I’m sure this post will ruffle some feathers, but I hope it also starts conversations with anyone who works in Retail Beauty - that’s all the thousands of Beauty Consultants, Area Managers, Trainers, Retailers and Brands… each one of us.
Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about Retail Beauty.
It’s what I know, it's in my DNA!
Yet that passion doesn’t just come out when I’m judging the industry’s Beauty Consultant of the Year (blessed to have done for 15+ years) or when I’m on stage presenting to senior executives from the UK beauty retail industry and brands… Nope, it comes out every single time I walk through a department store’s doors and every single time I’m mingling with the beauty consultants and walking the floor.
Mostly I’m inspired by what I experience and the performances I see, BUT my last store visit was the absolute opposite and I’m passionate to share my experience so we can ensure it doesn’t happen again and keep retail beauty a ‘must do’ for the consumer!
Take a walk with me through my department store experience last week.
I went into the store with a friend after our first girls lunch post lockdown.. My friend asked, ‘can we pop into…X store… I need a night cream from X brand and some other bits. I can’t wait to SHOP!’ We were dressed up and ready to spend.
We went to the said counter which wasn’t covered and… well, we waited…and we waited!
We waited a very long time, 9 minutes and trust me that’s a very long time to be ignored.
My friend said in frustration. ‘oh, let’s just leave’ - I said quietly – “no we’re staying, I want to experience this and see how long we have to wait before someone talks to us, approaches or serves us”.
In those long minutes, I can tell you what was happening on the counters around us. There were 2 BC’s that were outside their counter across from us who chatted to each other the entire time, another BC was looking down and texting the whole time, and another was staring ahead into space.
My friend was showing me some products she had used before and accidently knocked over the display with a GWP bag on. And as she did, a floor manager passed us, avoiding eye contact and quickly scurried and disappearing into a back office behind another counter.
No-one came to assist, so I sorted it and put the display stand back.(my past BC days I can do this)
Eventually, a BC from another counter came up and said ‘do you need any help? (with a ‘please say you don’t’ tone)... My friend said ‘I buy this brand and wanted to get something’ to which the response was ‘if you know exactly what you want, I’ll grab it! (what are we, Tesco’s grab and mix’ here!)
Where I was is not relevant, WHY it happened is!
What we can do to change attitudes and therefore change performance IS my passion.
I am passionate about the impact attitude has on performance and why this experience failed on every level all started from a negative attitude. The individuals, the team, and the floor management.
It is what MUST change for retail to thrive, not survive.
The only thing that motivates a customer to walk into a store and beauty department, versus buying beauty products online, is their interaction with a BC, and expectations of receiving engagement, understanding, listening, empathy, suggestions, problem solving, image building, fun, entertainment. Simply said they chose to have a memorable person to person experience.
Post-lockdown, more than ever before, BC’s cannot just be good, they must be memorable and for all the right reasons.
As we walked out my friend said, “I’ve never felt so ignored or invisible - that was so depressing! I would have spent a couple of hundred pounds today as I’ve not bought any beauty products for over a year. I’m promiscuous with beauty, and I would have bought from another brand if they’d spoken to me, I’m always changing yet they all ignored me.”
As a success coach, I know the immense power attitude and focus has on performance and results and my question here is WHY was theirs so low as was there confidence to engage and their desire to shine.
People buy people before they buy the product.
My passion is that I want us collectively to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Every day counts, every customer and we should be jumping with joy when we have one.
ATTITUDE can be coached and every single BC has the potential to shine and be memorable!