Struggling with product sales? Here's your solution.

how to up your retail game behind the chair

Product sales: something most of us struggle with and few seem to flourish at. It can be difficult to make sales when you have websites like Amazon, or stores like Target diving in to the diversion bucket. It can also be difficult when your client is dead set on the "Tresemme" shampoo they have been using for the last 14 years. But I don't think that either of those are the real issues. Here's my take: we're simply not educating our clients enough. We're letting them walk out of the salon not knowing how to care for the hair they just spent $250 on, or not knowing how to recreate the style we just magically transformed on them.

Selling products starts with the consultation. I like to ask my clients exactly what they are using in their hair, from the shampoo to the finishing touch. I also ask them what their biggest pain points are with their hair. Is it dry scalp, creating volume, fighting frizz? Maybe its all three. This starts you off with a blue print on what they currently know, what they don't, and where they are struggling. 

The second step for product sales is all in describing your movements and choices. From the moment you're at the shampoo bowl, tell them what products you're choosing to use and why you've made that specific decision for them. Study your lines ingredients and let them know why these higher grade choices are better for their hair. Tell them what that Tresemme is really doing (or lack there of) to their precious locks, and ask them if they've ever considered trying something different on their hair. Continue this conversation while you style. I like to keep it simple with 1-2 styling products so that I'm not overwhelming my clients. (And I'm a pretty firm believer that you don't need a cabinet full of products for everyday haircare, anyway.)

The third step is to NOT SELL. Yep, you heard me, don't be sales-y. Mostly because its uncomfortable for both of you, and your client will sense that. You don't need to sell, you just need to educate. A simple "I'm using _____ on you, which has _____ , and does ______ " is enough. You don't want your client to go home with a bunch of products they're not sure how to use; you want them to go home with a couple that will actually be solutions to their most common problems. I prefer to simply tell them why I've chosen those 1-2 specific products, what they can do for them, and show them the difference in texture at the end. Keep the products on your station so that they can look, feel, and read if they would like. At the very end of your service I recommend either asking a simple "are there any products you would like to take home today?" or "do you have any questions about what I used on you today?" This is your finale guys, the big finisher. It puts the ball in their court (and is usually when they will tell you that they prefer to buy on amazon.*) Here's the kicker, a lot of clients may still tell you they would rather not buy today, and thats okay. Add a note to their file stating which products you used on them, and use those next time as well. You planted the seed, and most of the time they will purchase at their next appointment. Plus, you just educated the hell out of them on how to get their hair to look stunning at home, so you're winning already!

* If they go this route or ask if they sell it at Target I beg you to please inform them of diversion. This isn't so you make your sale, it's so that they're not being sold fake or expired product that won't live up to the promises you just gave them. Diversion is dirty and can be a danger to your clients locks.