Are You a Salesperson or a Modern Beauty Professional?

Are You a Salesperson or a Modern Beauty Professional?


Yes, this is the much-dreaded conversation that most hairstylists cringe at, but here we are. There is no way that you can survive in the industry without using, loving, and selling products. Like it or not, you are in the service industry, and part of serving clients is taking care of their hair. Your role as a professional hairstylist and your dream of becoming a master requires that you understand the inextricable link between product and service. So, let me ask the question: Are you a “salesperson” or a modern beauty professional?

Now, put all that away. I want to move away from numbers; for now, they are essential, and you should know where you stand. Remind yourself that this is almost an old-style selling style.  I see this can be a stumbling block for stylists on the way to their mastery.
Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine yourself effortlessly making recommendations to your clients based on the problems you’ve identified, any changes in medications, or general health conditions. Be the person she will ask for help when you walk them up to the front desk. Place the products you recommend for her hair on the counter, and say, “These are the products that will help you with your dry hair.” Everybody needs shampoo. What better time to remind her than when she gets a haircut?
“When you finally get that your hairstyling career is your service to the community, your everyday takes on a whole new meaning.”

It took me a long time to see that this ability to be effortless in my product sales approach is part of my job. I didn’t understand that my role as a professional hairstylist meant that I was in service to my clients. The sheer number of disservice years is frightening, but you don’t get it till you do. My sales were terrible because I never paid attention to them. What the salon owner said went in one ear and out the other. I’d only sell a mousse if my client asked.
In an article at, 70 Top Sales Pros Reveal their Most Impactful Sales Advice Everwritten by David Peralta on the subject of the best sales advice, Jeff Shore’s advice is as follows:

“Listen with the intent to truly and deeply understand your customer.”

The best sales advice I ever received came from the late Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

Covey writes:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to respond.”

I realized that during my own sales presentations, while the customer was talking, I was thinking to myself, “You know, when you shut up, I’ve got something compelling to say. It’s going to blow your mind.”

Since then, I’ve tried my best to listen with the intent to truly and deeply understand my customer.

Yes, you heard right: sales is about listening to your client and asking questions. You are in the service industry, and when you understand this in your heart of hearts, your profession will take on a deeper meaning. Your practice is your way to share your love, your ability to give and to take care of another, to make them shine, to help them express who they are. You will have them eating out of your hand because they love how you care for them.

The turning point for me came back when I used to work for the Rusk hair product company. I saw how the product was necessary to achieve the looks I wanted to create. My haircutting skills and color skills took off, and the whole concept of personalizing a look for client made light bulbs go off in my head. I realized that for the first time, I was having a blast doing hair. I gave so much more to my clients because of it.

I began to see the love. The passion for hair was contagious, and clients loved it. And when they are feeling the love, they want to know what you are using and why. Invite them into the experience! Show them, let them smell the product, ask them what they are using and why. Don’t overwhelm them with 15 items. Share your love of what you are using and how you will help them achieve what you have in the salon.

When you invite them into the experience, they understand the value. Take your client on a journey. Your reputation as a professional is on the line. If you don’t, they will begin to wonder who can take care of them and their hair problems.

1.  Consultation
2.  Shampoo bowl
3.  Your chair
4.  The blow-dry
4.  The checkout area, or reception area
You have opportunities all along the way, including in the waiting area. L’Oreal Professionnel offers a course called Salon Emotion that touches on the beauty of creating an experiential environment.
The more you can bring it back to the experience, the more you will enjoy yourself, contagious. Your numbers will grow with no effort. When I finally got this one 15 years ago, it was so much more fun, and I dropped into my power as a stylist. I spoke, and clients listened. I cared, and they managed.
Let your generosity spillover! Be the modern beauty professional by realizing you are in the role of serving.
Happy sales!

Reframe the salesman approach—plan for your client’s appointment. Write down beforehand what services and products you would like to offer them. After seeing them and following the advice above, write down what you used on their hair and what they purchased. Now you know when they come in what they need to add next to their haircare regime.

 Enjoy this fabulous podcast by Adam Chatterley, Beauty Business Podcast BBP 004: How to Sell More. Much More Retail Product in Your Salon with Pete Scott

Book:  To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink.

Need help creating a plan for each of your clients, click here.
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