Selling retail products in your lash salon is an excellent way to make extra money on top of lash and salon services. However, the key to successful salesmanship goes beyond just buying items, throwing them on a shelf, and keeping fingers crossed that your next lash client will buy them. Successful retail sales may seem like an impossible task, but any lash artist can become the queen of sales with a little practice and dedication. Read on for LashBeePro’s top advice on how to set yourself up for retail success!
SELECT THE RIGHT MIX OF PRODUCTS
One major component of successful sales is simply having the right selection of products your clients actually want to buy.
Only Sell Products You Truly Stand By
The number one key to genuine retail sales! Do not sell products that you haven’t thoroughly tested. Don’t just try every item you sell - get to really know it and how it works. You want to be able to speak convincingly and authentically about your love of each item when a client asks you for your personal opinion. Additionally, this way if a client tells you that they can obtain a similar product cheaper or more conveniently elsewhere, you can speak with conviction on why it’s best that they buy from you or buy the specific brand you’re selling. Clients and customers have great B.S. detectors, and they’ll know when you’re faking it and when you aren’t!
Retail Items According to Demand
Don’t be afraid of trial-and-error! If something isn’t working, fix it. If you’ve noticed a particular retail product isn’t selling well, try different marketing methods — placing the item more front-and-center on the shelf behind a receptionist, or discounting it by 10-15% and advertising the heck out of it through email blasts, social media posts, and more.
If you’re still not seeing results after two or three months of trying new solutions, don’t hesitate to pull it off the shelves or put it on a big discount and promotion. You owe it to yourself and your clients to make room for what really sells. Items that don’t sell well often become part of a vicious cycle in which interested customers will look up reviews for it, not see enough, and then decide not to purchase it. Don’t give in to the sunk cost fallacy, where you feel as if you have to cling on to a product or service simply because you’ve invested time or money into it. Let it go and start anew.
INCORPORATE PRODUCTS INTO YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE PROCESS
Don’t wait until your client is checking out to bring up products for the first time. By incorporating and talking honestly about products throughout the entire service, you’ll avoid the dreaded snake oil salesman perception.
Get clients familiar with the products while you have them
The best way to sell a retail product? Have the customer experience and love it firsthand! Take advantage of key moments in each appointment. Use cooling collagen eye pads during each appointment and, if a client expresses admiration for their newly-refreshed skin, show them that they can bring that experience home with them. Finish off a lash lift appointment with a swipe of keratin mascara, and share how it’s it as an essential part of lash lift aftercare and retention once the client sees how glossy and thick their lashes look in the mirror.
Address client needs to personalize your recommendations
All the more reason to pay special attention to client consultations and to perfect your line of questioning for each client! Has your client mentioned that they have trouble keeping track of all their separate aftercare products? Set them up with an aftercare kit or mesh bag so they can keep all the essentials organized in one place. Have they complained about the fact that their lashes are particularly tangle-prone throughout the day? Suggest purchasing an extra reusable lash brush to keep in their purse at all times.
You should already always be asking (new clients in particular!) questions aimed at figuring out each client’s lifestyle. Make sure to keep your retail in mind as you do this, and you’ll reap the added reward of clients trusting you not simply to gift them with the lashes of their dreams, but with the subconscious knowledge that you’ve got their back outside the salon, too.
By only suggesting products your client actually needs or you believe they would enjoy (and skipping those they don’t need), you’ll come off as honest and trustworthy, both of which are proven to increase a customer’s likeliness to purchase.
Build Solid Relationships
Building a solid, long-term rapport with a lash client is a skill you need to hone carefully. Not only is it important to keep them coming back for fills, but it also helps them to know you have their best interests at heart when you recommend products. You don’t need to be every client’s best friend, but you can be every client’s friendly, trusted lash professional. Consider the following to help build long-term relationships with clients:
- Greet your client by their name and a smile, immediately creating an open and welcoming environment upon which trust can be built
- Ask how your client is doing (outside of only why they are coming to you for services)
- Be an active listener - ask probing questions to get the full picture during the initial consultation
- Offer music (a variety of options), audiobooks, massages, and other extras to elevate a simple lash appointment into a luxury, escapist experience
- Provide a comfy setup (high-quality pillows that support their neck, a blanket, a memory foam top to your lash bed, etc.)
- Walk them through the steps of the service (it gives them peace of mind and helps them understand what’s coming next). This is a perfect opportunity to smoothly incorporate relevant retail items into your service, explain what each does, and subtly nudge them towards purchasing the right products for them, without trying to sell them on items they don’t need.
SET UP A STUNNING - AND FUNCTIONAL - DISPLAY
Once you’ve selected your favorite products, you’ll also want to set up a display that encourages your clients to stop and browse.
Display your offerings to encourage clients to touch and feel
The best advertisements are ones you can check out in real time. Let clients touch and feel your offerings. Try displaying a “tester” of each product - take it out of the packaging and encourage clients to pick it up for a closer look. When your client’s ready to buy, keep it sanitary by swapping out the tester for a brand new product in the packaging.
Use professional display materials
When purchasing items to retail in your salon, think carefully about what you have space for and how you can tastefully display each item. You don’t want to buy a bunch of Elleeplex Aftercare Formula packages and then have no way to place them in an aesthetically pleasing way! Consider purchasing professional display stands for your retail items, such as this Elleeplex & Elleevate Display for Advanced Aftercare Formulas or this Precision Brow Display for Elleebana’s Precision Brow Pencils. Alternatively, consider investing in a small selection of acrylic risers and containers, available on Amazon or at similar retailers.
Match your display to your branding and online aesthetic
Your entire lash business should be cohesive, with each aspect complementing the others. Is your Instagram page filled with glittery, glamorous looks? Sprinkle in some (tasteful!) sparkly decor on your shelves. Do you mostly post stark, client-centered pictures against white backgrounds? Your shelving and walls should be white! You don’t want clients — particularly first-timers! — to feel subconsciously put off from your retail space because of incongruous decor and design.
Make your retail space warm and inviting
Make sure the area of your studio where you display your products is comforting enough to make clients want to linger and browse. This calls for a little psychology! Set up a small table with options for coffee, tea, water, and even chocolates or candy right alongside the shelves to encourage a relaxing experience as they examine your offerings. Make the shelves open and place products within reach so that clients are invited to place a hand in, touch, and take.
Make the retail space physically accessible
You also want to make sure that everything is accessible to the average person. Ensure that your products are no more than 2-3 inches above eye level and no lower than waist high for a person of average height. No matter how enticing or useful an item, customers are much more likely to actually test and purchase a product if it’s within easy reach and they don’t have to stretch up on their tiptoes or bend all the way down to grab it!
Make checkout a breeze
Don't neglect the checkout process! Efficiency is key for a stellar retail experience. How many times have you stood at the checkout line at the grocery store, putting last-minute items back because you’re in a rush and the computer system is running slower than usual? Almost as much as money, you’d be surprised how often lack of time is a primary deterrent in purchasing retail products. Many of our clients have only set aside so much time in their day for this appointment, and each additional minute gone means another minute they may be late to a work meeting, a night out with friends, or their kids’ school play.
Make sure that your checkout process is completely seamless for your clients! One of the best ways to do so is to use professional mobile payment processors, such as Square, that allow clients to swipe or tap their credit cards or pay you through their phones in under a minute. That way, clients won’t be tempted to put back that lash shampoo bottle because they’re afraid of wasting an extra few minutes.
REFINE YOUR PITCH AND SALES APPROACH
Now that you’ve got the right products and a beautiful display, experiment with some tried-and-true sales tactics to take things to the next level.
Create a sense of urgency
Don’t we always want what we can’t have? Playing hard-to-get to drum up demand sounds like a cliche, but it’s a cliche that holds true in each aspect of life and business — and especially in product marketing! Don’t store all of your inventory in plain sight if you can help it. Leave the sample items in view and keep one or two of each item behind them to create a subtle sense of urgency. A great way to convince clients who are unsure of whether to purchase something (but haven’t settled on a hard “no”) is to show them that if they wait too long to make a decision, the last ones will be snatched up by someone else.
Add bonus items with your retail purchases
Buy one, get something free -- it’s a sale tactic as old as time, because it works! For customers who are a little more hesitant about making the plunge for a purchase, throw in a little extra incentive to do so. Consider offering a free mask, headband, chapstick, or other swag with their first purchase of a lash shampoo or if they buy, say, $50 worth of retail items. These types of extras can go a long way towards nudging on-the-fence clients towards the buy side of the street.
Don't fight clients
Remember, behind every action and statement is a fact or feeling. If a client tells you that they’re on a budget or unsure about spending money on a product they haven’t tried yet, respect that. Clients are only more likely to shut down if they feel you’re not hearing or understanding where they’re coming from.
If a client says they can’t afford something, the sale doesn’t have to end right there. Offer a compromise, such as a one-time discount. If it won’t cost you too much, you may even want to offer the product for free for their first purchase if it’s something they need, like lash shampoo, or an item they’ve displayed keen interest in. A willingness to be flexible and work with your client’s needs can go a long way towards helping your retail products fly off the shelves.
Practice, practice, practice!
In an ideal world, lash artists would be able to seamlessly work every single retail product they offer into every single conversation with every single client. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic. The best way to prepare yourself to authentically and confidently start selling more retail to clients is to practice doing so! Grab a friend or coworker and spend an hour or two roleplaying as clients and lash artists in fake appointments, and rehearse how to bring up retail items naturally. No one person should feel obligated to market everything in one go; instead, let the flow of the conversation and the clients’ needs dictate how you approach the sale.