While most business-oriented advice will tell you to consider things from a strategic, money-making point of view, beauty is not like other businesses. Most beauty professionals are more concerned with taking good care of their clients than they are protecting their bottom line. Not only is that ok, it’s what makes a good stylist a successful beauty pro.
You’ve likely spent your entire career building trust with your clients and that trust is sacred. This is why selling products seems like a necessary evil to most stylists, but it doesn’t have to be.
Apart from knowing how much of a product you should have on hand, it’s pretty important to determine which products are the right fit for your business. Selling products during or after a service is a really tender topic for most stylists, but trust us when we say that selling the right products makes all of the difference in the world.
Does it align with your values?
By pure virtue of being a service provider, you are the face of your business. Your clients aren’t coming in to get a haircut or other service, they are coming in to get a service from you. This means that your business is a continuation of your persona. It’s not only perfectly natural to incorporate some of “you” in your business, it’s highly recommended!
There is a lot of talk out there about personal branding. While this can–and often does—get taken too far, creating a brand for your beauty business that is centered in your personal values is one way to ensure that you are creating an authentic experience for your guests. A relationship based on trust is absolutely essential between stylist and client and authenticity is a crucial ingredient for developing that trust. The cornerstone of any solid, trusting, authentic relationship is a sense of shared values.
Since you are here, you are likely either currently using or considering using z. one concept products. This can tell you a lot about your business/brand values. Think about why you chose or are considering the product lines that you are. Better yet, write down some key reasons. Getting to know your “why” for carrying a product can go a long way towards helping a client understand theirs for purchasing it.
Does it work for YOU?
Selling someone a product is one thing, recommending a product that you love and hope that someone else enjoys is quite another. Before deciding whether or not to stock a particular product, try it out for yourself and see how you feel about it. If it’s not designed for your hair type or texture, consider asking a trusted friend, coworker, or family member to try it out for you. Gather some honest feedback and use it to inform your decision.
Does it fit with your services?
If you want to make retailing really, really easy on yourself, make it a direct extension of your services. Are you known for your blonde balayage? Be sure to stock tons of Silver Shine after care products. Maybe long layered lobs are more your style. If so, be sure you have lots Lifestyling texturizing cream on hand. Your clients will want to know how to best protect their gorgeous new color and how to perfectly style their incredible new cut and having the right products on hand will make that a lot easier for them.
The big secret of being an amazing salesperson is to solve your customers problem. In order to do that, you have to be able to identify their needs. One way to accomplish that is to think through what anyone would need after receiving a particular service. From there, you can tailor your suggestions based on hair type, texture and desired result.
You are likely already keeping track of all of this on your client cards, but consider going one step beyond and having all of your recommended care and styling products already pulled and set aside for them, before they sit down for their service.
After all, it’s easier to sell one bag of everything that they will need than it is to sell five or six individual products.
Listen & Ask
These are the two most important words, when it comes to creating a mutually beneficial sales relationship. Listen to your clients’ wants/needs and if you don’t know something, ask. If you pay attention to the questions that your clients are asking you during their services, it’s likely that you will pick up some clues into what they are struggling with in terms of their hair care routine.
If you are already active online, you may want to consider putting together some questions that you can send out to your email list or post to social media. Not only can this help you gather information that can help inform your retail orders, but it can also help your clients feel supported outside of the salon. If it feels weird thinking about posting questions online, try to think of what you would ask a client sitting in your chair. After all, you’re talking to the same people, just in a different way.
Creating a profitable retail income stream that feels natural isn’t going to happen overnight. Offering only products that you believe in, that truly work for your clients and that are addressing specific needs and concerns are not a fast-track to easy money. However, if you stick to these parameters, you will build trust with your clients and a steady, reliable retail business.
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