Retailing Tips from the Pros

As an independent salon owner, selling retail is a major opportunity for increasing your paycheck. Not only do you get to choose the products that line your shelves, but also you get to keep 100% of the profits. But it’s not only about the money! Offering take home product is about servicing your clients and making sure their needs are met. It’s been proven that sending your guests home with the products they need increases client retention and ensures client loyalty. So why are so many beauty professionals afraid to get in the retail game?

We sat down with 9 Sola professionals who are totally crushing the retail game to gather their best tips to share with you! Take a few of these tips and vow to never again say, “I’m not a salesperson.”


For Kim Bennett Horvath, owner of Kim Bennett Studios in Denver, CO, retail has never been a separate part of her business, it’s an integral part of her business. “My focus isn't on sales. My focus is on SOLUTIONS! I have always loved the term "retail therapy." Every client needs therapy. The consultation is the analysis, the service is the treatment, and the retail take home is the cure!

I like to call myself a HEARstylist! Listening is the guide to problem solving every guest's needs and retail is always the remedy!”


Tammy Muniz, co-owner of Rouge 22 Salon in Chattanooga, TN, loves to tell her clients, “I have something special for you!” She draws attention to the smells, texture and shine of the product and specifically points out why that customer would especially like what she has to offer. “We only sell things we love and use ourselves. I like to tell my clients how long a product lasts me, or how many uses I get out of the bottle.”


Your clients trust you, and they trust that you know more about the products you’re recommending than they do! Brandie Kekoa, owner of Be Kekoa Salon in Temecula, CA and founder of Be Kekoa products, reminds us that education on the product is key! “Be sure that you are in love with the product you are retailing then it will be easier to sell. When you are using the products on the client, make sure to explain the functions and benefits of each product, even down to the ingredients!”


There’s no better way for a client to fall in love with a product than if they try it at home! Kanani Yasui and Lauren Ferchau, co-owners of LoCKs Studio in Denver, CO, invest in the travel size samples to give out to their clients rather than the little foil packs. “People are far more likely to actually use a miniature bottle than to wrestle with a foil pack. It’s a little more expensive out of the gate, but we have seen HUGE returns and loyalty to our retail this way. We usually give out these samples when there is a new product or as a reward with another retail purchase.”


When a guest is in your studio, it’s essential for them to be able to see all of the products you are retailing, and also have a chance to try them out. Kim Schine, nail tech and owner of The Perfect Ten in Colorado Springs, CO, shares, “when I sell retail, I make sure that what I'm demoing on my guests are items they are able to purchase. When I use something new, I'll say, ‘this product just came in and that's what I'm using on you today.’ After a client follows up with ‘Oh, it feels so great on my skin,’ I’ll say, ‘I have it in different sizes, which one would you like to take home today?’ I also make sure that all new products are front and center at eye level for guests to see!”


According to Lee Trevino, owner of Tonic & Tweed Salon in Jacksonville, FL, you have an opportunity throughout the full journey of your customer to talk about your retail. “When the guest arrives, I talk about my investment in them and share that I choose to complement my work with the lines I believe in. I tell them what products I use to start, what I will style them with and what to finish with at home.” With this approach, a guest can see how important the products are to the finished look!


Sue Scott, owner of Wisp Salon in Alexandria, VA, shares that she starts every consultation by asking clients what they use in their hair and how they like to wear and style it. “This lets me know what they need. From the start of their shampoo, I tell them what I'm using and why. For styling I tell they what I'm using and let them hold the bottle while I'm styling their hair. During check out I pick out 3 products and offer them 15 percent off. Chances are they will at least try one. I also guarantee my products; if they are unhappy with them they can exchange them for another equal value as long as it's within 7 days.”


“I don't sell products I solve problems,” says Antonio Heath, owner of The Tonsorial Shave in Birmingham, MI. He shares that it’s important to carry a brand that you 100% believe in. “If you retail with one company, you show that you stand by their products 100%. I don't ask clients to purchase product, I leave them no other option but to purchase. During consultation, I recommend what they need in order to achieve the style that we're both aiming for. And as long as your being honest and not just trying to get a sale you'll have a very successful retail area.” He also shares how important it is to dust the shelves and stock product daily!


Lauren Muniz, co-owner of Rouge 22 Salon shares that her clients always love to hear “why” she is recommending certain products to them. “Being educated on your products will keep them flying off the shelves! I love selling products I personally use. Having fine, very blonde hair that I color with all sorts of direct dyes, I know what to sell my clients and WHY. I am able to answer questions such as, ‘will it weigh my hair down’ or ‘will it give my hair too much volume?’ By selling products I can't get enough of, clients are more likely to purchase. They can sense the believable excitement!” 

About: Founded in 2004, Sola Salon Studios provides beauty professionals with high-end, fully-equipped salon studios alongside the support and tools they need to experience the freedom and benefits of salon ownership. Sola's innovative salon model empowers hairdressers, estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and other like-minded professionals to take control of their lives and their careers. Join the Sola community to experience a level of creative independence and career support you won't find anywhere else. For more information visit