Hairstylists Have to be Salespeople Too

by Amy Colvin

If you think you are not a salesperson, think again. This does not mean you have to be a hard-core, shark of a retailer. The secret to being a stylist who sells is to treat your clients with respect and thoughtfulness.

Concentrate on who is in your chair. Be thoughtful of what their needs are or could be. Nurture them and watch your retail earnings soar.

When a client comes in, do you take their suggestion of "just a trim" or try to dig a bit deeper? If you ask some insightful questions, chances are you will find out they would like some suggestions or help with their hair.

The same goes for selling products. We have to ask about our clients' needs. If they do not love the product they are using, they will keep searching for one they do. A valid need should be present for a client to respect your suggestion.

Retailing is all about helping the client. It can make them feel better about the look they created. It will make them feel more confident. It will fix their hair dilemma, and they will think you are a genius.

They will need the product to fix the issue.

Educate them about the product. Teach them how to use it and how to style their new look. This includes showing them exactly how much to use and how to apply. Let them feel and hold the product. Share the excitement you have about your profession, which in turn will excite them about their hair. Tell them how much you enjoy their hair. This will give them a great experience, which they will want repeatedly.

When you look at retailing in this light, do you still feel like a salesperson? You are selling them product, yes, although with the very best intentions.

If you have not noticed yet, we are talking to the client about their hair. We did not ask them about their boyfriend or their social status. We talked about… hair. What a surprise. If you talk about, demonstrate and educate them on their hair and product, they will love it. There will be plenty of time to chat about the other things later when they come back again and again.

How does a stylist get high profits from retail? Know your numbers.

It is extremely important to track your service totals. Tracking your service total will lead you to a goal for retail sales. Shoot for a small goal at first of 10 percent retail to service. If you are not a number person, have a goal of selling one or two products per day then gradually up that. Retail to service numbers are low as a national average. This does not mean you have to be in that average. You are going to want to shoot for 15% then 20%. Keep challenging yourself to do better.

When your numbers are low, analyze what you are talking about with your clients. Change your approach a bit or just stay focused on hair. It is amazing at how easily this works. It is actually effortless when you actually care about your clients.

Selling retail in the hair industry is not selling if you are helping. It is up to you to choose what sort of salesperson you will be. Hairstylists are salespeople too, and we should be proud to hold such a title.