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How to Sell Styling Products to Male Clients

Posted by Sebastian Cardona on

Why don't we sell more product to our male clients? All too often, I hear barbers and stylists tell me, "Well, I'm just not a salesperson!" Not true. Got kids? You're a salesperson. Every day, you sell your kids on ideas and encourage them to behave well. Selling retail is much easier than trying to get a kid to do homework and can strongly enhance your professional image and increase client retention.
It amazes me how few barbershops and salons actually try to sell retail when knowing how to sell styling products to male clients is very easy. Retail is a great opportunity for several reasons.
  • Product keeps you on his mind. When your client picks up that bottle of shampoo at home, he thinks of where he got it and who sold it to him. That bottle is his daily reminder of the great service he received.
  • Product keeps him coming back. Studies show that if a client buys a product, there is over a 90% chance that he'll return to the shop where he made the purchase! He's not sure who else sells that product he loves, but he knows he can get it from you.  Sell him product, and he's more likely to make an appointment with you again.
  • Product enhances your professional image. If, through the use of professional styling products, you can correct a problem a client is having or enhance his look, he'll come to appreciate your knowledge and place more trust in you.
Selling retail product to your male clients is not as hard as you may think. It doesn't require you to be "a salesperson," but it does require a little effort, applied consistently. Follow these five steps to better retail sales.
  1. Consult Your Client. During the consultation, ask the client, "What don't you like about your hair? " or "What types of hair problems are you having?" Make the question one that is difficult to answer with a "yes" or "no". This will get him talking. Answer his concerns by recommending the appropriate product. Remember there is a solution to most common hair problems.  Know your product and don't hesitate in offering it to him. How much confidence would you have in a doctor if he responded to your headache complaint by saying, "Hmmmm, let me see, uh, take an aspirin."
    Never fail to recommend a product to every client, but make sure to ask before you use it! Select a product and say, "Bob, this pomade will help give you great texture and shine. Do you mind if I use some in your hair?"
  2. Hand Him the Bottle. Handing the bottle to the client gives him a sense of ownership in the product and allows him to smell it and read the label, making him more comfortable with it. Remember to make sure your product bottles are impeccably clean and never hand a client a crusty, dusty bottle of gel.
  3. Show Him How to Use It. What is the biggest complaint people have after leaving a salon? It's that they can't do their own hair at home and produce the same results the stylist did in the salon. Why? Because we haven't educated them! Show your client how to get results by giving him step-by-step directions on how to use the product himself, especially with pomades, waxes, and creams!  Whenever possible, get him involved and let him play with the product! If he's not confident that he'll be able to correctly use the product at home, he'll never buy it.
  4. Ask For the Sale. He won't buy if you don't ask, but make sure to compliment him before you do. Approach him with something like this, "Bob, that pomade really looks great in your hair -- it gives you a lot of shine! Would you like to take some home with you today?"
  5. Guarantee It. Don't be afraid to tell your client, "Bob I personally guarantee you'll be happy with this product. If you're not, bring it back and I'll exchange it or give you a full refund! This will make him more comfortable investing in a more expensive salon brand. Many product distributors will allow you to return or exchange a product a client is unhappy with, so there's little risk on your part."
As with any goal worth reaching, dedication and consistency are key. Following these guidelines every day on every client should produce increased sales and improve your male client retention. Happy selling!