Give your bottom line a boost with these retailing strategies for your most loyal clients: Men.

march retail main1

Every hairstylist is loyal to at least one specific product brand and just can’t get enough of trying out new ones. But when it comes to selling to their clients, it’s just not happening. The worst part: It’s a big miss that could ultimately debilitate your salon or barbershop.

“When you think about how many clients in salons and barbershops go to check-out without being told what products to buy, the number is not only massive and scary, but it’s also squandering opportunities,” says Neil Ducoff, CEO of Strategies, a business coaching firm that has worked with professional beauty companies, salon owners and their teams for decades. In his experience, Pete Goupil, an American Crew educator and barber based in Montreal, believes that establishing a good rapport right from the beginning is key. “When l bring a client to my chair, I ask about their morning rituals to figure out which product to use on their hair.”

Here’s how you can get over the challenges of selling and maximize your retailing opportunities.

Fear of Failure

Every hairstylist knows that promoting and selling retail products is the best way to earn more, yet it’s not an easy task for most. According to Ducoff, there are two key obstacles that hinder hairstylists when it comes to retailing: Fear of rejection and coming across as too pushy. With these two obstacles combined, “There is a level of discomfort to the point where stylists just avoid delivering a professional recommendation,” he says.

How to: Like with cutting and colouring, practice is key when it comes to retailing. Ducoff says, salon owners need to invest in retail recommendation training. “You won’t see impressive retail numbers simply by telling staff their number needs to be up, you need a system with leadership, standards of performance and accountability.”

Don't Sell, Be Happy

Hairstylists aren’t sales people, they’re creative people, which means they need to shift their perspective on retail sales and product promotion. Goupil believes it’s the cut that is really the key. “With my clients, a good haircut or beard trim is going to gives them the confidence to buy the product.“ Ducoff suggests stylists look at retail sales as one way of offering clients happiness in the form of product recommendations. “The more clients that receive professional advice about the best products for them, the more you’ll sell,” he says.This is particularly true for men who can become fiercely loyal to specific products once they understand how to best use it to recreate their hairstyle at home.

How to: When it comes to retailing, being consistent with every client is important, and Ducoff suggests making a recommendation of three products to help ensure your clients walk out having made a purchase.

Begin the Conversation

“Every client service should begin with an overview of what’s going to happen during that visit,” says Ducoff. At some point during the conversation, hairstylists should be mentioning the products they will be using that clients can use for home care. For Goupil, an easy way to get the product conversation started is by focusing on the changes in men’s product, such as explaining the shift from clay-based products to those with more of a flexible hold, such as creams and liquids. By talking about products at the beginning of every appointment, products become a natural part of the conversation with your client, removing any awkwardness a hairstylist may feel when making recommendations at the end of a service.

How to: As you’re styling your male clients, take the time to walk through the specific products you’re using, how you’re using them and the amount they will need to recreate their look at home. Let’s face it: As a hairstylist, you couldn’t imagine working without professional products, which means your clients shouldn’t have to either.