The benefits of colour protection home care products are twofold: Clients are able to preserve their freshly coloured locks, and salons can increase revenue with retail product sales. But as many salon professionals know, it’s not always easy to get clients on board with professional home care products.
“If clients haven’t had the right product recommendations in the past for their particular hair, they haven’t had a good experience with it,” says Laura de Sousa, senior district sales manager for Goldwell. “Clients need to know that stylists have the integrity of their hair at heart. That’s what stylists need to convey as part of that full-service experience.”
Colour protection can be one of the best buying incentives for clients. Since clients are spending hundreds of dollars on colour treatments, it provides stylists with an opportunity to educate them about ways to preserve their colour.
Know Your Products and How to Sell Their Benefits
With product knowledge being the driver of all successful retail sales, it’s important for all stylists and colourists to brush up on their salon’s retail product range. The next step is getting to know your clients and their individual hair concerns and needs. While colour protection may be your client’s main concern, there are contributing factors that also need to be considered before recommending products, such as the hair’s texture, density and condition.
“People are investing money in hair colour, so they want to maintain it as well,” says de Sousa. “I think that’s where the opportunity is to offer those additional products. It’s the stylist’s duty to provide customers with everything they need to maintain their specific colour—not just shampoo and conditioner but also styling and heat protecting products that help the colour last.”
For clients who may already have a preconceived notion about home hair care, they may require some more convincing before spending additional money on professional products.
“The number one client misconception is that it doesn’t matter what you put on your hair,” says Christopher Sulimay, academy and technical director for Keune Haircosmetics. “As stylists, I think sometimes we can get immune to it when we’re behind the chair. We get so used to working with professional products and may think everything performs that way. I think as we get more educated about products, the industry is smartening up.”
Right Time, Right Product, Right Sell
While some stylists choose to begin the product discussion at the end of the appointment, Sulimay says the conversation needs to begin much sooner than that: “The beginning part of the appointment is really the best time to start a conversation about hair care and ask clients questions such as, ‘How’s your hair been feeling? What do you think is causing that?’ Then come up with a solution in a bottle.”
“When I get that information, I use the products that I would prescribe for them at the shampoo bowl. It’s all about learning to gather information during your consultation and listen for those clues that clients give us,” he adds.
Sulimay, who is the author of ShopTalk, a salon business book, says it’s important to continue the product discussion throughout the appointment: “The second time I would talk about colour protection would be when I get to the styling process or colouring process. It’s a great time to mention a few tips for maintaining colour at home. That way, when you get to the end of the appointment, it’s a warm sell because they’ve been educated about the products. It doesn’t seem like a brand new idea.”
Know When to Offer Suggestions for At-Home Care
While hair colour is brought to life in a salon, it’s once the client leaves the salon that can become a real challenge. Since it’s up to clients to maintain their colour at home, as stylists it’s important to walk them through the maintenance process.
“It’s about learning a script, rehearsing the script and understanding that there are magic moments during the appointment when there’s a higher probability that you have a selling opportunity,” explains Sulimay. “Colour protection comes in all shapes and sizes now. One of the main things we can do to build client loyalty is to continue to offer suggestions. From a profitability standpoint, retail increases client loyalty and profits the salon. Salons that are profitable understand that a lot of their profit is happening from retail sales.”
Increasing retail sales seems to be on every salon owner’s mind these days. When it comes to colour protection, we’ve narrowed down a couple of key tips for getting it right.
1. Create a formula: “When presenting products to clients, I believe in the 5:3:1 method. Present five products to the client, narrow it down to three products and there will likely be at least one product the client goes home with. If you just present one product, such as a shampoo or conditioner, chances are they will say they already have something at home they use. But if you present five products that have been selected based on their hair type and hair colour, it makes the clients feel like you know and care about them. It’s about providing a full prescription approach.” — Laura de Sousa, senior district sales manager for Goldwell
2. Avoid missed opportunities: When offering in-salon treatments, it’s not only important to educate clients about the treatments but it’s also important to add these treatments to your salon’s service menu rather than as a complimentary add-on. “Stylists often put treatments into their clients’ hair for free and never tell them about it. The clients’ hair feels good but they have no idea know why. There’s no value there because the clients never even know that it’s been done. If you’re using treatments, start educating your clients about them and why you’re using them, and charge them for it. What gets paid for gets appreciated. Let them make a choice and understand that there’s value to it. We have to repaint the picture of value in our industry.”— Christopher Sulimay, academy and technical director for Keune Haircosmetics