Your salon won’t grow unless you sell more retail. Read this and learn HOW

Caroline Quinlan


Let’s talk about Lisa, an award-winning stylist in a hair salon in Birmingham. She is passionate about hair. Now… there is an elephant in the room. She hates selling retail because, “I’m just not a salesperson. I love to make people look and feel like a million dollars. Selling shampoo is not what I’m about.”

Products Display Salon

There are three reasons Lisa fails to sell more retail:

  1. She’s afraid that if she sells a product to a client she won’t get a tip
  2. She takes pride in being creative and thinks sales is for people in suits. She feels her talents are beyond that and it’s not ‘her calling’
  3. She’s afraid she’ll turn her clients away and lose credibility if she tries to sell more retail i.e. she thinks she will come across as pushy.

While Lisa realises that being a great stylist requires creativity and passion, she doesn’t want to see the fact that being a guru requires you to know the science of hair and scalp and if she educates clients on how to get thicker, healthier hair, they’ll feel better about themselves which will take her reputation to the next level!


But we’re getting lots of clients, why should I pull Lisa aside and train her to sell more retail?


Think about it like this. Lisa gets £45 for a cut and style. If you up your prices for Lisa’s time, you run into the danger of losing clients to another salon right? So how do you expand?

Do you try to get more new clients? If you’re busy then you’ll have to hire another stylist and that’s more of your valuable time and most importantly, a lot of money in overheads.

The answer is to sell more retail. If Lisa can get to the point where 50% of her clients are spending £10 on products on every visit, that’s a lot of money! Lisa styles 12 people a day, five days a week.

Here’s what retail could do for your business:


Lisa currently gets: 60 clients a week at an average of £40, 46 weeks a year. That’s £110,000 pounds a year. A lot of money right?

But if every second client bought £10 worth of products, that’s an increase of £5 per client. Now look at the figures: 60 clients a week, at an average of £45, 46 weeks a year. That’s almost £125,000 pounds. £15,000 more without getting a single extra client through the door.

If you have four Lisas? That’s £60,000 extra in a year. Increase the average spend on products to £7? That’s £80,000 a year or indeed €80,000 a year if you’re in Ireland.

How do I achieve this? 5 simple steps to make a start:


  1. Get your commission right on products and be generous. Would you rather reward a stylist for selling or watch them take home a tip that you’ll never see again? Commission is a win-win! Separate blog post coming on this soon!
  2. Give a monthly prize for salesperson of the month and come up with a fun name for it! Put a chart in the staff room that clearly shows who’s winning month-on-month. It’s a great way to motivate your team. Make a competition out of selling so it doesn’t become a chore! Put up a £100 voucher for a local clothes shop as an incentive.
  3. Continually quiz your team on products. “What’s in it?”, “Why do we use this one?”, “What will it do for my hair?”, “When will I notice the effects?”, “How often should I apply it?”. Keep your team on its toes!
  4. Set a conversation agenda for your stylists and therapists. Start off by getting them to tell the client what products they are using. Generally you spike the clients’ interest and they’ll end up asking “Oh how much is it?”, or “Can I get that in any salon or supermarket?” etc. Also, they’re more likely to bring up other problems once you explain why the products work giving you an opportunity for an upsell.
  5. Prepare them for objections. Never justify the price to the client UNLESS they hit you directly with a question such as, “But I can get shampoo anywhere for £5 cheaper?”. Explain that if it lasts 6 week it’s only a few pence a day AND what it’ll do for your hair is far superior. Mention organics, natural ingredients etc. educate. Educate. EDUCATE!

5 REALLY SIMPLE things that will help you sell more:


  1. IMPORTANT: Put a loyalty scheme in place but NOT traditional loyalty e.g. here in Phorest we recommend using our TreatCard. People get points for every £/€ they spend. Once they’ve built up enough points you can treat them to a product they’ve never had before. Over 30% of people end up buying it at full price second time around, increasing average spend!
  2. Research shows that 8 out of 10 people buy more with music on. We’re not saying turn it up to 11, but have some nice feel-good music in your salon
  3. Point of purchase displays are responsible for 80% of impulse buys – make your product shelves pretty and placed in line-of-sight e.g. near the counter
  4. Make your prices clear. A lack of this will lose you 9 in 10 sales!
  5. The longer a client stays in a salon the more likely they are to buy. Of course you can’t just leave them in the corner, but ALWAYS avoid rushing clients.

Please note: I host a full webinar on increasing your business performance and it covers retail in-depth. If you are using Phorest Salon Software, call Caroline on 0207 100 9290


Nearly there! We’ve just launched something that will help you sell more products too:

Phorest has just launched a product reminder feature on its software. So, now you have the choice of setting it for when people check-in or pay up. A little window pops up on screen reminding the stylist or therapist what the client bought and that they’re due to replace. I explain how to set this up in the video below.

New Product Reminder Feature on Phorest Salon Software

VIDEO: New Product Feature Phorest Salon Software


Caroline Quinlan is the head trainer at Phorest and has 10 years experience in running salons plus sales training with a World leading cosmetics company. If you have a question for Caroline, email her right here: or leave a comment below.