Stylist Jamie Cress Shares Her Strategies for Driving Retail Sales

Stacey Soble | February 21, 2019 | 3:06 PM

Retail whiz Jamie Cress claims she’s never sold a day in her life, but she does start educating clients about retail during their first consultation. As a result, more than 50% of her guests purchase retail.

“I spend at least 15 minutes with a new guest on a consultation and we go over everything—their hair challenges, when they’ve loved it best, what products they currently use, what tools they use to style it,” says Cress, a master stylist and haircutting educator at Centre Salon and Spa in Westminster, Colorado. “I’ll talk to them about how even a good product could be causing them problems if they are using it incorrectly. Throughout the entire service, I’ll show them recommended products, talk about what I’m using and what they should use at home.”

One of Cress’s favorite strategies for existing clients is to ask them to take out all the products they have at home and snap a picture on their phones. “I’ll review the pictures with them and talk about what they should keep and what they can let go of. We’ll talk about shelf life and why products don’t last forever. Then, we’ll talk about when and how they should use each of the products in their picture, and we’ll talk about what they might need to fill in the gaps.”

Sometimes clients inherit products from someone else, or they buy something for the wrong reason—maybe they like the smell, but it isn’t a product they should be using. Cress helps them edit their collection then supplement it, so they end up with the best lineup with a full understanding of when and how to use each product.

Cress believes she’s a chemist at  heart, and she loves to tell clients about product ingredients and why they work. “For example, I’ll point out the maize in corn is what give this product hold, or this one’s main ingredient is amla fruit which is a natural thickening tonic,” she says.

At the end of the service, Cress escorts the guest to the salon’s experience center where she walks guests through her recommended products, and as a result they usually take home something.

On May 19-21, the Data-Driven Salon Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, will spotlight data stars like Jamie Cress in a hands-on workshop approach to mining the metrics to drive salon performance. Learn more at

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