By Megan Mouser
There is an old frame of mind with several seasoned groomers who all like to tell me the same story: “I don’t do well with people, but I love pets and that is why I do this,” or “I don’t need to sell,” or “I just want to groom, nothing else.”
I have heard all of these, or have said these things myself when I was a groomer. Selling was uncomfortable and strange—and I didn’t want to do it. I also didn’t understand the value.
I realized it was a game–changer when I had a pet that HATED grooming. He was a happy, healthy, big bernadoodle, and was fine for the groom, but gave his poor mama hell getting into the salon. We started carrying a few toys up front, and as a part of his regular grooming, he could choose a treat or toy at check–in and came to love that more than fear the grooming he was about to receive. After about three times and three new toys/treats, this big baby started walking into the salon and his mama was actually smiling! I did nothing different. The only difference was the merchandise added and the way I used it to enhance his experience.
This is only one experience and one example. We can use retailing in grooming in so many ways: reward, shampoo or conditioner recommendations, brush and comb recommendations, etc.
As a groomer, customers trust and believe our recommendations as the truth when they are bringing their pets in for services. For this reason, I have come to realize that those recommendations are important to building a rapport with the pet parent and enhancing the overall experience. To ensure you have success with retailing from the grooming salon, make sure you pay attention to these important points:
- Use what you recommend.
If you can’t tell real life stories about the products you are pushing, your sell is going to be less genuine.
- Know what is in it if it is a liquid product or consumable product. Customers will ask you questions so it makes sense for you to know what is in those treats or shampoo product, frontwards and backwards.
- Know the price. If you don’t know the price or promotion, it will instantly discredit anything else you’ve already said.
- Keep it organized. Whether you have a shelf of items, table or fixture, make sure it is neat and organized. Most groomers are not merchants so it is important to understand how someone will shop the space and set it up accordingly.
So unless you want your customer to shop online or somewhere other than where you are employed, when you make a recommendation, you are inadvertently sending them to a competitor. Even if you are a standalone groomer or mobile groomer, if you recommend a product and it happens to be at a place with a grooming service, you run the risk of losing business for the sake of convenience. Think of it less in terms of the money you make from it and more about the experience you can create with the items you have at your disposal. ✂️