Ready to Retail
by Faye Murray

As a hairdresser it is almost taken for granted that you are a good communicator. You would not be a success if you did not like people, get a great deal of satisfaction out of making people look and feel great and be able to hold a good conversation.

So if you are good at communicating, good at developing relationships with your clients, have lots of knowledge and genuinely do care about how your client looks, not just when they are in the salon, but for the 6-8 weeks in between salon visits, then the question must be asked:

“Why don’t more hairdressers sell more products?” or put another way “Why don’t more clients choose to purchase products from their favourite hairdresser?”

Either way in most hairdressing salons in Australia the retailing success rate is well below what it should be. There are some exceptions and to those salons I say congratulations and acknowledge how lucky your clients are to have you as their hairdresser.

As hairdressers we have been trained in many skills. These skills we work with everyday to ensure happy clients.

Everything we do has had to be learnt. No hairdresser learns without training.

To apply a retouch tint, someone teaches you the steps you need to take….you listen….you learn….you practice. But most importantly during the stages of learning you work with a method or steps to follow.

Learning to recommend products is no different to learning how to apply a retouch tint.

You need to be trained. You need to listen, you need to learn, and you must practice. To be sure you are good at this skill you must also have a method or steps to follow. The same rules apply.

If you want to make a perfect chocolate cake you follow a recipe. Best to use one that a friend has already perfected. This way you know it has been tried and tested. Provided you follow the steps you will have success. Leave out one of the ingredients or one of the steps and you will not make a perfect cake. It applies with recommending products. Leave out one of the steps and you will not enjoy the success you should.

The following has been tried and tested in many successful salons and are the ingredients for successful retailing:
1. The salon owner must be 100 per cent committed
2. The team must believe in educating their clients
3. The team must believe in recommending what the client needs
4. Get rid of the frequently used excuses and deciding that its too much for the client to spend
5. You must have displays that say you are in the retail business (stock sells stock)
6. There must always be a recipe of steps to follow.

Try these:

1. (Existing client) Check the history to see what was previously recommended and what was previously purchased

(New client) Present the client needs form/client consultation card and be sure there is a question that asks about products used. When presenting always explain the benefit to the client of filling out the form

2. Tell the client during the consultation that at the end of the service you will write up a prescription for them and explain how best to look after their hair between visits. Tell them up front and they will look forward to receiving the information from a professional hairdresser.

3. Prior to going to the basin analyse hair and scalp and make a decision on which products will be best suit the client during the visit.

4. Tell the client what you are going to use. There is no point in having a range of prescription products at the basin if you are not using them effectively. If handing over to a young stylist to do the shampoo, tell them what you want them to use.

5. On returning to the styling area, the person who did the shampoo is to place the shampoo and conditioner used in front of the client and explain these are the products that were used during their shampoo.

6. During the styling of the client’s hair, explain what is being used and the hints and tips on how to use. Focus on what results will be achieved by using the right products in the right way.

7. At the end of the service, before the cape or towel is removed and when you have shown the client the back of their hair, present the written prescription and the products you have chosen and go over and explain what you recommend to the client and how to use them.

8. Ask the client if they have any questions. Remember ‘Clients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’

9. Invite the client to purchase. “Susie what do you need to take with you today because (this is the important bit) I really want to be sure you can get your hair looking great before I see you next time?”

10. Wait for the client to respond. If the response is yes then move to the reception area and complete the sale. If the answer is no only then do you offer samples and of course you write up a prescription and include hints and tips.

11. Write up the client history to refer to at the next visit

Always remember not to judge your clients. Offer advice and education to each and every client and it will be a win/win for everyone. Your client will look great because they have the knowledge to manage their hair. They will have healthy conditioned hair so the hairstyle you created will always look fantastic. You will enjoy the benefits of better sales at the end of the week and that will result in profit if you are a salon owner and commission if you are a team member.

Recommending products to our clients is all part of the service. Enjoy giving the advice and your clients will enjoy receiving it. If you deliver it because you have to not because you want to, your clients will know the difference and you will hear “No thank you” a lot of the time. Get your motivation right. Stop selling and start to really focus on helping to educate and better care for your clients.


Faye Murray is a coach and trainer with the Your Coach team working with salon owners to develop businesses throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Coaches contact details are; NSW Malik Arunachalam 0408 458 997 and Sandy Chong 0414 852 498 QLD Kym Krey 0403 042 312 and Faye Murray 0409 342 653 as well as WA Di Ford 0417 982 637. Visit the website to receive one hour free coaching and to enrol to receive free monthly business and marketing tips