Request Targets and Culture
Over the years I've come to HATE the culture of request building.
When it comes to making money it has to be as a team. A group of people working together with a common purpose. It's about US - WE and OUR goal. The request culture however, just breeds ME - MINE and I.
When owners use request numbers for Staff promotion, pay, commission or bonuses that's when requests can really damage business growth. And that's why I say;
STOP, the request culture!
I'm Caroline Turner the founder of the salon money maker and I specialise in revenue development.
I work with business owners to develop high performance teams in the salon and spa industry, something I've been doing for over 20 years.
So, why is ditching the request culture SO IMPORTANT when it comes to revenue, making money?
Surely, if a team member is doing a good job getting requests that should be reward?
Let me answer these key questions and share with you the 6 key reasons why request building needs to stop.
Key Reason #1
It's a team that makes money for the business, not an individual
The salon or spa's profit is made when everyone is successful.
And requests are all about individual growth.
The culture is ME, I'm only interested in my development, my target, my commission, my promotion.
A team member will see little or no personal benefit in helping others succeed. There is NO team when the focus is I.
“I build MY column” “that client is MINE”
Team targets are far more powerful, when it comes to financial success.
Profit comes from team success not individuals, and requests are all about the individual not the team
Key Reason #2
Requests can make team work, hard work and build egos and or money monsters
Developing a high performance team takes time, and goes though clear specific stages.
Part of The problem with requests and development is teams often get stuck in stage 2 and for some teams, they never make it past this stage, and that can cause growth to slow or even STOP!
You see stage 2 is all about competing for power.
It's a stage every team goes through, but it's key for managers and owners to move the team on from this stage of me, my view, my needs, hierarchy, and competing against each other.
And that's why Requests are no good for team development.
It makes it harder for teams to move on and grow, this normal stage of development is also about ME, and requests are all about ME.
Getting stuck in this stage can lead to big problems from internal wars, negative reactions to owners, managers or other team members, feelings of frustration and feeling dissatisfied at work.
And that does nothing positive for growth!
As those who have reached the high levels of principle, salon directors it feeds into the hierarchy state and can create big ego's
“I have the most requests” “I shouldn't have to do cleaning” “why do I need to be in meetings or training?” “I want...” “I should get...”
The money monsters behaviour in a team is also very negative, it's all about being out for themselves.
For example, whether it's putting retail under their name, even if it's not their client or booking clients in for an appointment;
"I can see you at X time"
Rather than booking the time a client wants with another team member.
Money monsters don't care for others, because there no personal gain.
It just ME ME ME
Success comes with team development, everyone moving forward together with a common goal, and an US attitude.
Key Reason #3
Requests only tell half the story, and it's not always a good one!
Retention should be every owner’s key focus.
So, they got to be a principle or director, but at what cost?
Yes, to look at a request rate of 70-90% on paper looks great, but how many clients did they lose the business to get there?
Requests just tell an owner who did come back, but what if the super star had a low retention rate?
What if they'd lost 80% of the clients given to them? What if the retention was just 25%? So, say they get given 20 new clients, only 5 would return.
Over a number of years they built their requests, earning promotion getting paid MORE BUT at what cost?
Getting NEW clients is hard work and expensive. That's why retention is KEY.
Here's some real figures from a stylist, we'll call her Julie (that's not her name).
Julie has a 93% request rate, which sounds great. BUT each quarter Julie is losing 22% of those request clients.
AND what's worse Julie is losing 78% of all NEW clients given to her.
Over a year that's a loss of 260 clients, with the average spend per client and 6 visits per year…
That's a potential loss of approximately £65,000
Add to that the average referral rate of 3 friends that's a…
Then the potential loss of just under £200,000, combine it, that’s a potential loss of £265,000!
Does Julie still sound great with 93% requests?
You see only a very small number of clients will ever tell you they weren't happy, in fact 96% will just never return.
A scary 80% of clients will sit in what I call and train the NICE CLIENT ZONE and if something better comes along from the competition those clients WON'T return.
Julie's clients ARE in the NICE ZONE and she IS losing them!
The assumption with requests figures is growth and excellence, but it's only a fragment of the story
Understanding and targeting retention of NEW clients and returning clients is far more important to the figures.
Key Reason #4
If the client doesn't like or click with the team member the request focus makes it hard for them to return to someone else
The client is put in a difficult position, they have to speak up and ask for someone else OR they pay their MONEY to be with someone they don't like!
OR JUST never return!
If we look at Julie's figures, 22% of her requests and 8% of new clients did choose to return BUT to someone else, BUT 22% requests, and 78% new clients just never returned.
In Human behavior, people will avoid perceived pain (The pleasure-pain principle, originated by Sigmund Freud in modern psychoanalysis).
When we think something will be difficult, uncomfortable or painful we, and clients avoid it.
Think about it, only 4% of all unhappy clients will speak up, 96% will just leave and you'll never know why.
Clients need the freedom to pick anyone in the salon and not be forced to see just one person, it's not good for business.
When team members are focused to requests it runs the RISK, and it is a risk that clients will avoid an uncomfortable situation (asking for someone else), say nothing, and never return.
Key Reason #5
BUILDING loyal clients is about forming habits
When a team member builds the habit that the client returns to THEM, the risk is the loyalty WILL BE with the team member and not the business.
Requests builds consumer habits, a patterns of behaviour to return to just one team member and we all know where this leads too....
Key Reason #6
After building their column, their business, they up and leave!
This can giving some owners financial panic attacks and or fury,
“after everything I've done for them!”
But if we as an industry use requests as the focus, we're encouraging the person to BUILD their business, so it shouldn't be a shock when they leave!
They have spent potentially years working to build a following, loyal clients and of course if they can get a higher % of commission or go it alone their assumption is
“I'll make more - see ya, I'm out of here!”
Those are my top 6 reasons why the request culture is bad for business, and it needs to STOP!
What salons and spa's need is team based targets, incentives, pay or bonuses focused to team growth, not personal growth.
What business owners need to focus on is retention. What's my retention % for both RETURNING clients and NEW clients.
And for a really clear understanding owners need to monitor what I call and train;
These 2 Key performance indicators really give owners the insight into their business financial security and team performance.
If you liked this article here's what I'd like you to do;
First, you can find out more about effective targets in my Revenue Newsletter and in my book The 7 Killer sales mistakes in the salon and spa industry. It's free, I'm giving it too you.
Second, if you’re not YET monitoring retention go print out your Retention report and see if you're losing thousands.
And finally, if you know someone else in the industry who would benefit from this article then share, and spread a little love.