Becoming good at retailing means a shift in how you think about product recommendations.

Becoming good at retailing means a shift in how you think about product recommendations. 

The skills you lack to round out your professionalism—perhaps client retention, retailing, rebooking, etc. are likely happening in the station right next to you. Once I discovered the many
talents of my coworkers, I became an unabashed eavesdropper.

Clients love you when the conversation is about them,” advised Tony, a long-hair color specialist who keeps conversations focused on the client and never discloses much about himself.

Then there’s Deborah, a curly hair specialist, who can convince any textured hair skeptic that wearing curls is their best shot.

For my lackluster retail sales, there’s Karen, who gives the best men’s haircut and gets every client to walk out rebooked with a bottle of something in their hand. I spied on her relentlessly and never once caught her selling or openly pitching a product. How the heck does she do it?

“You’re selling yourself,” Karen offered, “If someone doesn’t seem to connect with you, they won’t listen to anything you say. Try to be someone I’d buy something from. I hate pushy
salespeople, you know, who stalk you at a store? I run from them and try not to be anything like that.”

“Run, girl, run,” I agreed.

“I don’t see myself as a salesperson, but more like a resource, an information center,” says Karen. “And don’t just talk about products. Offer tips, solutions, and recommendations on a
variety of topics. Know a couple of great lunch spots or where big sales are happening and have a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.”

“I’m just not a salesman, I guess,” I admitted to her in the breakroom, “Sure you are, Carlos,” she replied. “Show me how you do it,” I blatantly pleaded.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” she said.

I believe her because if people only buy when they like you, Karen is impossible to dislike. “Take a shampoo,” Karen said, “During the consultation, just comment on anything about the
hair you might notice. Then mention that the product you are about to use at the shampoo bowl will take care of that. Then alert her to the blowout.”

“To the blowout? How?”

“Yes, alert them to the new shine in their hair during the blowout. Point out the lustrous feel, manageability, and ease of styling. And make sure your product performs and does exactly that.”

“And that does it?”

“Yeah, it’s all about the shine. Keep it simple.”

Carlos Valenzuela

Carlos Valenzuela

About the Author

Carlos Valenzuela is a bilingual inspirational writer and a past global beauty educator with a master’s in international business. He writes about positivism and success for Modern Salon and is the author of the multi-award-winning novella Letters to Young Carlos and its sequel, Camaleón, The Lost Years Living in the Closet.

Visit him at

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Originally posted on Modern Salon

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