Retail is Easy – at the right time

Retailing is easy,

at the right time


Retailing is easy when you know how to do it.


However, if a team member doesn't know how, it can also feel stressful, frustrating and difficult, especially if staff FEEL the pressure to hit targets with performance reviews and daily targets.

And that can create the "I can't" destroying confidence and revenue  or worse they don't even try which will seriously damaging a salons revenue!


There's 2 keys to successful retail, training, teaching a sales method that works, and then building and developing that skill with practice, and having a target system that really works.


Retailing is either smooth, enjoyable and flows naturally in a clients service or a rough and difficult journey that ends with low figures.


I’m Caroline Turner founder of The Salon Money Maker and in this article I’m going to share with you why retail is critical to a salon or spa and some useful tips to start improving retailing, home-care. 

It’s no different to cutting hair or any professional beauty service - Retailing is a skill

When you know how to retail and practice the skill it becomes easy and flows naturally, it's enjoyable. But when team members are asked or told to retail with no knowledge, training and little experience - It's difficult and hard work especially if the team member is new to the industry.

Think of it like this, imagine being asked to perform a skill without the training, like a completely new color system or facial service, just think about how hard it would feel. Being excepted to get results and get the steps right having never seen the service before.

That's what retailing is like for any team member who has no specific sales training.

It becomes hard work and for many team members in salon's and spa's across the world when they keep failing over and over again, it's easy to give up!

"I can't do it" "clients can't afford it" "they buy online" "I don't like it this line, at my old salon we had..."

All reasons that can justify in their minds why they can't retail, building a negative and closed mindset to retail. But the 4 R's are the business skills teams need to and they're all linked to sales.

Retention - I sell a time slot

Retail - I sell home-care

Referrals - I sell to my client why she should tell her friends

Recommending Services - I sell more services


The business skills team members need has to be trained, practiced to build confidence and monitored. No different to learning the practical skills of our industry. After all would you allow an unqualified person loose on clients with a pair of scissors or a electrical facial machine?

So why give a client who could be worth tens of thousands to the business to someone who has little or no training in sales or the 4R's?

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How I see it - If a Salon or Spa owner wants an increase in financial results either

Hire expensive highly experienced expert stylists / therapists
Train the skills to the team and create the experts


It's that simple

Retail is critical to a salon or spa's success - BUT NOT for the revenue it makes, retail is a key way to measure the health of any salon or spa.

People only buy from a business and people they like - They only RETURN to a business they like.


You see over the last 20 years I've seen a clear link, low retail = low client retention - and that kills salons or spa's. When you have lets say 25% + retail in my experience the retention rate is in the 80%+ mark. But if retail is say 8% the retention is more likely around the 40% mark.  Here's the interesting thing a study  also found a clear link between retail and client retention, just as I've seen. If clients purchase...

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1 product retention rate increases by 30%
2 products retention increases by 60%
3 or more products retention increases by 90%


You see retail isn't just about the money, it's a clear sign of financial security for everyone in the business. 

Think about it, people AKA clients ONLY buy from a business / person they like, so if retail is LOW either a team isn't offering home-care advise (retail) or the team have created an indifferent experience, and that KILLS salons and spa's SLOWLY.

Creating the I LIKE experience is critical!

If the advise IS being given and people aren't buying there's a serious issue with how the team is linking with the clients or unknowingly someones breaking the links. 

I call it Client-Team Links©

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Tip #1 - Never close at reception

Stop Closing at the Reception Desk


I cringe when I hear team members say "would you like me to get you that shampoo" at the reception desk, it's success rate is low because it's the wrong time too close, let me explain why.


There is a psychology flow to the clients salon or spa journey and there is a key point in time when a client is more likely to be interested in buying. As long as the experience in the salon has created the




The buying zone


If the team has created the I like and trust then it's whilst the client is still in the chair towards the middle of their service that there is a PEAK interest and in relaxation treatments the PEAK is before they get off the bed / couch 




As the client's time in the salon or spa ends the interest in buying or booking DROPS and the lowest point is just before leaving, which generally is at the reception desk, the focus of the clients mind changes and with that so does the sale result. The desk CLOSE is like the edge of no return!


Lower retail and a lower re-bookings!

The Second Reason - NEVER at the desk


It can SERIOUSLY affect the next client/s arriving and the chance to recommend to them can end before the new client has even left the reception!

You see clients like to buy - love to buy, when it's done well


BUT they HATE being sold too


When the arriving client witnesses team members trying to close at reception it tells clients


THEY will try and sell me stuff!


You see firstly, people HATE being sold to and in witnessing the CLOSE they're seeing someone being SOLD too but (it gets worse) the arriving client is also at the lowest point of interest in their salon journey too, so if they see the sale – they know it’s coming and will close down to the idea before they’ve even made it to the chair or treatment area.


Let me tell you a little story, I had a friend read this article, when she read the above in a loud and strong voice she told me "That's so true, if I see them selling I will NEVER buy from them, EVER. I really hate that". 

Seriously, clients love to buy and really want to buy from you but they HATE being sold too so if they witness a stylist or therapist trying to close at reception, it will damage business.



Now, yes some people will buy and of course do re-book at the end at reception. This is about where is the best place to ASK, too pre-close and it's less effective if left till the desk. 


In my 23 years of experience with clients myself and 16 years training sales techniques world wide in our industry, pre-closing in the chair or treatment room / area is far more successful and better for business.

If however, there is a front of house person working, for me they will get the "final chance”.

The front of house person can answer any questions about the recommendation and potentially complete a sale, BUT ONLY IF they know what was recommended, and that's one reason why a salon or spa must work with some form of monitoring system.

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The Complete Professional Service - CPS

Tip #2 - Change your target and monitor CPS

Monitoring the Complete Professional Service


Monitoring is critical and simple to do. When professional advice is given to every client it completes the professional service, and that advice is not limited to just which service or home-care the client would benefit from using or booking.

The focus is to get team members speaking as the true professional that they are and sharing their knowledge to benefit the client and enhance the clients experience.


Offering advice helps build trust, it shows knowledge, confidence and professionalism, all of which are key to client retention and building the I LIKE AND TRUST zone - The buying zone.


Getting team members to control their conversation to offer advice as well as chat is key to everyone's financial freedom.


But don't just take my word for it, I'm not the only hair and beauty expert using this system. As Neil Ducof CEO and founder of Strategies uses a similar system, called Happiness.


Here's what Neil Ducof says about the benefits of using this style of monitoring.

"We've seen countless salons and spas increase retail sales by 15% - 25%+ of total sales, AND drive up their pre-book rates to 90% just by following the Happiness System." 

Neil Ducof

CEO and Founder of Strategies


So, let’s just recap the main points before we look at how to monitor in the next articles

A team will struggle IF they get no training in the 4 R's which are all linked to sales

Recommending to clients is fun, easy and enjoyable when you know how

Closing at reception has a lower success rate than closing in the chair or treatment area

If closing at reception is witnessed by the next client it can seriously damage a business

A front of house team member can support a clients recommendations but only if they know what was recommended

Monitoring is critical to having financial security and success

What would I do next?


When I work with salon owners and teams my first step is to make the team aware of the damage caused by reception closing and then as a team we discuss it and then THEY ban it.

I would NEVER personally just tell a team "IT'S BANNED" that would make me a dictator. A leader involves people to get their commitment, especially when looking for change. It's very important to remember that change can take time, patience and reminding.


My next step is to really drive home how much knowledge they have and giving advise is what clients wants


Final tip - When you make practicing a new habit FUN it speeds up the change - so as a team find a way to make it fun. We learn and develop new habits much fastest when it's fun!

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