These are suggestions based on feedback from successful retailers, salon owners, retail expert Meaghan Ringwelski, and my own experiences in the salon industry.
6 Tips for Selling More Merchandise at Your Salon
To attain exceptional levels of success with your retail business, you have to be willing to go the extra mile. In addition to designing a salon that people want to spend time in and filling it with merchandise that they want to buy, you need to be on top of your game in terms of using effective sales strategies. The importance of training your salon staff effectively cannot be overemphasized. You can’t hope to train them properly, though, if you’re unaware of how to maximize your salon’s sales potential. Here are some tips for doing just that.
1. Educate yourself about the products you sell. Large, impersonal chains don’t have to be super knowledgeable about what they sell — their low prices give them a huge edge over the competition. To compete with the big guys, you have to have in-depth knowledge about every item that you sell. Learn the pros and cons of each item that you carry. Keep up to date on new developments, and try to stock the most current products. Partner with companies that have a proven track record in retail sales, like OPI. When training new staff, try to get them up to speed on product knowledge and how various products work.
2. Be enthusiastic about your products. A customer is a lot more likely to buy what you’re selling when she or he gets the sense that you’re genuinely enthusiastic about it. It helps tremendously to be a fan of the products that you sell. It’s smart to hire people who are truly into the things that you have on your shelves.
3. Be friendly, not oppressive. If you’ve ever been harassed by a salon sales staff, you know how off-putting and aggravating it can be. Give a customer that kind of experience and you can forget about earning any repeat business from him or her. You should be friendly, but not pushy with your customers. Suffocating a customer is a sure-fire way to chase her away.
4. Ask the customer questions. Asking questions is a lot more effective than pushing a product on a customer — at least, it is if you want to make lots of sales. When you ask questions about what they want or need, you show customers that you care. This is especially effective when it is done in a low-key and laid-back way. Keep the pressure to an absolute minimum and make it clear that you genuinely want to help them find the right thing.
5. Location is key. How many times have you heard the phrase, "location, location, location"? Whether it's a display set at your table or in the FRONT waiting area of your salon, make sure your products are fully stocked, clean, well-lit and that they’re in an area with easy access and great visibility.
6. Sell add-ons, but be savvy about it. Cross-selling related items to a customer is a tried-and-true way to boost sales. It tends to annoy people, though, when you do it at the register or end of the service. Instead, suggest additional items while she or he is still at your station. If possible, put a personal spin on things by relating stories about the related items that you’ve put to good use.
Putting stellar sales techniques and strategies to use can make an amazing difference in your overall success in the retail game. It’s even better when you can bolster those strategies with salon staff that are knowledgeable, friendly, and genuinely enthusiastic. The ultimate goal here is to make people want to come back again and again. When they leave with positive thoughts about the salon, the staff and the services, they are a lot more likely to come back. Repeat sales are crucial to developing a robust business, so do your best to keep the above points in mind. Happy customers develop through unaggressive, friendly sales techniques that gently steer people to buy what you have to sell.