Director of Salon Evolution and business and marketing specialist, Steven Gunnip, has shared his secrets for selling to clients, without the hard sell

Here at Salon Evolution, we believe that the best way for hair salons to retain clients and increase retail purchases is by taking a step back from the hard selling and focus instead on building a rapport with clients that can naturally transform into sales. We’ve termed this ‘Low Profile Selling’ and it has become our mantra, coming into play in every aspect of our work. Our dedicated presentation team and educators use Low Profile Selling whenever they communicate with customers, ensuring that all new clients have the information they need to evolve into happy and loyal customers.

We’ve found that many clients enjoy feeling as though they are making their own decisions and are not being pushed into making a purchase. Using Low Profile Selling allows stylists to communicate with their clientele in a relaxed manner that is conversational and informative without being too sales-led.

When a client arrives at their hair appointment, they expect to receive the service they have booked in for, but they will always enjoy visiting a salon that goes above and beyond their expectations. Clients appreciate finding solutions to their hair issues so, for stylists, this means conducting a thorough consultation to discover any haircare problems and what the client wants to gain from their visit, before applying their professional knowledge to provide tailor-made solutions. As soon as the client is educated on the best ways to care for their hair, an automatic sale can be created as the customer makes the decision to purchase the products and treatments their stylist recommends without feeling as though they have been sold anything.

So how is Low Profile Selling best carried out? It all lies in the structure of the communication process and how information is collected from the customer before the conversation turns towards their wants and needs. The whole process should revolve around the client journey, which, from beginning to end, should ensure the client receives the wow factor – from the greeting upon walking through the salon door; to the cut, colour or treatments offered; through to the little extra touches, such as their favourite drink. Most of all, clients want to feel as though they have been listened to, so step into their shoes and see things from their point of view, then recommend products and services, and impart your much-valued knowledge, accordingly. A client should leave the salon knowing much more about their hair than they did before they arrived and if you’re aiming for the wow factor in your service, this can be accomplished every time.

Continual training can ensure salon staff are up to speed with their Low Profile Selling technique. Give staff the opportunity to practice their communication skills using the tools they already possess through role-play activities or fun team building exercises. This will make them more confident in their abilities and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Lead by example and show your staff how its done, and they will really see the benefit.

It’s important that salon teams see Low Profile Selling as educating rather than a sales pitch. Clients want to find out the solutions to their hair issues, what works for them and the products that they need to maintain their style, colour or hair condition. All stylists have this information, but very few take the time to really explain it to their clientele – by imparting expert knowledge to new and existing clients, this will become one of the key things that really sets you apart.