Editor’s Note: More than 10 years ago, Greg Klesius was the owner of Soakin’ Up The Rays. As a private label tanning lotion maker, he waged a one-man war against lotion diversion. Greg also educated tanning salon owners about how to keep tanning lotion sales inside their businesses. One of the ways Greg did this was his “Lotion University” newsletter. Although he’s been out of the tanning industry for many years, Greg allowed Sun Biz Weekly to reprint some of his Lotion University material to help today’s tanning salon owners. Here’s some info taken from Greg’s Lotion University.

To sell more tanning lotions, stock less of it on your shelves. That’s one of the best tanning lotion sales tips around!

Tanning lotion sales is a critical part of the success of your tanning salon. What ideas are you going to focus on in 2018 to make sure you and your salon staff are selling as many tanning products as possible? Here’s a tanning lotion sales tip that every owner should consider: stocking less product. You can never carry every tanning lotion. Even if you could, you and your staff wouldn’t be able to memorize the ingredients and selling points for each. You should think about stocking only 15-20 products. This gives you enough choices for each product type. It also helps your staff improve their tanning lotion sales.

Here are the three biggest benefits for stocking less tanning lotions than you currently offer:

  1. Less tanning lotions means less inventory cost for you. This allows you to focus your resources on products that actually sell.
  2. Less products means it’s easier to train your tanning salon employees in the tanning lotions you carry. The better they know the products, the more confident they are selling them!
  3. Your tanners make quicker and easier choices when there isn’t so much tanning lotion from which to choose. Too many choices often leads to confusion and no sale. Make it simple for them to choose the right product for their tan.

Eliminating Tanning Lotions from Your Shelves

Getting rid of tanning products can be scary. The biggest worry is getting rid of a lotion that might be someone’s favorite. It almost feels like you can’t win! Before you lose hope, remember Greg Klesius’s first piece of advice: salon owners have the power to control what is their top-selling tanning lotions by recommending specific products to their tanners.

When you’re ready to go through your tanning lotions, sit down with your key employees. Together, you’ll decide which tanning lotions you wish to keep and which ones need to go. Once the decision is made, it’s time to clean the shelves. Here are three important tips for guiding your tanners toward the right tanning lotion choices for themselves and your salon:

  1. Focus on the Top Five Sellers: Generally speaking, these are the five tanning lotions that you and your staff personally user. Remember, tanners tend to buy what tanning salon professionals recommend.
  2. Focus on Profitable Products: Do you have any tanning lotions that everyone seems to love but you barely break even when you sell it? If so, it’s time to cut it loose. Despite its popularity, this lotion does more harm than good to your bottom line. Replace it with a similar product that offers a bigger profit margin then recommend that lotion to clients. You’ll be glad you did.
  3. Where Else Can They Buy It?: With tanning lotion diversion so rampant, should you be selling products that your tanners can get elsewhere? If you stock your shelves with tanning lotions that are also available at the local retail outlet, you’re wasting your time. Remember that it takes time and money to educate and train your employees to sell these products. It also takes time to persuade your tanners to try these lotions. This is time and money wasted if you’re just training tanners to get cheaper lotions online or at a retail outlet. Replace these products with something your tanners can only get from you!

Reorganize Tanning Lotion Display

Once your tanning product choices are made, it’s time to rearrange those product shelves. When doing this, forget about stocking tanning lotion brand names together. Group the tanning lotions by product types, instead. Here are the ways you should group them.

  • Accelerators
  • Bronzers
  • Multi-effect/specialty products
  • Tingle lotions
  • After-tanning products

Arrange these tanning lotions on the shelf by different steps. Focus each tanner on the section of products that match their individual needs, which eliminates sections of products that they don’t need at that moment.

Label Tanning Lotion Displays

During peak season, you often can’t get beds cleaned fast enough, much less spend five minutes explaining tanning products. You need to develop clear shelf- labeling that lists the product type/step with a description. By clearly labeling each product section, the tanners help themselves when you cannot help them personally.

Tanning Lotion Training

It goes without saying that you have to train your staff to sell the lotions you stock. That’s not all you need to do. Ask your employees to only use the products you now stock. Every tanning salon owner knows that salon employees sell more of the lotions they use than those products they don’t use. With you and your staff using only the products you sell, your tans are a walking billboard for why clients should buy these tanning lotions.

Tanning Lotion Sales are Yours!

As a salon owner, have you watched tanners stare at your lotion displays, unable to make a decision? Eliminating this confusion helps lead to increased tanning lotion sales. Suggest your favorite tanning products to everyone who walks through your door. Remember, it’s you selling the product, not a bunch of marketing hype or slick packaging. None of that matters when you’re guests ask, “What tanning lotion do you recommend?”