Sometimes I have to be brutal. And this week, a lovely lady in Johannesburg (I’ll call her Jenny) copped both barrels. Jenny had filled in a form on our website requesting a free 30-minute marketing one-on-one with me to find out how to save her beauty business from the smoking crater it had become.
It was no more than five minutes into the Skype video conference call before Jenny’s biggest problem hit me between the eyes.
Jenny had fallen in love.
If you’ve ever fallen in love, you’ll know the feeling. That heart-fluttering, shallow-breathing kind of love. The lying-awake-at-night, staring-at-the-ceiling and seeing stars kind of love. And like most love-struck people, she’d fallen in love with the idea.
On a trip to Europe about three years ago, Jenny was introduced to a new beauty product. Instantly, she fell in love with it. And because she fell in love with it, she knew in her heart that everybody else would fall in love too. Of course, it would fly off her shelves. So Jenny arranged to bring the product to South Africa and become its national distributor.
And that’s where the wheels started to fall off. Jenny had fallen in love with the product, and ignored its uglier, more difficult and cantankerous twin, the business. Like a jealous lover, the business took revenge, and sabotaged Jenny’s starry-eyed relationship with the product she’d fallen for.
Now, her garage shelves were groaning under the weight of bottles of gloop she couldn’t offload. Jenny’s situation wasn’t completely beyond salvage. In a few minutes, I gave her a prescription – admittedly, some of which involved taking some rather bitter medicine – that if implemented would give her the best chance of turning her fortunes around.
In short, she needed to woo the business as much as the product.
Here’s the lesson: loving what you sell – product or services – is necessary but not sufficient in itself to be successful. I’d dearly love a dollar for every time a beauty therapist or highly-awarded stylist has bubbled over with enthusiasm when telling me how much “I just love cutting hair,” or “I just love seeing my clients walk out of my salon looking so gorgeous.”
Admirable, for sure. But without the appropriate systems in place to generate a constant – and increasing – flow of customers, to upsell to those customers, to get those customers referring their friends, the enthusiasm soon withers on the vine for lack of sustainability.
Be in love with the business as much as what you actually sell.
Need a ‘kick-start’ for your hair or beauty business? Complete the brief form here for a FREE 30-minute coaching & consulting session with entrepreneur and Worldwide Salon Marketing founder Greg Milner.