How do I get my team motivated to retail our products?

By Emil Mcmahon on April 25th, 2022

One of the biggest challenge any hair and beauty business faces is motivating their team to ‘sell’ products. The reality is that most hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and therapists don’t want to sell. It’s seen as something that goes against the creative flow and is an added pressure that busy people don’t want to think about.

Personally, I advocate ‘Don’t Sell – Do tell’ as this (tried and trusted) formula allows salon teams to be more natural when talking about product; the pressure to get a sale is eliminated. What happens instead is a two-way dialogue that is informative, relaxed, and engaging, giving the client the confidence to ask questions and the stylist the encouragement to talk freely about the products they are using, why they chose them and how the client can use them at home. This communicative way of telling means salon teams become more confident when talking about product and the client is more responsive to the information they are sharing.

Tell not Sell is based on the principles of online shopping. Websites do not sell anything but they do tell; they leave the option of putting the searched for item (and other goodies) into your basket for you. Salons can do the same in their environment in real time. So, every product and piece of equipment that is used should be talked about and placed on the work station in front of the client, or, if the salon has space, in a physical (shopping) basket at the side of the workstation. This subliminal action encourages the client to look at all of the individual items and make their own choices based on what their stylist has told them.

Ultimately, if you want to motivate your team to retail more products, explain to them that, with immediate effect, you don’t want them to sell anything, but you do need them to tell their clients about everything. To help ‘motivate’ add into the mix a variety of incentives that excite them and watch your retail sales grow exponentially.

Remember, from an incentive perspective, money is not always the driving force to excite every member of your team. My advice would be to ask each person what the reward would be that they would personally like for increasing their retail sales and base any promotion around their own motivator, because ultimately the best person to motivate anyone to do anything is themselves. You are the catalyst to help them achieve more for them, for you, and for your business.

Emil Mcmahon is a business consultant with over 45 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry. Visit for more details. Emil is author of ‘Don’t Sell’ the definitive guide for hair and beauty retail sales.

Emil Mcmahon

Emil McMahon has spent over 4 decades in the hairdressing industry and has, for the past 7 years been an independent business consultant and social media manager on behalf of a variety of companies. With a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of hairdressing, communication, retailing and social media, and an understanding of what makes hairdressers tick, Emil offers a different approach to education and training that inspires, motivates and helps salon teams grow.

All articles by Emil Mcmahon

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