Q&A

Reader to Reader: How do you start a dialogue with your clients about retail products?

Q.

How do you start a dialogue with your clients about retail products?

A.

The first thing I do is assess the client’s nails. Then we discuss the appropriate treatment for the condition. I keep my retail area well-stocked with the items I use on my clients. My clientele is 100% gels, so my retail for nail items is relatively small. I rotate my retail shelves frequently and keep them updated. I have gift wrapping, boxes, tissue paper, and custom-designed ribbon to wrap any retail item. I like a package nicely wrapped when I shop, so I do that with the salon items. I also make gift baskets, and they are gift wrapped according to the season or event. I also carry high end retail non-nail items. For the most part, they sell themselves. - BARBARA LAURENCE, A Place for Nails/Nails on Magnolia, Charleston, S.C.

While performing the service or just chatting, if the client has a particular issue such as dry skin, discoloring toes, brittle nails, etc., I simply let her know about the products we have available. I make sure to mention the reasonable cost, its effectiveness and, of course, my belief in the product. Then, I sample the product on her, explaining the ease of use with the results she can expect. Our closing percentage is around 80%. - JULI PARK, Elements Day Spa, Los Angeles

I start a conversation with my clients about their week, since most of my clients are 20-year-standing-regulars, then I’ll say something about our weather and how my products have shea butter in them and that it soothes and heals dry skin. That’s not usually enough so I’ll start to tell them about the many natural flavors. Mostly, this works. - MICHELLE MARCHAND, The Nail Bar, Denver

You need to make sure you ask the clients what products they use at home when you are performing their services. Then discuss the products you are using on them and why the products would benefit them. At that time you would point out the fact that you sell the products you have used. When the service is done, and you are taking your client to the reception area, show them the product and put it in their hand. We need to remember, clients buy on impulse. So if they can feel it and smell it, they will usually buy it. - JESSICA KNEPPER, Universal Spa Training Academy, Westmont, Ill.

I am a student externing in a nice salon, and I feel very comfortable with asking every guest during her service if she is pleased with the products being used on her. If she seems open for discussion, I’ll educate her on what the product or products can do for her. I let her know I have products available for purchase at the end of the service while I am rebooking her. I also at times give a sample of something new for her to try when she goes home. This also helps with my retail when she comes back. - SHANNON GRAVES, Dewolfs Beauty College, Albuquerque, N.M.

A couple of my favorite retail strategies: asking clients if they would like to choose a polish to take home as you greet them before the service (that way they can look at the whole selection before they are comfy in the chair); the other is when they are commenting on how great something is to let them know you offer it if they want to take some home. - HOLLY SCHIPPERS, CND Education Ambassador, Bussey, Iowa

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A fungus infection of the nail that is usually caused when moisture seeps between an artificial nail and the free edge of the nail; mold starts...
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