A new mindset for a new business model

To grow their business, it is necessary that the hairdresser opens up to a change, even a profound one, of mentality. Lelio Lele Canavero, entrepreneur and trainer in the hair & beauty sector, explains what are the great steps to go in the direction of success.

“The hairdresser must realize that his work is no longer limited to cut, styling and color, in the marketing of beauty a change of mentality is necessary, must give maximum attention to customers and learn to stand out from their competitors”. This is the first great suggestion that Lelio Lele Canavero gives to the category of hairdressers, to which he dedicates himself with an intense training activity. Thanks to a long professional experience alongside them, he has developed his own entrepreneurial training method aimed at those hairdressers who want to make a difference. “The hairdresser thinks that the difference consists in the ability in one field rather than in another” continues Canavero “the styling, the color, the cut, the treatment … In reality it is something that concerns the whole activity. The two pillars that a hairdresser must keep in mind today are:

  • moving from everything for everyone to something for someone, knowing their customers very well;
  • stop making discounts to strangers because, however it may seem the panacea or the only strategy to implement, it is the last one: the discount is a loyalty and never a conquest technique, because the customer will leave as soon as he finds one makes a bigger discount. Instead you have to make yourself be chosen by virtue of other values: originality and exclusivity, to create your own combination that satisfies customers in a unique way ”.

What are the practical tips for a small salon that cannot afford large investments?
What matters is becoming an excellence in the actual line of work. We must get out of the logic of the small salon that does not work. It is the small salon with small prices that does not work. From Messina to Aosta I follow activities that are however of modest dimensions, but they realize important numbers because they have known how to distinguish themselves from the competition. They have been able to create an exclusive experience that exceeds customer expectations and consequently increases word of mouth. Furthermore, it is important to stop thinking that web marketing exists: there is marketing and the web allows a hairdresser to put it into practice very well. In reality we must work on two fronts: one is online, with the web, Google, social networks, and the other is offline, with events, public relations and the activity that is carried out in the territory. Instead, the hairdresser often looks for the shortcut, invests on Facebook or on search engine positioning when in reality he should have distinguished himself from the competition and chosen a precise clientele. The approach I suggest turns out to be a great way to reduce the investment budget too, because it is one thing to communicate to everyone and one is to communicate in a specific way. Thanks to this strategy the small salon manages to achieve extraordinary results as much as the large salon.

How has the marketing of hairdressing changed over time?
It have followed three phases: the first was one in which marketing was useless, the salon was filled simply by raising the gate. This is the reason why many businesses close today. Until ten years ago marketing was superfluous, good hairdressers were few, today the problem lies not only in the increase in the number of hairdressers, but also in the increase in good hairdressers. Marketing then moved on to the classic advertising phase, with no measurable or targeted goals, we focused on the single media, TV, radio, press … Today, instead, marketing is integrated and gives absolute priority to public relations: l The hairdresser must supervise the area of origin of his customers, both online and offline. We already rediscover already known marketing values such as the PR and the collaborations on the territory. The biggest mistake is to think that marketing is moving on the web: today relationships are more important, the web is a tool that helps to create an attractive and original image.

Can we talk about relationship marketing even in coiffure?
I have developed a system designed specifically for hairdressers, defined as progressive marketing, which proceeds step by step. Relations and the ability to exploit the figure of the owner and the image of the salon are an important part of this system. The hairdresser must learn to serve one less costumer and have an aperitif instead, because with an aperitif he will gain so many more costumers, otherwise if he isolates himself in his salon the dynamic that makes his authority grow will be lacking. The real enemy of the hairdresser is not the crisis, but anonymity.

What is the difficulty, the greatest resistance in changing the approach?
My answer is drastic and provocative: the hairdresser’s biggest problem is the hairdresser. The change of mentality is fundamental, the hairdressers must stop thinking about the showcase for Women’s Day and start thinking in the long term and on precise targets, they must stop thinking that the difference lies in the skill because, with the same capacity, wins who communicates it better. We must urge them to stop feeling a victim of circumstances (illegal, Chinese, crisis, taxes): the market today is more than ever meritocratic, when the entrepreneurial mentality evolves, a talented hairdresser really makes a qualitative leap.

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