Photography: Getty Images

Photography: Getty Images

Thermal tools offer exciting profit opportunities for salons—with a little extra effort. Because they cost considerably more than a bottle of shampoo or a can of hairspray, clients tend to take more time before purchasing a new blow dryer or styling iron.

And one of the best ways to influence a client’s tool-buying decision is to allow her to try it out before she buys. Cue a play station event!

A play station invites clients to experience the performance of the thermal tools available in your salon, in a fun and social environment. Host one when the salon is closed to regular services. It’s also a way to meet potential new clients and book new services.

Station to Station. In the salon, set up individual stations for each tool type—blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron or styling rod. At each station, have team members offer blow outs, smoothing and styling with the tools.

Lesson Plan. Be sure to give each client a lesson on working with the tool. Show her how to hold the tool, how to prep and section and how to finish the hair. This gives her a chance to feel the weight and shape of the tool, understand how it performs and sets her up for success at home.

Be the Expert. Everyone should familiarize themselves thoroughly on the features and benefits of each tool. Be prepared to explain why a professional tool is worth the investment in the long run. For example, highlight how blow dryers with professional motors last years longer than a blow dryer with a mass-market motor, which could burn out in six months.

Plus One. Or More. Invite your clients to bring their friends. The more the merrier! Take advantage of these newcomers to your salon by offering them consultations and a special discount for first-time appointments. And don’t forget to gift your client with a product sample, free conditioning treatment or gift certificate as thanks for the referral.

Make it a Party. Music, nibbles, cocktails, flowers, balloons. Use your creativity to create a special and festive atmosphere! You may want to build your Play Station event around a fun theme, like Mother’s Day or prom (and be sure to promote your special occasion styling services.) An event held just before the holidays is also a good idea, when everyone has gift-giving on their minds!

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