How to Become a Rock Star in Salon Retail
Retail is a fundamental part to a successful salon business. Unfortunately, it seems to be the least favorite part of the industry to many beauty professionals. But fear retail no more! Today we are bringing you great advice on how to sell more retail at your salon.
This awesome content would not be possible without help from our fabulous podcast guest and industry expert, Jesse Marcks. Jesse is not only a platform artist but also the owner of Au Fait Hair in Madison, Wisconsin. Jesse is a rock star in the beauty industry. She really knows retail, and she has high expectations for herself and her team. We know if you’re a Beyond The Technique fan, you have similar “A Player” qualities, so here is our advice to help you become a rock star in salon retail.
Why Selling Retail is Key to Salon and Hairstylist Success.
Most stylists HATE selling retail. Many would prefer to simply come to work, do great hair, and go home. Unfortunately, that’s not a good strategy for any single stylist or salon looking to stay in business. So why sell retail? The biggest reason to sell retail is to build client loyalty. It’s been proven time after time, study after study, that a salon client that purchases retail will remain a client longer than those that don’t. If that isn’t reason enough, the other major reason is that it simply brings in revenue. Retail helps a salons (and independent stylists) stay in business.
How to Change Your Mindset About Selling Retail.
One comment Jesse often hears from stylists is this, “I’m here to cut and style hair, I’m not in sales.” This can be frustrating to a salon owner trying to increase sales. The thing is, everyone is in sales! That’s the industry we work in. However, Jesse often recommends shifting your thought process around product.
Here’s a quick story. Jesse often teaches at other salons. She was once brought in to help a salon struggling with retail. Her suggestion? Take all of the back bar products away from the stylists. As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well, but only at first. This practice helped the owner demonstrate how important products are. If stylists can’t do their jobs without product, how can we expect our clients to? Clients are going to buy product one way or another, so make sure it’s from you – the professional! As the professional, you should be the one recommending the products. And if you do great work for your clients and earn their trust, they will want to purchase your product recommendations. So, long story short, if you’re doing your job well, it shouldn’t feel like sales. Change your mindset to think of it as part of the job.
When to Sell Retail? Start at the Consultation.
One common mistake among stylists is waiting until the end of the appointment to start selling retail. This is not a good approach. Once the cape is off, the client is ready to leave, and pushing retail while they are checking out can get awkward. Jesse recommends starting at the consultation at the beginning of the appointment. There are three key questions to ask your client during a consultation.
1) What don’t you like about your hair? This is important because your client might dislike more than the cut or color. Perhaps she doesn’t like that her hair is frizzy or thinning. Collecting information like this allows you to recommend products to help throughout the entire appointment.
2) What do you like about your hair? Again, similar to question one. Your client might have certain things they love about their hair, and you can offer product that enhances it.
3) What is your daily routine? This is a great way to gain insight into hair habits and maybe learn why their hair is flat and limp in the morning.
The consultation is key. It will provide you with information to help you educate your client, build trust, and sell product.
How to Sell Retail: Give a Styling Lesson.
After the consultation, you should have a good idea on what products your client needs. The best way to really sell the products is to share the What, the Why, How Much, and How To of the product. Stylists often grab products and apply without ever showing the client. A good rule is to always give your client a styling lesson. Show your client what products you are using, why you are using them, how much to use in their hair, and how to apply it properly.
Let your client look and hold the products during the appointment. By teaching them how to use the product and letting them interact with it, it will increase their confidence that they can recreate the look at home, encouraging them to purchase what you recommended!
Quick Pro Tip: When you are walking your client to the register at the end of the appointment, always ask an open-ended question. For example, which products do you want to take home with you today? Never ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no. An open-ended question gets them to think about it, and it makes it harder to say no.
How to Keep Selling Retail.
So, how do you keep up selling retail? The easiest way? Keep up with amazing consultations and styling lessons. Even if it’s with a client of 5+ years, always provide a strong consultation and styling lesson with each appointment.
Another great way is to follow up with your clients after the appointment. Check in with them and see if they like how the product is working. The vast majority of the time, the client will love it. But by reaching out, you are providing that little extra level a customer service no one else is providing.
Quick Pro Tip: Keep at least two levels of product lines in your salon. Some clients will want the higher end, more expensive products. While some may get sticker shock. By having options, you can offer something to every client.
With a good mindset, strong consultations and styling lessons, you can quickly become a rock star selling retail. If you’re interested in listening to the podcast that inspired this post, check out episode 116. To learn more about Jesse listen to episode 89 – her first Beyond The Technique podcast appearance.