One of the recurring themes we hear from stylists (and even owners on a regular basis), is “I don’t like to sell”. Here are some real truths: every service organization is selling something– either products, services or the people who give it. If a client comes back to see a stylist a second time, it’s because the stylist has sold their service value. That’s selling! So guess what: we are in the business of selling.

The sale makes the customer.

It took me a minute to get it, but here’s what it means: we often think that it is the customer that makes the sale, but if you change it around and look at it in a different light, you start to realize that the point of sale can be the pivot point in creating a long-time customer.

As an example, Catherine and I were out shopping the other day in a store we hadn’t frequented before. We weren’t offered any help on the floor, but finally found what we were looking for and proceeded to check out. We weren’t given any love there, either! Our discussion on leaving was, “Well, they didn’t make a customer there!” That idea of “the sale makes the customer” came back to me and I finally got it. If that store had given us the feeling that our attendance was appreciated and our business was worth something, that store could have made long-time customers out of us.

Nathan Fertig

So, let’s think about what goes into the sale.

Of course, the most important aspect of a sale is to have a customer! That means prospecting or finding the customers to frequent our business. Once we have a prospective customer, we offer to sell them something; in our industry, of course, we are offering time slots for services, and take home products for maintenance.

This is often where we, as an industry, fall down on the job. We leave all the decisions to the customer. We let them direct our business because we don’t help them in the decision making process. What makes a successful business is a returning client. They don’t come back unless you ask them! They don’t buy anything unless you ask them!

Most of us are not trained to sell. Selling isn’t a skill that you are born with; it is a skill that you develop. Make no mistake, every business that you and your employees will work for, will be sales organizations. You are either selling products, services, or your own personality.

In our industry, the products and services we sell to our clients enrich their lives.

We are their beauty experts. We ensure that their hair, fashion, scalp-health, skin care is up-to-date and increases their sense of wellness. We ENRICH their lives! Let’s change our attitude towards presenting our products and services to our clients and ENRICH their lives with our talents and products.

Let’s break down ENRICHING into something easy and manageable. Here’s Enrichment 101 in a nutshell! Let’s ASSUME every client or customer wants what we have to offer and offer it to them. Let’s word our offer in such a way that it ends up guiding our client in the decision making process. To do that we simply offer them ALTERNATIVES until we have satisfied their needs.

Here are a couple of examples:
  1. “Mary, you will notice re-growth from your colour in about four to six weeks. Let’s book your next appointment in that time frame so that your colour stays fresh. What works best for you: the beginning or the end of the week? Morning or afternoon? Which time works best for you, 9:00 or 11:00? “
  2. “Mary, the colour care shampoo we talked about to hold your colour investment is available in either an 8.5 ounce size or a liter size. Which works best for you?
Felipe P. Lima Rizo

It sounds simple, yet stylists and front-end staff often struggle with these simple techniques. The best way to overcome this objection is to create some simple scripts for employees to use and you can create your own, like the samples above. Then make sure that every staff member has a copy. The consistency of dialogue is very important. After a day or two of scripted dialogue, the conversation becomes your own!

Let’s face it; you can be the greatest technician in the world, but if you don’t have a client in your chair, are you still a stylist? We need clients to be stylists! To get clients, we have to sell our services. So, let’s get out there and practice!