giving its sales Consultants the kind of in-depth training that will prepare them to succeed as the salon’s trusted business partner.
Alejandro Lopez, senior vice president and general manager of SalonCentric, explained the company’s intensive new training program that it has recently been designed for all its new (new hires and those with less than six months tenure with the company) consultants. The immersive training program does what it says: it immerses the consultant into the salon and stylist’s world.
MODERN SALON: WHEN DID THE IMMERSION TRAINING START AND WHAT DOES IN INCLUDE?
ALEJANDRO LOPEZ: Our first immersion training program began in early February with 30 sales consultants in our McCalla, Alabama facility. The training is a three-week program during which new consultants learn all aspects of the salon business. During the first week, salon consultants learn about the various departments at SalonCentric. They tour the warehouse and receive in-depth training in all the SalonCentric brands. The intense education even includes classes in “Basics of Color.” We have partnered with Summit Salon Training, and we have stylists and owners from Summit salons who share with the new consultants what they need and want from a sales consultant and what has been successful for them.
The second week of training is in the field, traveling with managers in their territory and working with salons. The trainees actually spend time in a salon, working in some capacity to learn first-hand, what happens in a salon on a day-to-day basis.
For the third week of training, consultants return to the training center to receive further salon business and planning education along with additional study of SalonCentric brands, consultative selling techniques and the second part of Basics of Color.
MS: WHAT PROMPTED SALONCENTRIC TO DEVELOP THIS COMPREHENSIVE NEW TRAINING PROGRAM?
AL: SalonCentric has acquired many legacy distributors with excellent, but varied approaches to the role of salon consultant. Through this synergy, we can bring everyone together to work as one, unified company. We cater to our 650 sales consultants, but all new hires in other departments, like finance or marketing, receive the training so the various departments can help each other.
MS: THIS IS A NEW PROGRAM, BUT WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE FOR THE SALONCENTRIC SALES CONSULTANT/SALON CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP?
AL: We are giving SalonCentric Sales Consultants this immersion training so they can be the best business partners for salons. The independent stylist market is exploding and they especially need help with marketing, running promotions and choosing the right brands. We are providing an iPad app that makes a salon visit more impactful. Independent stylists are usually with a client during a sales call, and the app is a new way to provide the professional with information on a tablet that can move from brand to brand, offer training videos and simplify the process of matching a product to the salon’s needs or to fill a gap in the salon’s service menu.
We are also providing our sales consultants with salesforce.com, which is a cloud-based sales tool of customer relation management (CRM) software. The salesforce.com program has a data base that aids in pre-planning to make a more meaningful and efficient sales call. The consultant can go into the salon with a background of the salon’s needs and past purchases. The saleslforce.com system also lets sales consultants communicate with each other and share experiences and information.
With the three-week new hire training program and partnerships with Summit and the use of technology including salesforce.com and innovative tablet apps, SalonCentric sales consultants enter their territories armed with education and support systems for their success and the success of their salon clients.