On My Mind: I Can't Sell, But You Can

Your salon is a bullseye location to offer and suggest retail nail care products. Why not get started?

This summer, my 12-year-old son wanted to earn some money selling backpacks. His uncle is a sporting goods rep and gave him about 100 samples from last year’s lines. Dana could keep $10 from each backpack he sold.

I had the brilliant idea of taking a booth at our local Farmer’s Market. We did everything right – designed an attractive space, priced each item 30% below retail, and brought plenty of cash to make change. As the morning began, we developed our sales goal of 2-3 backpacks per hour.

We spent two long, hot days at the Farmer’s Market, and sold just two backpacks. After paying the $35 booth fee and 10% sales commission, we came out in the red.

My little guy learned that retailing is not easy. It takes time, and money, and patience. Most of all, it takes a sales attitude and strategy. I learned a few things, too. I counselled Dana to “leave people alone” and let them browse even though he was eager to answer their questions and hawk his wares. I should have let him. We also should have started a lot earlier in the summer, when it was cooler and parents were starting to think about school backpacks.

Most of all, I should have considered the importance of location and demographics. People come to the Farmer’s Market for produce and food. They don’t usually carry more than $40 or $50 cash. They look for handmade and artisanal items; high-end backpacks even at a discount seemed discordant with the Farmer’s Market vibe.

Nail salons, on the other hand, are absolutely tailor-made for retail sales. Clients come to get their nails done. They choose a color, then may want to freshen their nails or change color a few days later. Their cuticles are dry and they need oil. They love the mango scent of that lotion you used. I don’t mean to make it sound easy, but it’s a synergistic relationship. Making relevant retail products easy to buy actually helps the client have a better experience, because she can prolong that lovely pampered feeling long after she leaves.

This season I urge you to renew your retailing strategy. We’ve put together a few resources to help. First, look at the many high-performance, low-fee apps that turn cashless transactions into a mere swipe. Then discover the key retailing numbers you need to develop a full-blown retail sales strategy – it’s easier than you think, and it could net you some serious revenue increases during the holidays. Finally, shop our own little marketplace for some splendid products your clients will love.

Stocking stuffers and unique teacher gifts are just a nail salon away. Make sure that your salon is the place clients find what they need.

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