The Coaching Chronicles

Conquering Retailphobia

by NAILS Magazine | January 5, 2011

By Kristi Valenzuela, Crystal Focus

Does your heart start racing and your palms get sweaty each time you think about closing a product sale with your client? I call this condition “retailphobia.” Unfortunately, it’s widespread in our industry and has the power to freeze us in our tracks. The good news is, there’s a cure.

First, let’s diagnose. Do you say things like: “I know my client won’t buy it,” “My clients can’t afford it,” “I may scare off my clients because they will think I am being pushy,” or my favorite, “I am a nail tech, not a salesperson”? If that sounds like you, consider yourself officially diagnosed with retailphobia.

Now, the choice is yours: You can realize these are just invalid excuses and keep spinning your wheels or you can make the choice to become more profitable and successful by inviting your clients to take home the products you have used during their service. Know that if you choose the latter you will not only take home more income from retailing, you will also retain many more clients.

You can be on the road to recovery in a very short time as long as you have an open mind and are willing to try new things. First you must challenge yourself to higher thinking.

When you hear the voice in your head saying, “I know this client won’t want to purchase this product,” open up your mind by saying, “This is the perfect opportunity to educate my client ” and invite her to take it home. What we need to realize is that the main reason we do not talk about our products and we avoid closing the sale is because we are afraid of the word no.


If you take away anything from this post, please remember that no just means no. It does not mean that your client thought you were pushy, they didn’t like the product, or they thought you were weird. It just meant no. Be open to the possibility that no could have meant that they are planning on coming back tomorrow to purchase it. Most salon professionals who take the challenge and talk to each of their clients about the products they used on them during the service are surprised how many will say yes.

I will share with you a success system you can implement in the salon tomorrow to begin overcoming your retailphobia. It is very important to follow this step by step:

1. At the beginning of the day, write down the clients who have reserved an appointment time with you. Keep this with you at your station.

2. Make a commitment to yourself that you will talk to each client about at least two products. (Commit to more the next time.)

3. Find someone that day who will support your commitment — it could be your salon owner, a coworker, or even a significant other.

4. Use a marker to highlight each client you successfully talked to about two products. A “successful” talk consists of three steps:

a. Talk to the client about features and benefits of the product.

b. Share with the client why you love it and why you choose to use it.

c. Invite them to take it home, or at the very least write down the products you used on them that day.

5. Develop scripting for your front desk professional to help support you and assist in closing the sale. For example, she could say, “What questions do you have about the products your tech used on you today?”, or “Did your tech write down what she used on you today? Which products would you like to take home?”

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