The owner of Van Michael Concept Salons, the Artistic Director for Intercoiffure, a winner of the North American Hairdressing Award many times over and a hairdresser of 40 years, Van Council knows whereof he speaks when he talks salon life and hairdressing. At the Paul Mitchell Business rEvolution, currently underway in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort, Council took the stage to present his winning formula to an audience of salon owners, stylists and district sales consultants.
Council quoted some stats on his salon employees that are impressive: he has 90 hairdressers who have been with him for at least 10 years, 25 who have been with him for at least 20 years, and 6 who have been with him for 30 years. “This is what I am most proud of,” says Council. “When a new employee is hired, I take them out for dinner. After they have completed their two-year training program, I take them out for dinner, again, and we talk about how far they have come.”
Here are some of the take-aways from Council’s presentation:
“I start our salon meetings by saying to everyone,’ You is smart, you is kind and you is important.’”
“We opened our New Talents Salon in 1992 (where haircuts start at $12.99) to give our young stylists a place to get comfortable and to grow a clientele. They get experience, we find out about them and it also brings in a younger client. He who trains the best, wins.”
“You won’t have any problem getting staff if you have a great training program in place.”
“Also in 1992, we started to specialize. Today, only two team members do both cut and color. By specializing, stylist achieve the highest level of excellence. If you do something day-in and day-out, you’ll be better at it and the service is better, too, because they are doing everything for that client.”
“When a hairdresser leaves our salon, we give their clients free haircuts for a year if they continue to come in to us for color.”
The Van Michael Salon Performance Wheel consists of many ‘spokes’ but Council talked about some of the ones he considers most important including…
1. The Consultation: “You have to use a portfolio and ask them questions, then listen, then page through the portfolio and ask, ‘Is this what you are thinking?’ We never get re-dos if the consultation was done properly.
2. Index Cards: “We all think we have a great memory, but we probably don’t. These cards are updated with details on family, vacation, last appointment color and cut information and so much more so we really get to know our clients.”
3. Blow Dry Lesson: “The stylist does 90% of the blow dry and then hands the brush to their client and shows them how to finish it. In return, that client will purchase retail.”
4. Rebooking next appointment