There are several salon retailing tips that can almost guarantee higher profits to a salon, and they are listed below in random order.
1. Your attitude ALWAYS determines your altitude. Realize that EVERY business requires selling to some extent, and that you will need to offer your suggested products to your customers. They are coming to you because they have specific problems that need to be solved, and they see YOU as the expert to help them present a solution. So all you have to do is simply analyze their problem, and show them a solution using one of your services or products that you have to sell. They are more apt to buy from you if you present them a solution in this manner. Realize that your customers TRUST you and respect your expert opinions, especially when it comes to their hair or nails! You are not a pushy used car salesman, you are actually trying to help out your customer with advice that they need. Have confidence in yourself and your position of power, and don’t be afraid of “selling” to your clients. It’s what they expect!
2. Product Selection. Always choose products that you believe in! If you have a product and brand that you believe in, then it’s a piece of cake to promote it to your customers. Make sure you have a unique product brand that your customers will love, and something that is not available at a discounted price online elsewhere. Ask other stylists at your shop to review products to ensure that they will also like them, and this will help promote brand loyalty at your salon.
3. Learn all you can about your products. When a customer comes to you with questions about a specific product or item, you should be able to answer them with confidence and ease as to why they should use that particular brand over another. Educate yourself on the details so that you will be better able to explain your reasons to the customer. They need to have a good reason in order to pay a little more in your shop rather than to just go down to Wal-Mart and purchase a discount item. For instance, you might teach your customers about pH levels, and how important they are for the optimal health of their hair. When you can make great recommendations and also give the customer reasons why they should buy from you, they will view you as an expert in your field and that will quickly build trust with them!
4. An honest consultation is the key. Listening carefully to a clients’ needs and wants is vital to understanding what to recommend in terms of products and services. Since you are the subject matter expert, it is your job as a stylist to lead the conversation in the direction you would like the client to take. Listen, and then translate that information into a total overall body look that you think would match the customers’ needs and expectations. A good consultant is always asking questions! Find out all the pertinent bits of info that you deem crucial to your recommendation making. Ask about their styling routine, what they like about their hair, what they dislike, etc. Conduct a “Wet Stretch” test on the clients’ hair to determine the integrity, and to help understand what it might be missing. Show them a problem area, and then present them with a solution!
5. Build Trust. With the proper trust level between you and your client, they should take your every suggestion to heart and readily accept a recommendation for a product or service. You may already have established a friendship with your client, and that’s a great start! However, just as true friendships take time to grow, the same thing is true of earning their trust. Don’t start by pushing lots of products or services on them. Start with one problem area that you have currently noticed or that they have mentioned, and then let them know how they can overcome that problem with a solution that you have. If that solution works out for them, then you begin to earn their trust. As they keep coming back to you, keep the conversation moving so that you may be able to find other problem areas that they have, and then make further recommendations. If you really listen to your clients’, they will tell you everything you need to know about how to help them!
6. Shampoo time – Perfect opportunity to acquaint customers with your products! When clients are getting their hair washed at the shampoo bowl, this is generally a very relaxing time for them. It’s also a great time to gently let them know about some of the other products you have available at the shop that could greatly benefit them. Let them know of the many ways your product knowledge can solve any potential problems they might have, and also of your personal experience if you have any. This “soft selling” technique while they are relaxing can work well, because they are more apt to remember what you have said and purchase the product when the time is right.
7. Your Retail Display. Keep your shelf display organized and clean! Having a nicely situated display will give your customers more of an incentive to go over and browse your products while they are waiting on services. Also, when you recommend specific products to your customers, you will be able to locate it on the shelf for them so they can purchase. An inviting display area can be a big sales boost for a salon, especially if you are choosy about the products you recommend. Higher end products made for a specific purpose are always good sellers if you advise clients on their use and features. Always let them know the benefits of how it will solve their particular problems, and they will buy from you if they want that product. Make sure the display is well-lit and decorative, and add “shelf-talkers” when necessary. These are little notes that explain more about the product and why the customer should buy today.
8. Retail Training – Practice this and you will make more sales. Sales is not necessarily an easy skill to learn, so if you practice it more you will get much better! Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of pushing unwanted or unneeded products on others, but you should begin to realize that you are in the role of the expert and your customer is coming to you for professional advice. Then you will start realizing that you are helping your clients, and providing them with something that they need or want to help improve their looks, self-esteem, and health. The beauty arena is a huge, multi-billion dollar industry, and if you can direct clients and give them expert recommendations based on their hair or skin types, and specific problem areas, you have the potential to earn your share of profits over the long term. Practice overcoming customer objections with your staff in small groups, and try creating product index cards that will help your people learn what they need to know about the products you sell. After all, if you know your product, you can easily sell it!
Hopefully, these salon retailing tips will help give you some ideas on how to better manage your shop. Have fun!