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10 Tips to Selling Retail Like Hotcakes

by Anne Moratto | September 10, 2015

One of the greatest benefits for owning your own boutique salon is the opportunity to increase your revenue through retail sales. At Sola Salon Studios, the possibilities are endless—from handpicking the professional brands of your choice to deciding how to market your products to clients. The intimate atmosphere provides a comfortable place to discuss your clients’ needs, allowing a level of ease for making product recommendations throughout each area of the salon.

Here are 10 tips for increasing retail in your salon studio:

1. Partner with brands you believe in. 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. When you're on your own, it’s a good idea to choose a professional brand that can offer education, business building guidance and global recognition. A good brand partnership will provide you with better direction on setting up your retail systems and taking advantage of all the marketing tools offered to you.

2. Explain Your New Business Model. From the very beginning, it’s important to let your guests know up front about your business model, explaining that retail is a part of it. Your clients want you to be successful! When you're small, you can take advantage of that relationship because they are very willing to help you succeed.

3. Consultation. At Sola, take advantage of the intimate setting to build a relationship with your clients—ask lots of questions! A solid, honest consultation is so important, not just for selling retail, but for fully understanding your client’s wants, needs, and lifestyle. People are more open to talk about the wants and needs of their hair and also about their lives when they are in an intimate setting, with no interruptions. Be a good listener and provide them with product recommendations that will help to satisfy their specific needs.

4. Promotions—Get Creative! Customers are always excited to see what’s new, what’s on sale and what to look forward to. Whether you are sharing your special promotions on social media, in your monthly newsletter or in your studio, your clients will love to stay in-the-know so that they can take advantage of special ordering periods and be the first to know about new and exciting products you are carrying. Take advantage of holding special promotions by ordering big and creating a fresh and eye-catching display!

5. Retail Your Favorite Tools! Products aren’t the only things we need to be successful. Being in a salon studio, you can stock and recommend the same tools you use for your clients to purchase. Clients are often steered to over-the-counter options; they are not aware of the latest technology unless you make recommendations.

6. Referral Incentives. Create a referral program that has a secondary goal of providing your clients with travel sizes of your favorite products! Once they have tried the products (and become addicted to them!) they will come back to purchase more.

7. Samples and More Samples. Always provide your guests will samples to take home and test out. Once your clients try out your favorite products, they will become hooked.

8. Educate Your Guests. Consider sharing all the valuable information about the products you carry aside from “it smells delicious and makes your hair soft.” Explain how your products work at the level to make color last and improve the overall health of their hair. Once you’re able to make well-educated recommendations to your guests, you’ll begin building a new level of trust with your guests and they won’t want to get their products from anywhere else.

9. Talk About the Products You’re Using. There are so many times while a guest is in your studio that you can bring the conversation back to the products you’re using. At the shampoo bowl, you have a great opportunity to acquaint your client with the products you are using. Tell them what the products will do to help their hair and why you’ve chosen to use those products specifically. While you are styling their hair, always discuss the products you are choosing to use, teaching them how to properly use the product and style their hair – they’ll appreciate the tip and be more likely to purchase the product you used! Allow them to hold the bottle–to smell it and feel the consistency–so they are comfortable taking the product home with them.

10. Create a Knockout Retail Display. Whether you are using the built-in retail shelving at Sola or have created a larger display on your own, keep in mind that shopping and browsing for products should be an experience. Consider using shelf talkers – little labels that highlight the ingredients and benefits of your products. If you’re having a sale or running a special promotion, create signage to point it out. Keep your retail shelf organized and clean, and consider having retail products in various areas of the salon to increase the visibility.

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