Retail hair products are a multi-billion dollar industry, and as hair stylists, we become ambassadors of these products. It's our job to introduce and inform our clients about the magical hair and beauty potions that are on the market. New technologies, and products that work better than ever, make it an exciting time to become a retail selling machine.

Unfortunately, selling retail doesn't come naturally to everyone. In fact, many hair stylists find it difficult to go from the chair to the retail section without sounding like a product pusher.

Luckily there are simple ways to seamlessly introduce retail sales into your service without sounding like a car salesman. Read on to learn easy tricks that will boost your retail sales, and make your pockets and your salon owner very happy.

Begin at the Bowl

A simple trick that takes the pushiness out of any sale, is making sure that the client is interested in the product before you even suggest they purchase it.

Often times the easiest place to subconsciously prep your client for a sale is at the shampoo bowl. Comment on the how much you love the smell of the shampoo you're using (if your client hasn't already) and mention any other back-bar products that you're currently coveting.

Let your client play, touch and smell the products. By activating pleasure centers in their sight and scent receptors, your client will subconsciously be thinking about these products throughout the rest of their service.

Punch it Out (our loyalty cards)

Humans like having goals, and one of the simplest retail tricks will have your clients trying to reach the prize in no time. Punch cards are a fantastic incentive to get clients to buy more retail.

These simple little cards have scientifically proven their power when it comes to client loyalty, and that a customer will spend more money in the long-run when retailers use punch cards.

Hair stylists perform a service, but they also sell product. Some resist the product selling aspect of the profession, while others embrace it and not only earn more money, but have a greater impact on their clients' well-being.

Here are six tips to improve the sales of product to your clients:

1. Don't call it "product."

I get that the industry calls shampoo and conditioner and gel and the like "product." This term distinguishes it from services offered in the salon, such as haircuts, color, etc. But that doesn't mean you should call it "product" to your customers.

"Do you need any product?" doesn't sound good to my customer-sensitive ears. I'll spend money to look good, to have healthy hair, to reduce loss of hair, to have sexy women run their long fingers through my hair; but hearing about "product" from a hair stylist makes me picture a warehouse with floor-to-ceiling stacks of pallets full of cardboard boxes. Is that the image you want in your client's mind?

2. When you use a product, tell the client what it is.

If a product is available to the client for purchase, always tell the client what it is. Never add anything to the hair without taking the opportunity to speak the name of the product.

3. Explain the benefits of using the product.

When you add product to the hair, don't just tell the client what it IS, tell the client what it DOES. Give one or two or three quick bullet points that lets the client know the WHY of the product.

Customers don't buy a drill because they want a drill. They buy a drill because they want holes. Salon clients don't buy conditioner because they want conditioner. They buy conditioner because they want healthy or soft or shiny or manageable or beautiful hair.

4. Recommend the product.

After you've explained what you're putting in your client's hair, recommend the product. Recommending a product is different than merely explaining what the product is and what the product does and why they should have it. A recommendation is personal. "I recommend you try this XYZ serum for a month, and then I'd like to hear what you think of it the next time we see each other!" is a recommendation. 

Stylist recommendations sell more product!

5. Ask for the sale.

So you've used the product in the client's hair, you're explained what it is, what the benefits of the product are, and you've recommended it to the product.

Either immediately or at the end of your session, you must ask for the sale. A direct question is great ("Do you want to go ahead and take home some of that XYZ serum?") or an alternative close is great ("Do you want some of that XYZ serum or do you like the ABC serum I used before?") or whatever closing method you like, but ask for the sale.

6. Follow up.

If a prospect has purchased product previously, make sure to follow up with them at their next appointment. Ask them how they liked it and how it worked. Be curious. If they like the product, ask them if they would like to buy more either at the current appointment or a future one, but don't lose the sales momentum of the product by stopping discussion about it after the client has purchased it.