By AHP Staff
Did you know retail can be the silver bullet to a successful business? I know, I know, I’ve heard it time and again: “I’m here to do hair, not be a salesperson!” I get it—we are here to do what we love and “selling” can be scary for a lot of barbers or stylists, but it is simpler than you think. We don’t have to actually “sell” to someone; we can simply have a conversation. I have always said, if we don’t ask, the answer is always no. And what’s the worst that can happen when recommending products? They say no. You then move on and continue with the service.
With the access to products on Amazon and big box stores, our ultimate goal as professionals is for our clients to understand that purchasing their products from us, not online or at the grocery store, is the best way to care of their hair.
So how do we do that? In the third installment of this six-part series, we will be retail- and product-focused so you, the professional, can increase your bottom dollar.
1. Start with the consultation.
Asking key questions about what they like or don’t like about their hair, as well as what their daily routine looks like, will give you ideas of professional products you can suggest for them. Do this each, and every time. Even with the client who has been coming to you for years. Always consult, always ask the questions, and always recommend or ask if they need more of the product they are currently using.
2. Teach your client.
Once you have determined what products they may need, teach them how to use the products. How much, how often, on wet or dry hair—you get the idea. You are not “selling” when you do this. You are offering solutions to their problems, and your client is more likely to purchase the product from you once they know what it is for and how to use it.
3. Follow up.
Set time aside every week during your slower days to reach out to the clients you sold product to the previous week. Give a quick call or text and say, “Hi Suzy, just checking in to see if the shampoo and conditioner is working well for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am always here to help!” A simple check-in shows you care about their hair routine and that you are the go-to expert for their professional products.
4. Educate your clients.
Educate them on the benefits of purchasing from you. Explain why buying from Amazon or a big box store is not an ideal avenue to get what they need—products can be old, not legit, and may cost a lot more than the cost from you.
5. Switch it up.
Different times of the year mean different kinds of weather—from humidity to dryness, and from sun damage to wind damage. Suggest different products for different times of the year to keep your clients’ locks looking fresh and healthy.
6. Offer freebies.
Offer a complimentary blowout with the purchase of two products.
7. Offer deals for referrals.
Clients who bring a friend to their appointment can receive free product for both of them. This is a great idea if you need to rotate through clearance items or to help build a new relationship with a client.
8. Combine services and retail.
Try incorporating home-care products into the cost of the service.
9. Extend your reach.
List your salon on every online “salon locator” for services you offer and brands you carry.
10. Sell products online through your website.
If you have an online booking app such as Pocketsuite you can easily list all the products you offer so when a client books an appointment with you, they can also add products. Then at checkout, those products are already in their cart.
Remember, adding retail to your ticket isn’t about selling your client; it can be as simple as having a conversation with them and teaching them what can work best for their hair care needs. A product recommended and purchased is an insurance policy on the work you’ve done on your client. What you as the professional recommend for your client will prolong the color you’ve done, that style that involves heat tools, or the protection needed from the pool water they love to swim in.
Like articles like this or want to learn more about something else? Let us know!
For more useful tools to help advance your career and knowledge, join AHP. We have education at your fingertips with our free online scheduling, AHP Indie Stylist Magazine, Marketing Toolkits, and more!
Not a member? Join today and get access to all of the benefits we offer to support you and your career as a barber or cosmetologist.