We could hear the groan from here. And you’re right—you’re an artist, not a salesperson. But “selling” isn’t limited to that pushy representative that follows you around a boutique or the shady car salesman who insists he has the right car for you. As a hair stylist, your clients keep coming back to you because they trust you. Instead of thinking you’re a shark if you try to sell them products, think of it as an opportunity to add even more value to your customer lives.
Plus, boosting your retail sales can help you increase profitability while building greater customer loyalty. How? Studies show that new clients are 30 percent more likely to return if they purchase a retail product from you. That’s probably because, if they love the product, they now associate your salon with those great results.
The tips below will help you use retail sales to create happier, more loyal, and more profitable customers.
While You Work…
1. Know Both Your Products and Your Clients
Your clients come to you because they trust you with their hair—otherwise, they wouldn’t pay you to style it. Advising them on hair products should be no different.
Instead of offering up any old frizz remedy, get to know your products. Try them out on yourself, study how they work for other clients, and ask your coworkers to take them for a spin. That way, you’ll know exactly what works and why and you’ll be able to make totally honest recommendations.
Then, listen to your clients so you can recommend products that will genuinely solve their problems. Sales isn’t about convincing people—it’s about providing a solution to their problems. If you don’t, then yes…you’re the shady car salesman.
2. Love Your Products
The other way to make sure you’re making recommendations and not trying to force a sale is by only using products that you genuinely believe in. Of course, your passion is contagious. But customers can also discern whether you’re being genuine or deceptive.
And, more importantly, passion makes it easier to sell. You’re not trying to force your clients into spending money. You’re making truthful and educated recommendations that will improve their beauty routines.
3. Educate vs. Sell
From the initial shampoo to that finishing spritz of hairspray, you should be telling clients about the products you’ve chosen and why they’re a good fit for their hair. Mention all the great things about a given product, from how it smells to how silky-soft it makes hair feel and that its ingredients are all-organic.
Some clients will be swooned by a product’s look or smell alone, while some need a little science to be swayed. Let the product play into both their senses and their minds using your knowledge, and it’ll practically sell itself.
Don’t forget that part of what separates a good stylist from a stellar stylist is offering more than a one-time service. Teach your client to style their hair step-by-step with your chosen products and they’ll be more likely to purchase them because they feel comfortable with both it and your expertise.
4. Ask Questions
You’re not expected to know everything from looks alone. Ask your clients what they like about their hair, what they hate about it, and what their biggest styling challenges are. When clients feel like you understand them, they’ll be much more likely to trust your recommendations.
In the Background…
5. Make Your Retail Space Appealing
Do away with disorganization and boring displays. Spice up your retail space by organizing products by color, size, shape, or brand—the more pleasurable the products are to look at, the longer people will browse them and the more likely they’ll be to invest.
Make sure that the space is inviting. Good lighting goes a long way: without it, clients’ eyes will look right past those products. Giving visitors more than one reason to be in the space goes a long way, too. Try placing your coffee bar next to the products so customers are more likely to linger.
Finally, remember that cleanliness is everything. Dust is an immediate turnoff—it leaves clients thinking, “if nobody else likes this product, why should I buy it?”
6. Offer Promotions
People love deals and new arrivals. Bring in both new and repeat customers with short-term deals or announcements about new product lines.
Promote them on your website, on social media, in your e-mail newsletter, or in print ads if you use them. Discovering something new (and saving money) is always exciting, so monopolize on that desire for excitement to increase your sales.
7. Offer Samples to Loyal Customers
Hair products are expensive, so samples shouldn’t be given out willy-nilly. However, offering samples to established customers can do two things. First, it makes them feel special and valued (which keeps them coming back). Second, it means that they have a chance to become loyal to the product and will be far more likely to make a purchase in the future.
8. Implement a Loyalty Program
It may sound outdated, but there’s a reason loyalty programs still exist. Research shows that consumers are more likely to frequent businesses that offer a loyalty program of some sort. It can be a virtual or physical punch card, a cash-back incentive, styling coupons with retail purchases, or something of your own creation. The important thing is to give customers a reason to keep coming back!
It is possible to be a successful salesperson and a killer stylist. In fact, the tips above will help you blend these two roles seamlessly to leave customers happier and more loyal than ever before.