Why Clients Don’t Buy Salon Retail

Imagine you have done a great consultation with your client.

Now she’s just where you want her—right in the palms of your talented hands.

It’s a magical moment when both you and the client are in that state called “rapport.”

Everything seems to be flowing. You’re being your natural self. See http://www.naturaltraining.com.

You know your work is going to be great; she’s excited and can’t wait to love what you’ve done.

Yet at that very moment when your client is saying to herself “I finally found someone who understands me,” you’re thinking, “Do I or don’t I?” “Do I or don’t I what?”

Come on now, you know what I’m talking about.

It’s ”Do I or don’t I do that retail thing?”

You see, at that very moment when everything seems to be good, when you’re so much “in the flow” you hear that little voice in your head. You know the one. The one whispering in your ear, “I know this is

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the time to introduce retail products to her BUT…”

And bang just like that, in a flash, the magic moment is gone. You are out of the flow and what could have been a great service turns out to be only a good one. And good today is simply not good enough.

Why have you turned great to good? It is because you’ve come up against your retail resistance.

What is retail resistance? It is how you think about selling or taking it to another level, it is how you feel about selling when you think those thoughts about it.

As a human being your natural tendency is to rationalize or justify your behavior. That happens when your little voice takes over. Just like a skilled martial artist uses her opponent’s strength to her advantage; your little voice uses your natural tendency to defeat you.

So let’s be clear about one thing. Poor retail sales are not about the client’s resistance to buying. Oh no, they are about the professional’s resistance to selling.

Look at this list about professional salon retailing and see what comes up for you. Do any of them sound familiar to you? Do you operate from any of these as if they were the gospel truth?

  • Presenting retail products leads to rejection.
  • It probably won’t work anyway, so why bother.
  • If I ask for the sale, it will sound like I’m begging.
  • People won’t be interested in the products that I offer.
  • Retail selling doesn’t work for this kind of service.
  • Retailing just puts people off.
  • I don’t have the time to retail and my business retailing is a complete waste of time and resources.
  • Retailing is hard and expensive.
  • Only salons and day spas with sub-standard services need to retail.
  • People who retail are just charlatans or snake oil salesmen.
  • People who retail are just the manufacturers’ drones.
  • I cannot start retailing until I know exactly what to do.
  • I’m not qualified (educated or experienced) enough yet.
  • Retailing is a bother and an interruption to people.
  • I can’t sell—it’s too embarrassing.
  • I’m not good at talking and my clients won’t believe me.


The next time you hear that little voice whispering those “sweet nothings” in your ear, remember that it is a rapport breaker.

Just ignore it and do your own voodoo. That voodoo that you know how to do so well.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE ezine, for the newest trends and tips for Busy Salons. Click here to subscribe http://busy

The Salon/Spa Owner’s Real Job is Leadership

Have you ever hired someone who had experience in a particular job only to find out they didn’t know how to do it? Every company has different systems, procedures, methods, and ways of doing things. It’s part of the company’s environment. It’s up to you, the owner, to create the environment of your company.

It’s your job to make sure everyone is clear about what they’re signing on for. It’s your job to make sure they know how things are done. And it’s your job to make sure they’re doing it. This may sound a bit tough, if you want your business to actualize your vision then you will do what it takes to make that occur, otherwise it won’t. It’s as simple as that. Let me tell you a story about accountability. The other day I was in the retail/reception area of a salon waiting for my son who was getting a haircut. Mind you, this salon is well known in the neighborhood, beautifully designed, etc. As I was waiting, one of the stylists came up to the front desk and told the other stylists who were there (there were three of them on duty) not to come and find her before seating the client, but to seat the client

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first. She asked them to offer them a beverage and then come to find her. This may or may not have been the salon protocol for handling a client, I was put off by the whole thing. This sort of behavior in public is destructive to the business. I could have been a new client who was waiting to be seen. I know people can do so much better. They can have much more pride in their work, no matter what the position. However, it all starts with leadership. Moreover, leadership starts with how you think, your point of view. Since I have been dealing with salons for nearly my entire career, I knew immediately that there was a salon system breakdown. Wanting to confirm my hunch, I casually asked one of the front desk people if she was new on the job. She said that it was her first week. Having decided to play salon sleuth, I created an opportunity to talk with another front desk person (a more senior one) and after asking her what retail would be right for me, I asked her about the incident. She sighed, then I asked her if there was a training manual that they use for new people. She really couldn’t recall. THIS IS

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ONE OF Salon Today’s TOP 200 SALONS! I hope you get where I’m taking this. These folks, as nice as they may have been, didn’t have a clue

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about customer service. More than that, I’d bet that if you asked the front desk what their job is they’d say, “to book appointments,” and technically they’re right. It’s just that booking appointments is a function of the job and not what I’d call a result statement of that position. Here’s the thing. It’s not their fault that they don’t know about customer service. It’s the owner’s fault. It is his responsibility to make sure they have systems (including training systems) in place so that everyone knows what they have to do

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and how to do it. Furthermore, I know that this company is struggling with its retail sales and with its retention. There is an old Sicilian saying which is, “the fish stinks from the head down.”