Tips for selling hair products to your salon customers

By Rosanne Ullman | 11/27/2006 12:00:00 AM


"Remember: If clients are not getting recommendations from you, then they are buying product from somewhere else and it may not be right product.” Brian Durocher, industry coach

"Clients want and need product advice from the professional they trust their skin, nails and hair to," says industry coach Brian Durocher of Durocher Enterprises. He says that salon professionals are overly concerned about appearing "pushy" and worry too much about whether their clients can afford retail products.

"Do not mind your clients' wallets," Durocher continues. "Even if clients say 'no' the first time, it doesn't mean it is about you or your recommendation. A 'no' today may be a 'yes' the next time, after they have had time to think about it. Your clients have the right to know what products are being used on them with every service. It is your responsibility to let them know the products' features and benefits and why you are using them."

Because you should base your recommendations on client needs, each recommendation should be customized for that client, adds Durocher. By recommending one retail product, you increase your chance of retaining that client by 30 percent; recommending two products raises that figure to 60 percent.

In practicing what you'll say to clients, make sure to include questions that get the client involved. Once you have the client agreeing on positive aspects about the product, you're halfway there!

role-play: stylist at the backbar

Mrs. Wilson, I am using a shampoo for color-treated hair. It will cleanse your hair, without drying it out, and maintain your color base.

How does that smell to you?

role-play: nail tech during a complimentary hand massage and exfoliation

Mrs. Wilson, I am using an exfoliator to remove dead dry skin and to allow for the moisturizer to penetrate more effectively.

How does that feel to you?

Now I am using a moisturizer for dry skin. It will hydrate your hands without feeling greasy or leaving a residue.

How does that smell to you?

role-play: esthetician during a facial

Mrs. Wilson, I am using a cleanser for normal to dry skin. It will cleanse your skin without drying the surface of your skin and will help to maintain a moisture base.

How does that feel to you?

Now I am using a special mask for deep hydration that will moisturize your skin and give it a beautiful glow. You will want to use it three times a week after cleansing and then leave it on for 15 minutes.

How does that feel to you?

closing the sale

At the end of the service, walk the client to the desk and do a one-minute recap explaining what you recommend and why. Say, "These are the products that I recommend. Which of these would you like to take with you?" Start with large-size items and down-sell to the smaller sizes. You may suggest something as a gift, too, especially around holiday time. Always hand clients a written prescription form. Even if they don't purchase the products that day, they may review the list and stop in another time.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosanne Ullman

Rosanne Ullman, Project Editor | Modern Salon Media

Rosanne has been writing for the salon division of Vance Publishing for more than 30 years, contributing landmark articles ranging from a year-long historical series in the 1990s marking MODERN SALON's 75th anniversary to a more recent, comprehensive tribute to Vidal Sassoon's impact on the industry. She was involved in the conceptual planning for First Chair and has directed several of Modern Salon Media's custom publishing projects. Rosanne holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's famed Medill School and contributes to her community through three elected terms on her local school board.

Rosanne is our go-to provider for Modern Salon Media's Healthy Hairdresser e-newsletter. You can e-mail Rosanne Ullman at


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