Talk Data to Me!



Chris Sulimay: Alright, sounds like we’re about to start the podcast. Hey everybody, my name is Chris Sulimay, Co-founder of 124Go, here on the Shop Talk podcast brought to you by 124Go and I’m sitting here with my good buddy-

[00:00:30] John Palmieri: John Palmieri.

Chris Sulimay: And we have an incredible guest for you to get to listen, talk to and hear some great insight about the salon industry with today. So we’re sitting here with Chris Nedza and he is the founder of an amazing application, I’ll call it a salon application software called “ZeeZor” and ZeeZor is really all about enlightening the salon community and making [00:01:00] them aware of how good or bad they’re doing behind the chair so they can up those numbers and really bringing to you real time statistics, which is an amazing breakthrough and tool to have. And so, Chris has been -this launched a few years ago, he’s had an amazing journey with this, but learned tons about hairstylists, our industry and has had the chance to really become a heavy hitter in our industry. So we’re super excited to have you here. Chris, welcome.

Continue Reading

Chris Nedza: Right on, man. Glad to be here.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. Fantastic. [00:01:30] And so, with that being said, I think there’s a lot of topics, John, that we want to dig into here with Chris. I think there’s a lot of relevant information that people could learn from and kind of put into use right away in their salons. And so how you think you want to start this thing out?

John Palmieri: I’m going to start off, well, first of all, I just want you to know that I can actually look at ZeeZor right this second-

Chris Sulimay: Boom!

John Palmieri: -And see what all six of our salons doing. And you were up 13.7% for the month.

[00:02:00] Chris Nedza: You guys are up 13.7%?

John Palmieri: Yeah.

Chris Nedza: And you’ve been in business for how long?

John Palmieri: 27 years.

Chris Nedza: Like congratulations, because not many people can have that kind of increase after being in business. You’ve got to do something…

John Palmieri: Thank you.

Chris Nedza: So good job you guys.

John Palmieri: So, the really cool thing is I can sit here and look at all six locations and get that information at my fingers. So here’s the cool part. Chris, how did we get here? How did this happen?

Chris Nedza: Well, the truth of the matter is I was inspired by [00:02:30] my wife, Cindy, who we had a 43 hair salons at one time and I had nothing to do with it. I was running another company and Cindy was running the hair salons and unlike a lot of salon owners, she cannot cut hair and she can’t cut your front yard, you know, like she knows nothing technical, but she is an amazing salon manager, she could run like crazy and run an amazing business. We sold our salons for the highest multiple in [00:03:00] the history of the market at the time, which was great. But what I noticed was we had all these locations, all these stylists, and we were running reports like crazy off the POS system. And I thought, man, this is like, who wants to run reports, right? Raise your hand.

John Palmieri: Especially for 43 locations.

Chris Nedza: Yeah, I don’t care if it’s one or 40, it was ridiculous. And so I approached the company, the POS Company and I said, you know, like, “Why don’t you put this on an iPhone?” And they [00:03:30]
said, well, “why would we do that? We already have the reports, just run more reports.” And I was like, “yeah, you don’t get this. I mean like I don’t want to run reports.” So basically that’s what happened. I love the stock market and the thing about the stock market is if your stocks are doing well, they’re in the green and if they’re not doing well, they’re in the red.  So we figured out what the key performance indicators, what drove our business, let’s really simplify it and let’s get it to our staff and our stylists so they knew whether they were in the green or the red, that’s how we got here.

[00:04:00] Chris Sulimay: And that’s interesting, you just said a couple of things that like could spark this conversation in all kinds of different ways. One thing that’s really interesting is in the independent salon market, most owners are really just a hairdresser that grew a big clientele, became an owner and don’t necessarily have that management skill background that your wife has. And yet as a hairstylist who was an owner, I remember seeing somebody that had business sense open up a salon down the [00:04:30]
street who knew nothing about our industry and going, “How did they outgrow me so fast?” And it ends up, you know, fast forward 20 years that these are the things that it is and that you guys were able to identify those things because of the fact that you had a more, I’m going to call it “strategic mind management” type mindset and understood a different topic other than hair. This was about how to run my business and what are those really important [00:05:00] numbers. But I want to ask a question around what were software companies not doing besides having it on a phone? So all those statistics you could get to by taking this long road. What made you know, “Look, if you just give us these five things and I need it in my hand”, how did that…

Chris Nedza: Yeah. In other words, why didn’t they do what we did?

Chris Sulimay: Yes.

Chris Nedza: Great question.

Chris Sulimay: [laughter][Crosstalk] [00:05:30] Don’t laugh, You’re going to do it next.

Chris Nedza: Great question. In fact, before I actually started ZeeZor to be a business, I think one thing you should do is decide why you should be in the business. And I had that same question. I’m like, why aren’t these POS companies doing this? And so I had a chance to run a restaurant POS system. I became the CEO of a restaurant point of sale company because I, first of all, I like doing turnarounds, which a turnaround is basically going into a complete mess of a company and turning it around. [00:06:00]
I like that. But I wanted to know why they weren’t doing that. And here’s the reason why, your really good developers, they don’t understand financial numbers and they don’t want to do reporting.

Chris Sulimay: They just know how to build stuff.

Chris Nedza: Right. And there’s so much that the point of sales system is doing, I mean their development, the timeline of features and developments are incredibly long. So they’re dealing with EMV chips, they’re dealing with Apple Pay, they’re dealing with [00:06:30] ecommerce. I mean, just think of all the things at that point of sales connecting up with. And if you want to take a star developer, they want to do the sexy stuff, they don’t want to be doing the reporting. So, and even if you do get them to do that, they don’t understand the numbers anyway. So that’s what they were doing.

John Palmieri: So, you know, one of the things I think it’s really cool is as a business owner, you get to sit and look at your metrics, your “KPI’s” as you call them and see where your company is, what’s moving, what’s not, what’s [00:07:00] doing well, where do you need to put some focus. Talk about for the independent because I think there’s a lot of value with the ZeeZor app for them as well. So for the person who is an independent, “I don’t need to know my numbers, I don’t need to watch this stuff. I’m here, I’m busy.”

Chris Nedza: Yeah, it’s a great question. So, one thing I’ve really gotten into is the data and I am really curious about what’s possible. I think it was May 6th, 1954 Roger Bannister did [00:07:30]something that everybody thought was impossible, impossible, in fact the scientists of the day said it was humanly impossible to do, what he did was he ran a four minute mile, he broke the four minute mile barrier, that was considered like crazy.

Chris Sulimay: And then a bunch of people did it right after.

Chris Nedza: Two months later. So think about that, in all of history nobody did it. This guy does it in 1954, two months later the next guy does it. And you know there’s over I think over 1400 athletes including high school athletes who have broken the four minute mile. Why? Because all [00:08:00]
of a sudden they understood, “hey, it’s possible to do it.” So I’m looking at the data all the time and looking at what’s possible. I see stylists who are doing a half a million dollars a year in sales.

Chris Sulimay: You just had one recently, I saw posted on your page.

Chris Nedza: Yeah, I did. Joe Craven, amazing. What was cool about her was she saw a stylist out of Juke Salon who did 200,000 or $500,000 at one of her data driven salon conferences. And she saw her doing, she was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s possible, I’m going to do [00:08:30] that.” Now Jill was doing about 300. That’s not chump change, right? But when she realized that 500 was possible, she set that as her sight and her goal. So, to your question about what the independent can get out of this stuff, they really don’t know what’s possible. Like ask them “how are you doing?” They have zero data points to know whether, like I talked to independents and I’m like, “well, how are you doing?” “Yeah, I’m doing pretty good.” “Well what does that mean? [00:09:00] Well, what are your total sales?” “Oh, I don’t know, you know like 50,000 a year.” “50,000? Like, do you realize that you could do a half a million?”

Chris Sulimay: And just for the sake of conversation here, to me, I consider an independent, any person that stands at a chair,  and the reason why I say that for the sake of this conversation is this isn’t to be ignored by any hairstylist who can grasp the understanding that there are people, we just listened to our [00:09:30] good friends podcast the other day, the guys from Hairdustry, they interviewed a guy that lives in our market, Daniel James Mason, shout out to that guy.

John Palmieri: Great guy too, great guy.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Did $1 million in services behind his chair. Yeah, he worked with a bunch of assistants that type of thing. It takes what it takes to get there but the reality is that happened at one chair or six chairs [laughter], I think he worked six chairs himself. But, but the idea is who would have known [00:10:00] that was possible unless this information gets shared.

Chris Nedza: Yeah. So, I’m really fascinated by those people that are top performers and there’s a common theme to them. So, one thing that I’ve noticed is, first of all, if you’re hair professional or anything, I don’t care whether you’re a baseball player or a hair… Do you want to be average? Like raise your hand if you want to be average. And most people will go if they really think about it, “No, I don’t want to be average, I want to do my best.” So, how do you know what your best is? Well, then [00:10:30]
you should benchmark against incredible people because it’s possible, it’s totally possible. So one thing that people that I know that are high performers, one common thing is they want to be the best. Okay? They don’t have excuses. Like, I think it’s called the six P’s. Are you guys familiar with the six P’s?

Chris Sulimay: No, give it to us.

Chris Nedza: The six P’s are “proper planning, prevents piss poor performance”, so, that’s number one.

Chris Sulimay: That was a trick question [laughter].

[00:11:00] Chris Nedza: But it’s obvious, right? The Salon business is a simple business. It’s not easy, but simple.

Chris Sulimay: That’s right, that’s right.

Chris Nedza: So, one of the things are that people want to do well, so if they want to do well, they’re committed to be professionals and not just in your technical skills, but get your game on and be ready. So, they do their homework, when they know what staff at what clients are going to be walking in the door. They know something, we’ve got a client, [00:11:30] her name is Mary, she’s with Modern Salon up in Charlotte. She’s so committed to her clients. She loves her clients so much. That if she knows the client likes black coffee, she greets them with a cup of black coffee. I mean, that’s total, [Crosstalk], yeah.

Chris Sulimay: That’s really nice, I love that. Fantastic.

John Palmieri: Let’s talk about this for a second, I think we talk a lot about, you know, you just brought up, what is it like to be one of those people that doesn’t want to be average, they want to be exceptional. They want to hit $500,000 in sales. [00:12:00] Let’s talk for a minute, what does average look like? Because I think for a lot of us, we don’t know that- and  I mean this kindly- we’re stuck at average. When you look at what information you see on ZeeZor what is the average stylist look like?

Chris Nedza: I can’t answer that, because you can be average in total sales, you could be average in retail per client, it could be. So, I can’t really answer  [00:12:30] that. Most people are good at something and not good at other things. To me, average is somebody who’s in the middle of their salon and then average, and that person who’s in the middle performance of their salon, they should know whether they’re in the middle.

Chris Sulimay: So for you it’s about awareness. Like most people, number one, most people, if they thought about it, they wouldn’t want to be average, but we don’t think about it. And then once I think about it, I need to know [00:13:00] what average is.

Chris Nedza: Yeah, or what’s good. So even Roger Banister, the guy that broke the four minute mile, he had two people pacing him during that race. So once you decide you want to be good, don’t be an island unto yourself, go find somebody who’s good.

Chris Sulimay: That’s a great thing to know. So for somebody who doesn’t know what pacing means, describe what that is, because that’s important.

Chris Nedza: So the way they run a mile, its four laps, so he had [00:13:30] two guys run one leg of the first two laps because he couldn’t run the whole four laps, but he could run two really fast. So he ran really fast and Roger ran right alongside him,-

Chris Sulimay: To pace him.

Chris Nedza: And then that dude tired out. And then the next guy finished the other two and he ran really fast for two laps because he could run a lot faster for two than for four. So they paced him. So find somebody that can pace you, you know, that knows that’s really good at what they do. Model yourself. I mean, [00:14:00] Tony Robbins talks about this all the time with the data, especially at ZeeZor you can see in your salon you can see that there are other salons who are doing better than you. Attend a conference and find somebody who’s doing really well. Talk to you guys, I mean you guys are in the business, you guys are fantastic.

Chris Sulimay: Okay, describe really quickly what ZeeZor is and what it does and how it works because I think that’s important based on what just happened there, in that conversation.

Chris Nedza: Yeah. No, thanks. I’m not trying to sell ZeeZor, I just like-

[00:14:30] Chris Sulimay: No, we love the app but it’s important to know, okay, what does this thing actually do?

Chris Nedza: All right, so it takes the data. We partnered with point of sale systems and we extract the data out of the point of sale system and we put it on your phone in a way that’s usable. So if you’re a stylist you can see what your numbers are today compared to the same day as last year or the same week. So you know exactly where you are, you can set goals, you can set targets and you can run contests all within the app. And it’s really designed to  [00:15:00] build a community and then for people to be super engaged and lift each other up. So there’s bringing customers in the salon, that’s consumer engagement and then there’s employee or staff engagement. We are all about engaging the staff so that they know where they are and they catching people doing the things well.

John Palmieri: So what I like about the app is I get the monitor all six of our locations and I’ve got here obviously in my hand for those of you don’t see the video version, you know, things that I get to track, I get to track things like what are the total [00:15:30] sales today, what I really like is how many service sales do I still have remaining on the book that haven’t come in yet. So I get the pace whether or not my day is going to hit goals or not. Other things like service sales, retail sales, retail per client, average ticket, services per client, et cetera, et cetera. It’s got tension, which I love for both new and return guests. The really cool thing is I have all of this information right here. Not only do I have it per salon but I can click on one of our six locations and  [00:16:00] then drill them in each one of our employees. So now if I want to work with a particular stylist and help coach them, to give them that information they need to succeed it’s all right here on my hand. But what’s better than that is that they have this too. And then you made a conscious decision-

Chris Sulimay: That’s the better part.

John Palmieri: -You made a conscious decision to make sure that this information were shared with the stylist as well as the salon owners or managers. Correct?

Chris Nedza: That’s right. So, some of the point of sales systems also have [00:16:30] those metrics in the mobile app. But what we’ve added to it, that none of them have, is we have this thing called Stack-Up. So it’s an aggregation of the data. So you can see how your salon stacks up across the industry and most of the point of sales-

Chris Sulimay: That’s super cool.

Chris Nedza: Yeah. Most of the point of sale systems, in fact, none of them have this and one reason they don’t is because they’re usually concentrated in a particular type of salon group. So, I saw all this data and I’m like, [00:17:00] what is good? And so let’s get it from L’Oréal salons and Aveda salons and you know, Paul Mitchell salons and [Crosstalk][laughter] salons. I love those guys, I do. So, having that benchmarking data in there is really cool, but also being able to set up a contest so that you can know, you know, like running a contest is a pain in the butt, but you can do it right from ZeeZor. You can text your staff right from ZeeZor. I would say [00:17:30] the biggest opportunity for salon owners and managers is to connect and notice their staff and be very objective. “I saw that you did really well today on your retail sales.” And it has just taken three seconds to text them on, you can do that.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. So, one of the culminations of this conversation happening so fast was that you recently were in a meeting together and I asked you a question and the response that you gave me [00:18:00] was probably what I knew was the answer, because it would have been my answer, but it was the last thing you being a tech guy that I thought was going to come out of your mouth. And so, I want to start to talk about that because obviously the numbers are created by our actions in the salon, that’s what creates the numbers, my actions and activities on a day to day basis over time, we can measure it by numbers. So I asked you recently, what’s one of the most important [00:18:30] things for a stylist to do better in order to make this happen? What’s the biggest missed opportunity? And you might not remember what your answer was.

Chris Nedza: I don’t know what I said then but I believe the consultation is absolutely the number one… And also my side gig is on the Secret Shopper [laughter].

John Palmieri: Awesome.

Chris Nedza: I get a haircut and I never get a haircut at the same place because I’m so curious about, do [00:19:00] people actually, look, they know what to do, do they do it? Yesterday I got my haircut and the first thing they said was, “What are we doing with your hair today?” What kind of freaking consultation is that? And they didn’t ask, they didn’t, “I’m going to try some paste on your hair.” They didn’t tell me what it was, they didn’t even, I mean they just checked me out. That was it. And I had asked her, cause I’m running out of shampoo. I’m like, “hey man, what do you have for my kind of hair?” It is all the consultation, they don’t do it.

John Palmieri: For our new stylists, [00:19:30] those who are new to the industry and they may hear that – of course, they’ve already heard it from their owner or manager, but- tell us. why is that consultation so important? Especially maybe when talking from a customer stand.

Chris Nedza: Well, because most people assume that the customer knows what they want. They don’t know what they want a lot of times, they don’t. So you have to ask them questions. Like, I’d love a question, a great question to ask someone is, “well, what are we doing with your hair?” And I always say, “okay, I know I don’t look like Brad Pitt. Okay, He’s a bit little better looking.” [laughter].

[00:20:00] Chris Sulimay: You’re way better looking than Brad Pitt, don’t kid yourself.

Chris Nedza: But then that I asked the stylist, “Would Brad Pitt wear his hair like me?” and their answer is instantly, “no”. So, why aren’t they asking me- or a great question is- “who’s your celebrity crush?” Now sticking with Brad Pitt, I’d say [Crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: Dude that’s a great question!

Chris Nedza: And this isn’t really my celebrity crush, but sticking with Brad, I would say that Angelina Jolie would do in a pinch.

John Palmieri: Sure.

Chris Nedza: She’d do in a pinch. [00:20:30]So, the question is if you were single and Angelina Jolie walked into the room, would your hair and your look convey the message that you want to convey to her? And I’m like, man, I’m a freakin geek. No! I want to look cool. Now the stylist can say, “right, so let me give you some options, this is what I’m thinking. “That’s a consultation. It’s not “what are we doing for you today?” I don’t know, I’m an idiot. By the way, most men don’t know it always.

Chris Sulimay: Well, it’s funny that you say that. Just because [00:21:00] the other day I had a lady sit in my chair who was a new client to me, not a new client to our organization. And I was kind of asking her questions maybe more than she had been asked in a while. Probably, I’m going to assume, probably, cause law of familiarity, she’s been around for a while and they had gotten comfortable and had gotten in a rut and stopped asking questions, which happens to 90% of stylists probably after six months or seeing somebody for a few times. [00:21:30] So I was asking questions. I could tell initially she wasn’t used to it or enormously comfortable, but once the barrier broke and she’s… And so I wasn’t comfortable by the way, but I was continuing to ask cause that’s how I operate. At some point the barrier broke and she goes, “these are really great questions. Nobody ever asked me these.” They were super basic, but I was persistent and there was a [00:22:00] moment of uncomfort because most stylists aren’t asking this stuff. And when you start to refer to a higher level stylists, nevermind a $500,000 stylist, that might not be in the cards for everybody. But I’ll tell you one low hanging apple that 90% of hairstylists don’t hit, or at least 80% is that 100,000$ mark. It’s a sad statistic to me that 80% of people that are in our industry [00:22:30]behind the chair never break that first super low hanging fruit,

Chris Nedza: $100,000.

Chris Sulimay: $100,000.

Chris Nedza: It’s so funny because it is totally doable.

Chris Sulimay: And the difference is this a little thing like asking a few deeper questions. So your question was sexier than mine, but it was staying in the game and asking and committing to that and that’s a part and piece that was missed.

Chris Nedza: Do you really love your client? Like do you really care for people?

Chris Sulimay: You got to.

[00:23:00] Chris Nedza: If you care for people then you owe it to them, to talk to them, to ask them a question and to educate them on why in the world would a stylist spend so much time for their heart and soul making that client look and feel the best they could have and they let them walk out the door and go buy a product off Amazon and Walmart. I mean, have you ever gone to Walmart or Amazon and ask them for advice on what will work on your hair? I have every product known to man because I always buy it. I have a habit, if [00:23:30]they recommend I buy and half the crap that they sell me makes my hair look like you know, like bad.

John Palmieri: Yeah. One of the things that you’re bringing up that challenge because I think a lot of folks will say, “it’s hard for me to sell retail right now because my clients pull it up on Amazon. They go to Walmart and buy it” and the  answer is, “you know what? They do” But this is what I know, I’m looking at ZeeZor, I know that we have stylists in our company currently that will sell 20 and $22 per
[00:24:00] client, retail per guest. They have those numbers. Now I’m going to ask a different question. The question is why can the person who works in the same building that you work in, sell 20 to $25 worth of retail per guests and you’re selling four and you can’t tell me it’s Walmart and Amazon because guess what? The person next to you lives right next to Walmart and Amazon too.

Chris Sulimay: By the way, $22 in product is about one bottle per person. So we’re not even talking about an incredible [00:24:30] amount.

Chris Nedza: I’ve got clients that are selling 45 and $50 per client.

John Palmieri: Yeah, you showed me that yesterday. It was crazy.

Chris Nedza: And it’s not they’re just selling…. They’re doing $60,000 a year in retail sales or almost 70,000, they’re not selling. You got to get it out of your mind that you are not selling. If they have dandruff, they need moisturizer shampoo. If you love your client, you want them to look and feel and you want her to repeat [00:25:00] that same look when they go home.

John Palmieri: What I like to think of is consultations and that goes to the retail sale is I like to think of them as an opportunity for problem solving. Because now if I’m addressing all of your challenges in my consultation, whether it’s how to take care of your hair, where do you need to style it, then you’re not selling anything which our offering is tools. These are the tools you need to get the look, to get rid of your dandruff,  for me to help you solve [00:25:30]all your problems. And you can’t get that from Amazon, you can’t get that from Walmart.

Chris Nedza: And so again, listen, I tried to cut my kid’s hair at one time and that’s why they ended up with a buzz cut five minutes later [laughter]. So, I’m not a hair care professional. I just see the data and I ask a lot of people who are doing really well and you’re right, and the first thing is to understand it’s totally possible to do it  and the second thing you have to put in your mind is your customer wants that help. [00:26:00] If they could do it themselves, they would, they want your help and they really. And think about that, their personal appearance, that’s what they’re living with every single day. You can make a difference in their life on how they look at themselves, how they feel, the relationship at home, the pride that they feel, like man, love that client.

Chris Sulimay: That’s a beautiful thing. I’m going to turn the conversation a little bit towards oh no, no, this is fantastic. You’re inspiring. I mean a ton of thoughts. But I want to turn the [00:26:30]
conversation now to, you know, “okay, great. I’m sold, here’s the consultation, I’m going to do all that.” Now let’s talk, because I’m guessing some owners are listening or I’m guessing some people just sit their chair are listening and “okay, how do I grow my business?” What are those key numbers that if we focus on daily, during our marathon of our career, what are those super top important key numbers that you think I should be looking at every day, what are those top numbers?

[00:27:00] Chris Nedza: Yeah. So, it’s funny that you asked that because we’re literally going to make a recommendation on our top 10. So, obviously total sales, retail sales, service sales those are big. But what I think you should be looking at oare the ratios. So our retail per client ticket, which is the what’s on average, how much your customers are spending or it could [00:27:30]
be retail per service ticket or I love the percentage of your service guests who are purchasing retail. Meaning if I serve 10 customers and five of them bought retail-

Chris Sulimay: 50%

Chris Nedza: -That’s 50%. If you’re at 40% you are the best of the best. That’s 4 out of 10

John Palmieri: 4 out of 10. So, those are what you see in all the aggregated information you’ve collected. That anybody who sit in the 40% is doing really well.

Chris Nedza: Most people, most numbers that I see, people  [00:28:00]are at 12%, 15% maybe. Yeah. You know that really shows you that it’s just honestly, they’re not putting any [Crosstalk].

Chris Sulimay: Oh, yeah. That number I think has been proven industry wide as the, “I’m not trying to sell. I haven’t even made…”  -and I’m using the word “sales” here, but you know, if you’re on the other end of this conversation please know that I’m a hairdresser, I stand behind the chair and I don’t offer one thing to a person that I don’t think they need on their head. So when I say sell, I mean recommend, educate  [00:28:30] on, use and commit yourself to. And I mean industry standard says that 10% of your clients will buy even if you’re blocking them from the shelves.

John Palmieri: Even if you’re standing in their way.

Chris Sulimay: And so if you’re inside of that ratio, it lets me know right off the bat, you’re not even given this or you’re so freaked out by it that you’re just not going to bring it up.

Chris Nedza: I love average service ticket, which is another one. And the reason I love average service ticket, it’s funny cause I was talking to a salon [00:29:00] owner and I was telling him about a stylist who did $500,000 and his response was, “well that’s because they’re in New York or LA” or some crap like that. And I’m like, “no, they’re in Canton, Georgia”, which I mean, you know, Canton, Georgia that isn’t, we’re not talking New York City, we are talking Nowheresville. But [Crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: [Crosstalk] Canton, Georgia by the way.

Chris Nedza: Yeah, I did right. Or Charlotte, that’s not [Incomprehensible].

Chris Sulimay: It’s not the biggest metropolis.

Chris Nedza: But when I looked at his average [00:29:30] service ticket, they were in the top percentage of average services in the country, his salon. And so what does that tell you? I’ll tell you what it tells me, your customers -and they have a lot of customers, so they were, they have a lot of customers, they were top performing there and they have a high percentage of service ticket, like average service ticket. That tells me you got customers who are willing to spend money. So, don’t give me this crap that you can’t do 500,000, it’s you’re not in the right [Incomprehensible].

Chris Sulimay: That’s right.

Chris Nedza: The retail [00:30:00] sales net salon were horrible. Now why?

Chris Sulimay: Which salon?

Chris Nedza: I can’t say [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: No, no, no, no. I mean we’re talking about the 500… The high, high tickets salon?

Chris Nedza: Yeah. The salon that, what’s a high high tickets, they had a top performing like in the top percentile of average service. The retail sales were terrible. And so here, if you’re an owner, listen up, if your retail per client is like eight bucks and you see 10,000 customers [00:30:30] that’s really not a very good number -the $8, if you got it to 12 or 16, let’s say it’s $8 more that’s $80,000 of revenue. And it’s totally possible.

Chris Sulimay: Totally possible. And by the way, just so everybody knows, I wasn’t asking Chris to call out the salon [laughter], I was trying to figure out [incomprehensible] I would never do that. Just to get that out in the open, on the podcasts.

Chris Nedza: Pre-book is another metric. And when I say pre-book, [00:31:00] everybody’s got a different way of measuring it. What you really want is you want to know that your staff is walking to  that client and saying, hey, you want good advice, my hair grows, you know, like every five weeks I need a haircut, it would be great. I’ve never, not one time, not one time in my career of life has a stylist said-

Chris Sulimay: Really?

Chris Nedza: Never. It has never happened.

Chris Sulimay: They never tried to rebook your appointment?

Chris Nedza: Never. I have not one time.

Chris Sulimay: I actually find that, I’m baffled by that.

[00:31:30] John Palmieri: Cause here’s the thing, rebooking is like my favorite number, like of all the different metrics. That’s my favorite.

Chris Nedza: Some people call it rebook, some people call pre-book, but the metric is are you recommending and saying, “Hey, let’s get you in here five weeks or four weeks or six weeks,” whatever the, you know-

Chris Sulimay: What does that do for your, what does that number do for your business?

John Palmieri: Right. Cause I think a lot of people can say, “I know why retail per guest is important. I know why average service ticket is important, but what [Incomprehensible] they’ll come back in, no need to rebook.”

[00:32:00] Chris Nedza: No, no, absolutely not. If you can get your customer to come back a second time, there’s a 78% likelihood that they will become a repeat customer. They will come back over and over again.

Chris Sulimay: So, that second visit is key.

Chris Nedza: Critical. And they will not volunteer to book, they’re just there the first time, they’re kind of unsure what’s going on. It’s your job to say, “Hey, look, we’re trying to accomplish with you is this look or whatever. I think you should come back in [00:32:30] four, five or six,” whatever the time period is, but know your stuff and book him again. Your retention numbers are important, which is that are you coming a second time? That’s a new customer retention or like what percentage of customers are coming back all the time? And there’s  a productivity number too that I think is a pretty good one too. So those are the metrics that I think are important.

Chris Sulimay: And productivity- go ahead and describe that.

John Palmieri: If I can, it’s a number of hours you are scheduled [00:33:00] to work and you divide the number of hours you were actually doing services. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say haircut, you booked for an hour and you did four today. So, you were booked four hours, you were scheduled to work eight hours today. So you’re 50% productive. And scheduled hours is important because you could be like, “well, I had four haircuts today, I was done in two and I went home.I was 100% productive.” No, not [00:33:30]really because there were four more hours left of your schedule, you just decided to bail.

Chris Nedza: So in our salons, one of the things- and I do agree that’s a great calculation. In our salons we paid hourly and then we paid a bonus based on productivity. Which is actually, it was really that kind of the calculation of the revenue per hour that the stylists brought in. So, they were able to make really good money. But a lot of [00:34:00] people confuse activity with productivity. You’re in the salon that doesn’t mean you’re active. If you’re paid on productivity and there’s nobody literally in the salon, then what are you doing? Get on your social media and say, “Hey, I’ve got an opening,” put a little posted on some cars in the parking lot say, “hey, come on in, like, we want to take care of you. “

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Seretta said something in our conversation with her that has stuck with me ever since.

John Palmieri: “Busy makes busy”?

Chris Sulimay: “Busy makes busy”. And it’s one of [00:34:30] those things that on a daily basis, if you’re brand new and you’re listening to this and it looks like it’s going to be, you know, it looks like it’s going to be 12 years until you’re as busy as that top stylist in your salon, daily activity, man. Little things like doing what Chris just talked about, making a post, grab a fellow stylist, do her hair really beautiful and post it on social without any ask, [00:35:00] build your brand. There’s so many different things we could be doing with our downtime that are productive , that  over time. And what an amazing feat that person went from 200, she was already doing 300,000 a year. So she was already wildly successful and upped her game by another 200,000 bucks.

John Palmieri: In a year.

Chris Sulimay: in a year.

Chris Nedza: And that’s a real good opportunity people need to know about. She actually does a lot of hair [00:35:30] extensions. And she has specialized in like older women. Frankly they start, you know, [Crosstalk] and its humiliating, when she has enough love for people to say, “let me help you with these hair extensions.” And so she does it a booming business because she loves her clients. And I see a lot of salons that do hair extensions, most of them think it’s an ugly wig  [00:36:00]
and it’s not, it works for Shakira. There are average people and you should have more than one stylist in your salon doing hair extensions. Like everybody should be looking at that opportunity.

John Palmieri: I mean I know we as a company are looking at what we can do with hair extensions beyond what we already offer because we see a huge opportunity there.

Chris Nedza: Cut, color, treatments and extensions. Do those four things.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. That’s a beautiful thing, that’s a beautiful thing. I feel like we could go on all day, but John, [00:36:30]I feel like you’ve got some thoughts you want to-

John Palmieri: Yeah. I want to know, I think one of the opportunities that we have is we, with all the different guests that we get to bring in, we get to look at this industry from different perspectives. So, what do you see, looking at what comes across ZeeZor, what changes do you see in the industry or what do you think we should be aware of? What do we need to keep an eye on for the future? I want to ask you to look into your crystal ball with the support of all the numbers.

Chris Nedza: So, first of all that’s a [00:37:00] great question. I want to address the Amazon monster in the room. I think that salon owners are being enamored in like allured to this notion of “let my customers order from Amazon and promoting that so I get a small percentage” cause I get a little percentage from Amazon, and I heard it said that’s like losing so slowly you think you’re winning.

John Palmieri: Yeah. Love that.

Chris Nedza: And so therefore it’s a red herring. I hear a lot of the manufacturers say, “oh, we can’t compete with Amazon. Everybody’s buying off Amazon.” That’s a bunch of bull. So, there was a big battle brewing and I would say number one trend is people are going to figure this out. There’s nothing like the touch of the stylist that can defeat that and I would not let Amazon sell my stuff, no way.

Chris Sulimay: Dude, coming from you that is so strong. Like [00:38:00] as a salon person, I can argue it all day long, but I’m one of those silly passionate hairdressers that doesn’t have the background of a bigger business like you run. I worked in corporate but not with that type of buying power. So, it’s interesting for you to hear because I’ve been on the other side of those corporate meetings and watched them laying down because they don’t think they’re going to win that fight.

Chris Nedza: I’d rather get 20% of something than 0% of something [00:38:30]. And it’s just a false, it’s a false narrative because you’re actually giving them the customer’s name, the history, you have no control over, sure you get 20% on the first sale, you have no control over that customer. They’re gone. They’re out of your system now. They get 100% of the next sale.

Chris Sulimay: Dude, I love that we are on Shop Talk waging war on Amazon. This is amazing [laughter].

John Palmieri: It’s good thing  it doesn’t host our podcast [laughter].

Chris Nedza: Okay. I mean, I have a ton of data. The stuff that we have is [00:39:00] unbelievable. We don’t have anything compared to what Amazon’s got. I mean, literally I didn’t have my guard up. Don’t roll over, beat ’em at the game.

Chris Sulimay: Wow.

Chris Nedza: That’s what I see going on.

John Palmieri: Anything else that pops into your mind that you think about that we as an industry need to be aware of or [Crosstalk]

Chris Nedza: Yeah, I would, I hear a lot of salon owners get ruled by their management. Meaning there’s a salon owner who will [00:39:30]have a manager, a general manager, and the general manager- I hear this comment sometimes- “you know what we’re not all about the numbers we’re really touchy, feely, soft people”. If your general manager tells you that, get rid of them.

John Palmieri: Oh really? Yeah.

Chris Sulimay: I love firing. I’m a huge fan of firing.

Chris Nedza: I hate firing. I do, I do.

Chris Sulimay: I’m not in a position to fire right now, but I’m a huge fan of getting people off the boat that don’t need to be on the boat.

Chris Nedza: I agree. And without the numbers, you don’t know what you’re doing. So, if they tell you to get rid of a [00:40:00]tool like ZeeZor or whatever the tool is, they’re telling you to fire the Fitbit because they’re still fat, and it’s really hiding their poor performance. That’s an excuse. They like to keep the, you know what they say, they keep the owners like treat him like a mushroom.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, they held them hostage.

Chris Nedza: Well they keep them in the dark and feed them a bunch of crap. So, I would say that it’s more important than ever to know your numbers and to connect with your people.

John Palmieri: Sure.

Chris Nedza: Based on the numbers and its okay [00:40:30] to tell someone “you did really good about this metric” and you don’t have to even worry about whether they show up on time, all that kind of crap, you don’t have to worry about it.

John Palmieri: Yeah. I think the challenge with numbers is how we approach them cause I’m in agreement with you,  for me numbers always tell the story. I think the challenge that some management has, I mean not paint the world with two wiper brush. I think sometimes challenges that management has is we use performance as a weapon, we use numbers as a weapon. “Your numbers suck, you’re not doing very [00:41:00] good blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” What we shouldn’t be doing in my opinion is the reverse using numbers as an opportunity for praise.

Chris Nedza: I totally agree. So, reports mostly are used if you think about it to correct a problem. I like men think like that and you know, “I see a problem and fix it”. But I agree with you, use the data to catch them doing things well and praise them on it. You’d get a lot better result.

John Palmieri: Right. Instead of using that number as a weapon and saying you’re not doing good.

[00:41:30] Chris Sulimay: That’s fantastic. So, this been such a great conversation and I mean, I feel like we could talk about these types of things all day. I know it charges me up and I hope if you’re on the other end, you’re feeling really served, whether you’re a salon owner, a manager, a hairdresser or any position  inside of the beauty industry because this is this really important discussion. Chris, as we start to wind this down, any closing thoughts you want to add?

Chris Nedza: Yeah man. The Taco Bell Chihuahua: “you can do it” [luaghter].

[00:42:00] Chris Sulimay: I think a lot of the people listening to this will be too young to remember that by the way. But look it up on YouTube cause that was fantastic. John?

John Palmieri: Chris, how do we find out more about you, your company and what you do? Where do we find you?

Chris Nedza: Just go to

Chris Sulimay: Spell ZeeZor by the way.

Chris Nedza: Z E E Z O R

John Palmieri: .net

Chris Nedza: .net or

John Palmieri: Got It.

Chris Nedza: And just contact we’re so available to [00:42:30] talk and help, we really do love serving and in fact that is our mission statement is “we serve”. So, we love serving, we love helping and the advice we give is heartfelt and will help anyone we can.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. They’re also on Instagram @gozeezor I believe, all one word.

Chris Nedza: And Facebook and all that stuff.

John Palmieri: all that stuff.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic.

John Palmieri: All that social media thing [chuckle]. Thanks for hanging out with us, we really appreciate it. It was a great conversation and thanks for the app because it makes my life easier and I really appreciate it.

[00:43:00] Chris Nedza: Thank you guys.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And I’ve really enjoyed watching ZeeZor grow into what it was. I met you guys when I was at Q and hair cosmetics a few years ago and it was sort of a blip on the radar screen and now it’s become a full on UFO. It’s a beautiful thing. And also thank you to the listeners. So if you enjoyed what you heard today on the podcast, please click that subscribe button and you can connect with us on Instagram [00:43:30] @124.go as well as, check out our YouTube page on 124go. And John, what else?

John Palmieri: I would love you to go to your favorite podcast app and give us a wicked great review. Five stars is of course my preference. So, if you could do that you’ll be my good friend.

Chris Nedza: Wicked great, wicked that’s Boston term right there.

Chris Sulimay: That’s right. That’s right.

John Palmieri: Actually, I’m from Wooster Okay? [Incomprehensible]. [00:44:00] Wooster is the center of the universe. Boston is not [laughter]

Chris Sulimay: And finally, what about, I’m losing my thought here. Thanks again for listening. Oh, if you could and you enjoyed the podcast please screenshot it out it and post it on your Instagram stories and tag us in it, we will share it. So, thanks again for listening and until next episode. Bye everybody.