When the competition gets fierce, increase your salon sales by tapping a little further into your loyal client base.
As a salon owner, it can be challenging to convince your staff to sell more. But despite the fact that stylists say they find it difficult to broach the subject of retailing, sales professionals say it’s all about creating the right environment for success. “There are opportunities to create product touch points throughout the salon,” says Sue Remes, a sales and marketing consultant who has worked with manufacturers like Kevin.Murphy. “Obviously some of those points are going to be more experiential than others; think of ways to make product discovery fun for clients.” Here are three foolproof tips that every salon can use to boost their retail sales, without feeling like they’re pushing product.
Make the consultation count
“From the moment a client walks into the salon until the moment he or she leaves, products can be a part of the conversation,” explains Remes, adding that no matter how junior or senior your staff, they still must be committed to offering clients the full-service experience, which includes at-home products. Similarly, Blake Rector of Salonware Software believes that successful product sales is all about offering your expertise as a professional by offering the right solutions. “You’re selling a high-quality service and you need to share the knowledge you have,” says Rector. Quite simply, your credibility as a professional gives clients a reason to believe in the products you are recommending.
Perfect your product knowledge
As it turns out, the depth and delivery of product knowledge that your team can instantly tap into can make or break sales opportunities. “A lack of product education is the biggest obstacle,” says Imran Zalfackruddin, CEO of Milano Software. “Staff need to be educated about the formulations of the professional products available at their salon.” As Dede Sgardelis, senior marketing manager for Joico, explains, if the customer doesn’t have the right tools, they’re never going to be able to recreate the look that made them feel so great when they left your salon. “Your clients may not be able to replicate their looks at home,” says Sgardelis. “As a stylist, you need to share with them the products that will solve their problems.” After all, you have a captive audience for at least the 45-minute service and that's ample time to explain how the products you’re using every day can help them at home.
Don’t overlook reception
When it comes to a successful retail strategy, Remes says that “reception staff can play a major part in helping to close the sale—not to mention navigate the product displays.” After stylists have walked clients to the front of the salon, Sgardelis recommends reception staff give the client a moment before walking over to them and finding out if they need help. Rector also suggests reception staff makes use of the software features that allow them to reference a client’s service history, this way staff can easily recommend a product that a client is already using, resulting in a quick and easy sale.
When it comes down to it, Remes reminds hairstylists that, receiving experienced product recommendation can be a lot of fun for clients. “They want to discover solutions that allow them to look and feel better,” explains Remes, adding that, quite simply, “they trust their hairstylist to guide them.”
Give your clients the opportunity to try before they buy
While some salon owners believe that sending their clients home with a sample is costly, it can actually be a worthwhile investment. “Some salons are gotten progressive in giving samples,” says Imran Zalfackruddin, CEO of Milano Software. “And using it as a seed that’s planted in the client.” Many stylists who use samples as part of their retail strategy are giving clients a reason to return to the salon before their next appointment.