Many salon owners ask “how can I increase salon retail sales?” But you cringe at the word “selling,” and repeatedly tell yourself “I’m not a salesperson.” ⠀

This is mistake number 1. ⠀

First, the phrase “to sell,” is clearly in need of a definition makeover, so here it goes: ⠀

Selling is the identification and fulfillment of a need – nothing less, nothing more. ⠀

Many of you have the same clients for years, even decades. You provide a valuable and sometimes very intimate service to them. You know secrets about them you’ll take to the grave, and you’re the only person they trust to come at them with hot wax or waving a stick at your lady (or man) bits. ⠀

What does this tell you? ⠀

You’re trusted, and for good reasons! 


Remind yourself, you’re not a scammy used car salesman, who will do ‘whatever it takes’ to get someone into a Ford Pinto, today – you are a beauty professional who makes them feel and look amazing. You know the wants and needs of your clients’ skin and hair removal better than anyone. ⠀

Have confidence in yourself and your position, and use it to send your clients home with products you know they’ll need and love. You’re more than qualified to make these recommendations, so don’t feel guilty or scared to do so! ⠀

A solid, honest consultation is vital for not just retailing products, but for fully understanding your client’s wants, needs, and lifestyle. It is our job to lead the conversation and make sure the client will be happy with their service. ⠀

Be sure to listen closely and help your client decide why they want a certain service. There’s a reason why estheticians often get the reputation of being therapists or psychologists. Our job is to listen and provide services that make them look and feel beautiful. ⠀
The consultation does not stop just before your service. After you’ve completed their service, you should have accurate insight into where their issues lie. Chat with your client during their service about what their concerns are. Ask questions. Make a recommendation, talk to them about the benefits of the product, and leave it at that. ⠀
Instead of pushing multiple products on a new client, start with just the basics to enhance and maintain their service. If they still show uncertainty, perhaps extend to them a discount they are able to use during their next visit or even today. ⠀

You gain trust through listening to your clients’ problems, you keep trust by solving them! ⠀

Once you choose to only sell products you personally believe in, the idea of retailing in your salon becomes a lot easier. You will no longer feel like you’re selling anything – you’re just simply recommending products you know will fulfill your clients’ needs. ⠀

Before adding a retail product in your salon, try it for yourself. That way, you’ll know if it’s a product that you want to fully commit to and you’ll have different talking points. Estheticians with very good client relationships are even encouraged to give their clients a sample to test. ⠀

Mauricio of Mauricio’s Hair Studio in New York says, “I give my most loyal clients the opportunity to test and try any new products I am considering. That way, I hear it straight from the source of my sales – they also appreciate the fact that they have a say in which products I carry.” ⠀

Say no to salon product diversion! ⠀

All of your friendly retail suggestions will come to a screeching halt as soon as your client says, “I can buy it cheaper at Ulta or online.” ⠀

Too many companies exploit the expert knowledge and influence of estheticians to gain brand affinity with their clients, then once it becomes profitable enough, they divert their products to large retail stores. ⠀

Can you think of a brand that was once salon exclusive, but are now sold directly to consumers? ⠀We can. ⠀
So, when selecting the right products for your salon we suggest asking yourself these 3 questions: ⠀
Do I believe in these products? ⠀
Are these products unique enough to set my salon apart? ⠀
Are these products diverted? ⠀

Show off your retail products and make the accessible.

While it’s great to have an aesthetically pleasing retail shelf, you shouldn’t rely on just the look of your products to make a sale. ⠀

There’s a lot of great information to share about the products you carry that goes beyond, “it smells good.” ⠀

Sugar scrubs at Wal-Mart smell good. Tell them why they’re really investing the money in high-quality salon products. ⠀

For example, explain to them that sugar is a gentle exfoliant and a natural humectant which draws moisture into the skin. Using an exfoliant between services will make hair removal easier and prevent ingrown. There are a multitude of talking points that help your products stand out – not just from a beauty perspective, but also from a health and eco-conscious standpoint. ⠀

Once you’re able to make educated recommendations, you’ll start building a trusting retail relationship with your clients. ⠀

Follow these guidelines for a successful salon retail display:

Have a few shelf talkers – little labels that highlight the ingredients and benefits of your products. If you’re having a sale on certain items, have a tasteful sale label on your shelf, as well.

Keep your retail shelf organized and clean! No one wants to buy a product that is dusty – not only is it visually unappealing, it also looks like no one else liked the product enough to buy it. Try not to have a cluttered retail display. 
If you want to encourage clients to test products, make sure that they are between 22 and 66 inches; these are proven heights for easy accessibility. Also, try an inviting “try me!” label.

If space and design allows, try creating an “arena effect.” Having the products surround your clients can give them the opportunity to browse (if they are waiting) from any angle.

If your salon allows, try moving your reception desk away from the front door. This forces walk-ins and clients to look at the products before talking to the receptionist.

Make your retail area inviting. Having a simple tea and coffee area by your retail area is a perfect opportunity to incentivize clients to rise out of their chairs and to your retail shelves! Notice we said shelves, not cupboards or bookcases – people tend to not like to reach into to these types of displays.

If you only have one wall for retail (not a big deal), try making it stand out with a nice wall color or art that compliments the bottles. Also, be sure your products are well lit – if they can’t see or read your products and shelf talkers, then what’s the point?

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