Retail – By Elaina Dewey

Brown and DeLine's Blog - A Little Off the Top
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We became hairstylists because of our passion to the industry, our love of people, and our desire to make every client who sits in our chair feel beautiful. That is why selling retail can often make us feel like a slimy salesman. I believe the solution to that problem is the way we approach retail. It is not about selling; it is about education. If we educate our clients, they are informed guests who know how to style their own hair. They are also loyal and invested to you as a service provider. Pinterest, Instagram, selfies and snapchat are in our everyday lives. It is no longer about just cutting a precision straight line. Our duty is to teach our clients to know how to recreate the Pinterest picture they brought in as inspiration. By educating our clients on retail, we are ensuring our clients remain loyal, happy, and referring. Retail is a key piece of the puzzle to complete a perfect salon experience.

“Thank you. My hair looks so much better when I leave the salon! I never can get it to look like this!”

While this often seems like a compliment, this should be taken as a sign we are not effectively doing our job. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put cutting that perfect bob if your guest can’t recreate the look at home. On average, I put at least 5 products in every client’s hair when they are in my chair. If they go home and try to style sans product, it will never look the same. It is our duty to walk them through the process of how we are styling as we style their hair. We must share with them how to hold the curling iron, what setting to keep it at, and how much styling paste they need to define their curls. At our salon we offer 20% off products the first Thursday every month. We make sure to share that information with first time clients.  That way every client, no matter their budget, can have access to salon quality hair every day.

Social media and technology is changing our industry and daily life. Selfies are making us want to appear camera ready all day-every day. Pinterest is leading the way for the masses to get inspired on a new look. Gone are the days of hair magazines. Anyone can go on YouTube and watch a hair tutorial and product review. Professional stylists will always be the original form of social media. We give restaurant reviews like Yelp, styling lessons like YouTube, and fashion trends like Pinterest, along with the occasional free therapy session. Sure, a video can show you how to blow out hair, but I can show you how to style YOUR hair. I can answer questions for a client, while a 5 minute tutorial online cannot. I can recommend a product for you better than a review on Sephora can. This insures a level of personalization that can only be found in a salon by a well-educated, motivated stylist.

A client who purchases retail will view their stylist as more honest and trustworthy. Selling just one product to your clients ensures a 40% chance you will retain them as a client. Why is this? At a recent in-salon class, provided by one of our service representatives, we learned that clients are more invested when you show them how to style and why the products will benefit their hair. When a client is involved in a process, they will remain loyal to the salon. Walking a client to the retail shelf following their service is a key to closing the salon experience. Our front desk updates product displays quarterly, so walking beside a client eases their comfort of locating a product. I recap with them what order the products go in, how to use them and what portion size works for their hair. When my client can recreate the look I gave them at home, it benefits both parties. They are a walking advertisement for my salon and me. They feel confident.  They let everyone know who helped them achieve their great look.

Through education with retail, we are ensuring that every client gets the experience they deserve. They left our salon with a new look that they can recreate at home, a shampoo and conditioner to protect their color, and feeling confident. The best part of that shampoo they took home? Every time they pick up that bottle to shampoo their hair, they will always be reminded of you.