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Barber Hacks: 25 Tips To Make Money With Retail

Barberhacks is an entertainment network revolving around barbering and barbering education. The blog portion breaks apart the barbering industry from the ground up, in order to allow barbers to learn their trade faster and easier.

Today we’re focusing on how to educate yourself, your staff and your customers in order to further your retail sales. I do this by letting you re-frame how you think about retail and then giving some solid tips on how to introduce your guests to retail in a way that doesn’t push, but introduces and provides them with value while adding money into your shop and your wallet.


If your barbershop has product, than I’m guessing you have been told to move it at one point or another...or if you own the shop, you want to move more product that you have invested cold hard cash into. Today I’m going to give you some tools to help you move more product and make more money for yourself or your barbershop.


I’ve had a lot of people tell me that sales are hard, and they don’t want to be pushy and that is the reason why they don’t sell product well.


It doesn’t have to be like this. I approach product sales as though they are customer education. If I am using something in someone’s hair, if I am styling it in any way, I am educating them on why and how the product that I am using is going to create this look for them at home.


Most people want to be able to achieve ‘good hair’ for themselves at home. If not every day, then at least on the days that they go out socially, I believe it is our job to educate them in the steps that we are taking in order to get them to the point where they can wear their hair close to how we style it for them in a barbershop. And, in order to do that properly, you need to get good product in their hands, and teach them how to use it. So put aside you humble self and get to selling product to your customers. These are the people that are walking around with your haircut on their head, they are your walking, talking billboards, so the better they look, the more customers you will have sitting in your chair asking for your services.


Before I get into some tips you can use in your chair,,,,,, I’m going to talk to barbershop owners first. If you are going to carry product in your shop, and you want to sell it, it needs to be where your customers can look at it. Create an area in the shop where your product can be picked up and perused by your customers. These will be the easiest sales of your life. If you put the products at eye-level (where people will see them, this is why supermarkets put the premium items at eye-level, because they sell through better) and allow your customers to look over them and open them and smell the scent, they will sell the product to themselves.


Put the price on the bottom of the product, to persuade them into picking the products up. I am going to say this again and again throughout this article, because they have proven it, when someone holds onto the product it is good for you, because it helps the visualize themselves owning it, which converts into sales. If you have all the product in a small space behind a desk, or behind glass, you are going to lose sales.


If you have them out, there will probably be some petty theft, but you will make up for that in the product that you sell through by just allowing your customers to have the product in their hands. If you are really worried about theft (although think about the big chain stores and the huge amount or product that they keep out) you can put out a sample where people can interact with them, and make sales that way. I highly recommend putting your product out where the public can peruse them, just keep them within eyesight of the front desk, or where they can be monitored to help prevent theft.


Owners, if you want to sell through product that has been gathering dust on your shelves, bundle a service with the product, or bundle two products (one popular product with an unpopular one) together and then make sure that your staff is aware of how long the bundle is being offered for and that they should mention it to their customers.


Take a good look at your sales, and your products and what your barbers and their clients are using. If you have a massive product line and products that aren’t moving, make the choices easier for everyone and get rid of all the overstock by putting it on a fire sale, and keep only the products that you know that you and your staff can move on a regular basis. Too many options is the death of your retail. If you know your staff is recommending three products and selling those, keep those ones and get rid of all the other ones. If only one of your barbers swears by a a product and wants you to keep it, give them a grace period in which they can prove that they can sell it, and if they can’t, you have a good reason to get rid of it, and you’re not going to harm your relationship with that barber.


I can’t stress this enough. Don’t over-clutter your shelves with product you don’t move. A streamlined amount of products will sell better.


You can also use samples of product in order to help your customer become addicted to the product that you are using. Most wholesalers will add some samples to your order to allow for people to become used to using them. Give them to everyone, you never know who will become a good retail customer.


During holidays (especially Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) run a bundle special for a service and product. During these times, people are looking for gifts, and for ways to look good for the special people in their lives, you can help them look better. PLUS, no one, no matter how much money they have, hates a discount. Also, selling product in bulk will help you recoup the costs of the sale. At the very minimum try to do this once or twice a year. You’ll be surprised at the amount you can sell during this time.


IF you have a vendor that wants to provide training or has training material (that explains scents, how to use the product, etc.) on a product line, get them to come in and provide the information to your staff. The more your staff know about the line, the more likely they will be able to convert that knowledge into sales. Consumers have so many choices, some of them will need information on how your products will be better than the three other choices that they already have on their shelves at home.


Communicate with your employees. Make sure that they understand sales, make sure they understand the product, and make sure that they are heard. Telling them that they are going to make commission does not really matter unless they feel as though they are part of the conversation, that they will be helping themselves (by making commission) and their customers (by helping them look their best) as much as they are helping you.


When it comes to the sale, make sure that your staff ask every customer whether they would like to take anything home with them. It is a simple question, brainstorm a phrase, or some language that best suits your establishment, and does not come across as pushy or overly aggressive. Example: “As we discussed, your hair needs some pomade to keep it in place after styling, do you want to take home some…(product name)...that we tried out today.”


If your staff need a reminder to sell, give them some incentive, concert tickets, tickets to sporting events, a gift certificate to Foot Locker, something that will remind them that if they are the top seller that they can reap the benefits of that. Do this whenever you see sales start to slump.


This is common sense, but I’m going to get into it. Keep your products clean, and well stocked. Try to make them as visually appealing as possible. Have a tester, in order so that people can touch, smell and try the product.


Now, for the barbers. It all starts with your service and your consultation. When you are consulting with your guest, make sure that you ask them what they like and what they don’t like about their hair. If they tell you what they don’t like be sure to address this, and remember it. At the end of the service when you are styling their hair, and are introducing them to the product that you are going to use, you can let them know that this product will help them address what they didn’t like about their hair, and you can show them how they can do this. A lot of barbers don’t help their customers understand what they can and cannot do with their hair, and how they can help themselves achieve the looks that they get in the barbershop. If your knowledge of hair, and your favorite product will help them with their issues, you will gain a client for life, and one that will buy product from you as well.


People like recommendations, especially those that want to look good, but are clueless. If someone expresses interest in product, don’t just shrug it off and rush onto the next customer, take a couple of minutes and explain it to them and explain the reasons why you like it so much. You’re a hair expert, let them know this, it’ll make it so much easier.


Which brings me back to understanding the product. If there is information from a product line for barbers take the time to read it. Having some predetermined phrases that sound great will help you sell.


When you are putting the product in your guest’s hair, give them the container to hold as you apply the product. This will give them a chance to see the package up close and feel ownership over it.


Never underestimate the power of scent. If you like the scent of the product make sure that you mention it. This is why the infomation on the products is so helpful. 9 times out of 10 I can’t define the scent that the company has applied to the product (I am that type of guy that doesn’t have great olfactory senses) and knowing how they define it is helpful when you say, “Isn’t that Bay Rum scent amazing?”


Be genuine with all of this. No one likes a pushy sales person. If someone is interested in what you are saying, they’ll let you know, if they aren’t interested in styling their hair or knowing how to style it the way you do, they’ll let you know verbally or with body language. This isn’t an excuse to not engage in this conversation, but it is having awareness of the mood that your customer is in.


Think about how you are educating someone, don’t think of it as a sale. A subtle shift in how you approach this can make the difference in how you approach it. Teach them how to get the look that you are giving them and don’t be afraid to highlight what benefits come from the products that you are using. If your client is able to replicate what you do at home, they are going to be completely satisfied.


Be okay with a ‘no’ over and over again. As a barber I’ve heard ‘no’ over and over again. A couple more won’t hurt. If you convert 10% of all your customers, you will make at least 50 dollars in commission a week, and if you do the math on that, you’ll be laughing.


Education is key to retail sales, for everyone involved. Make sure that your guests have access to the product and the information that they need in order look the best that they can outside of the shop. Make sure that, as a barber and barbershop owner, you are educated in how you can help your customers get the best possible hair that you can offer at all times. With the tips and tricks that I have highlighted in this article you should be able to jumpstart the sales in your barbershop, and earn more money while doing it.

Thanks for reading this week,


Here is a bonus, a barbering tutorial from my YouTube channel. Please take the time to like and subscribe to the channel.
All links are affiliate links that help the creator of Barberhack earn commissions.

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