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Selling product without Selling Your Soul

As a stylist, you typically are encouraged or even required to “sell product”.

Why sell product?

In order for your salon to be successful, there are really two revenue streams: booth rental and/or structured commission, combined with product sales. And you know that the salon’s cut of product sales is much, much higher than what they make in stylist services. Successful salons try to reach a target of 40% of revenue share from product sales. That’s a lot of sales!

When you succeed at selling, you’re helping your salon make a profit and making commissions for yourself.

How do I sell product?

You may feel the pressure to sell. You may not feel natural or comfortable selling. Well, get in line. So many other stylists before you have felt the same way. How can you gain your footing in sales?

  1. Be authentic. Don’t change your personality to sell product. You’ve heard of the dog whisperer. You can be the product whisperer.
  2. Sell what you love. Focus on one or two brands of each type of product that you utilize when you’re styling or for personal use. Clearly, these are products that you have chosen and believe in. Why? What are their qualities? You will be able to be truthful and authentic when you recommend them, as you will be say, “I regularly use these for this reason…” It’s helpful if these products are not sold outside of salons, as your prices will be undercut.
  3. Remember how important you are to your clients. You know their true hair color, what their struggles are and even their aspirations. You are not a contractor to them. You are their coach, their beauty consultant and maybe even their friend. Selling can be friendly advice like, “I know you like more volume at the top. I am using _____. If you like it, I’ll show you how to use it yourself at home.”
  4. You are the subject matter expert. Go deeper in explaining why you recommend certain products. “With your colored hair, I find that this shampoo allows the color to last longer. Since it extends the time between hair coloring, it’s actually a good investment.” Or try this, “Since you told me you regularly use the flat iron, this serum really helps to protect your hair and will keep it from getting frizzy, especially when you take that trip to New Orleans in a few weeks.”
  5. What if they reject the product? It’s ok. They may not have the money or they might not be on board yet. Immediately offer this up, “That’s OK. If you change your mind, let me know. I’m going to write down what product we talked about in my notebook so we’ll know what to look for.”
  6. Practice. Talk with other stylists or salon owners who are really good at selling product and try to sell some product to them. They can role play as a client and help you refine what you say and even offer up typical objections that clients come up with. Saying the words out loud brings a measure of familiarity and comfort.

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