Retailing Rewards

The Hair Industry Connection

Summer 2010

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Retailing Rewards

How to Incentivize, and Motivate Your Team In Your Retailing Plan

As the owner of a salon, day spa or medical spa, you probably already realize the benefits to your business of retailing. But how do you go about sharing that knowledge with your staff and incentivize them to participate in actively retailing? How do you get them fired up about the dramatic benefits that retailing will bring to their careers and to your business? Lauren Gartland is the founder of Inspiring Champions, a beauty industry business training and coaching company. Gartland helps thousands of beauty professionals each year to earn more income while keeping a work-life balance and urges all business owners to inspire their own teams to reap the benefits of retailing.

“Explain the advantages and benefits of retailing to your employees. If you just tell people that retailing is beneficial, it doesn’t mean anything. Show them the financial benefits; explain that service sales average 4% profit, while retail sales average 24% profit. When you break it down to numbers, they can really see the impact!” Gartland says. Compensate your team on their performance and tie their retail commission in with their service commission. Set your retail compensation up on a sliding scale with a minimum of three levels. Sales under $100 per month are uncompensated. Sales from $100 to $200 receive a 10% commission; sales from $201 to $300 receive a 15% commission and sales over $300 receive 20%. “What gets rewarded gets done. What gets rewarded, also gets repeated,” Gartland shares.

Use professional
salon systems to
help your team
members successfully
retail products

The salon or spa owner then has two options on how to pay the employee’s commission. Option one is to pay an incremental level compensation, which offers the benefit of keeping more money in the owner’s pockets. Option two is a straight commission, which Gartland recommends the maximum compensation for should be 17 to 18%. Consider paying commissions in monthly or quarterly payoffs instead of in every paycheck. This way, the employee sees the impact and it doesn’t get lost in the paycheck. “Have a celebration when you hand out the retail compensation checks, a party at your business where everyone gets to see the checks or cash passed out. You could even create a money tree with all denominations of cash and really make a big event of handing the bills out! Each time you pass out a bonus ask the employee to explain how they retailed the products, so that it becomes an educational event,” Gartland says.

There are other ways to reward employees for retailing, including contests and promotions. Run a retail promotion that lasts a minimum of six to eight weeks. Create a chart and post it in your break room, detailing everyone’s numbers each day. Ask your team what they’d like for prizes; you could offer education, free tools, services in your salon & spa, movie tickets or gift cards. If you use your credit card to purchase your back bar and retail products, you may earn airline points and could then offer a trip as a large prize. However, do not reward the person who sells the most! Gartland says, “Level the playing field by basing the winner on the person who has the highest percent increase. If you don’t, the same person will always win your contest, which is unfair to new people and will discourage others from even trying.

”Finally, use professional salon systems to help your team members successfully retail products." Gartland concludes, “Educate your team on your product lines. Teach your team how to educate their clients by performing thorough consultations and delivering concise product instructions. Hold regular practice sessions with your team to help them memorize product scripts, perfect their delivery and become comfortable with the art of retailing. Create salon-wide goals for retailing that everyone participates in, track and measure your team members’ success together, learn and grow as a team and celebrate your achievements in a victory party that motivates and inspires your salon or spa to success!”

Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring services, webinars, audio tapes and educational resources. For more information call 800-496-9305 or visit
Jenny Hogan is the Media Director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, contact 703-359-6000, visit or send an email to