6 Tips for Successful Salon Retailing

Alan Benfield Bush, creator of YHS: Your Haircare System, a line of  haircolor enhancers, conditioners, shine therapies, styling and texturizing products, is a successful product developer, hairdresser and educator with decades of experience. He is passionate about the role the hairdresser plays in their client's life and he looks at retailing products as a chance to educate.

"Professional salon retail sales are much more important than we have realized," says Benfield Bush. "Over the past 30 to 40 years, salon owners and hair designers have gradually been losing billions of sales dollars because professional products became so readily available over the counter at retail outlets. As an industry, we should pay more attention to selling products that only go through the salon and hairstylists. We must remember that we are the professionals that should and must present personally prescribed professional products to our clients. After all, 95% of clients will buy whatever we prescribe and recommend. So, let’s get excited about the newest and most innovative new products that allow hair designers to offer the very best salon services to our clients. We must recognize that most every professional haircare product system was initiated by successful hairstylists. It is now time for us to bring back the retail sales to us, the hair designer."

Here are his tips for retail success:

 Retail Consultations: Ask your client a series of simple questions: “How has the condition of your hair been?”, “Did you used the products I prescribed for you?” and “Has your hair been easy to take care of?” Take time to listen. Analyze their responses, while reviewing the benefits and features to meet each of their haircare needs and challenges.

 Don’t Sell - Educate!  Do not talk about the products until you get to the back bar when you are using them even if she asks about them. Then, talk about the products when you are using them. Tell her you will explain later, while not taking control of your time. Educate your clients on the benefits and features of each product as well as how to properly use them at home between salon visits.  Build an enthusiastic attitude towards them experiencing the product.  You should say, “I guarantee your new hair design if you use these products that I recommend.” Also, educate your clients on how to achieve multiple looks with styling products.

Review: At the end of each client appointment, ask, “Do you like your new hair design?” She says “Yes!” Then, put 2 to 3 of your recommended products in her hands. If you recommended 4, 5 or more than she can carry, help her take them to the reception desk. Then, line up the prescribed products facing her at the reception desk, so she can purchase the haircare system and say, “Please book your next appointment now as I’m getting very, very busy.”

 Retail Displays: We should display the products we are using on our clients. Your shelves need to be fully stocked with mass merchandise like a distribution center.  No one wants to take products from a display to spoil the look or to take the last products.

 Professional Products: Every salon should carry 3 to 4 professional haircare product systems that are sold ‘exclusively’ through their salons by licensed hair designers.  You should consider 2 to 3 haircolor lines. You need to select lines that offer professional education. Do not show the brand name of the color on the swatch books. Never share your haircare formulas with clients; sell them on you, your integrity and your prescribed solutions for their haircare needs.

 Your Haircare System:  Hairdressers really should make a larger percentage of profit from retail sales with incentives to make the products worthy of recommendation.” Each salon owner and hair designer should be keenly aware of the beneficial long-term impact; if you sell to 90% of your clients retail it will pay for your car payment, mortgage or rent, that’s how important retail sales are. It really is now time for us to come together as one by only selling products through us and to become as green as possible while meeting the needs of every salon professional and their valued clients.


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