Building the Men’s Business

The Guide to Increasing and Retaining Satisfied Male Clientele

by Steve Duross

Build your men’s business; we hear it all the time. What does it really mean?

Maybe you think your business is doing just fine. Maybe you think that guys are best left to the local barbershop.

Besides, guys are cheap, right? Wrong. Statistics show that annually, men spend more money than women spend, yet buy fewer things.

The truth is that men are usually more interested in quality than price and they are not afraid to spend money. With men having such a strong loyalty to brand and service, it is important to build your men’s business by offering quality. This will enhance your client support and encourage men to stick with you and your brand for a lifetime.

Creating a comfortable environment for men in our salons and days spas is part of the story, but may not be enough anymore. It is important to remember that men are smart and they know there is more to the process. The use of marketing techniques and visual effects that speak directly to men are great ways to let them know they are welcome in your salon. Incorporate a selection of available products that meet their individual needs. This lets everyone know that you are knowledgeable about specific grooming needs and the products that can meet those needs.

This first step is to take a good look at who is walking into your salon. Men comprise the overwhelming majority of walk-in business for salons across America. They are often wandering from salon to salon, looking for a great experience. Consider this and think about how you want to display your salon and retail section to the male clients you are trying to reach.

Next, look at whom you are assigning to greet this walk-in business; in most cases it is the newest hairstylist. The hairstylist with little or no clientele and in most cases, the least experience. This is fine; however, uneducated and inexperienced staff members can hinder your business building tactics.

Just because a staff member is inexperienced, does not mean they have to be uneducated. The key is to educate them and keep even the newest of team members updated on the latest men’s contemporary hairstyles and product knowledge. Once you have successfully done this, you have tackled one of the first obstacles in making a positive impact on your male clientele. Here are additional ways to build your male business and make your male clients happy at the same time.

Show Men You Want Their Business: Any environment that is new and different can be intimidating for a man or a woman. Make your salon and retail section friendly and inviting. Window displays, posters and advertisements are a great way to invite men into the salon. The appearance of your salon will directly influence the type of client who walks in your doors. Displaying marketing material specifically for men lets everyone know that you cater to the male client.

Magazines and Portfolios: Magazines are a great tool for staying current in the world of hair and fashion. Make your own hairstyle book from magazine tear sheets that reflect your personality and opinions about hair and fashion. Traditional hairstyling books often become outdated quickly and many men feel too uncomfortable or intimidated to pick one up.

Education, Education and Education: The more education we receive, the more we continue to grow on a personal and professional level and the more we can offer our clients. Make sure your staff is well educated on men’s grooming services as well as seasonally updated hairstyle options, so they can prescribe the best retail products for each client.

Offer Referral Incentives to Existing Clients: Your female clients know plenty of men. Offer your existing clientele a product discount or a free service for referring new business. Offering incentives to your existing clients is a great way to let your clients work for you. A great scalp massage at the shampoo bowl is a fantastic value added service that takes very little time and has no overhead. Think about ways you can incorporate added value into services. Men like knowing that they are getting more bang for their buck. For example, you can add on a complimentary neck trim or shave. Just a small amount of maintenance can build customer loyalty.

Offer Extras: Offer product samples or offer a Buy Three -- Get One FREE promotion. Create seasonal gift with purchase and purchase with purchase promotions. Create some specialty gifts with your logo and store name imprinted on them. Men love T-shirts. If you do offer services, share a complimentary conditioning rinse after the haircut. This creates an opportunity to discuss products and their benefits, which is a great tool for retailing.

Know Your Grooming Products: A little knowledge goes a long way. Knowing the special features and benefits of your products will give you the ability to prescribe the right product for each client. The more knowledge you have, the more knowledge you can pass to your clients.

Guarantee Your Work: A guarantee builds confidence. Guarantee your clients that they will walk away happy. If they are not satisfied with your products, services or work, make sure that you find a way to correct this issue and to work with them to achieve the look they are longing for.

Guarantee Your Styling Products: If you display confidence in your products, your clients will be more willing to try what you recommend. When you are finishing the look, let your clients know that the retail products used will keep their hair looking salon fresh in between visits. Men want a product that is easy to use and a hairstyle that is achievable.

Use T-Shirts Instead of Robes or Capes: Not all men want to wear a robe in public. As a modern and stylish alternative, offer your male clients a T-shirt to change into instead of a robe or cape. This will also open up another revenue path in your retail section.

Start a Men’s Night in Your Salon or Store: This is a tremendous opportunity to create a buzz and promote your business. This also creates a comfortable male environment for men who might normally shy away from a salon.

From start to finish, there are always ways you can work to improve your business and build client loyalty. When it comes to men and establishing a relationship with your male clientele, it is important to first think like a man and work with your clients to develop a system that works across the board.

Steve Duross is the director of product development and the director of education for JOE Grooming. JOE Grooming offers a complete line of professional haircare, skincare and bodycare products for men. Visit or contact 703-847-1880 for more information.

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