When it comes to salon retailing, are you trying too hard?

Beauty Business Expert, Liz McKeon, on how to avoid being a pushy salesperson.

Liz McKeonThere is a definite distinction in the retail world between the infamous ‘pushy sales person' and someone who is focused, well informed, generous with their expertise, thoughtful and eloquent. These are all good things. Being pushy isn't.

We call someone pushy when they are trying harder than the client to move the sale forward. We call them pushy when they have more at stake or more to gain than the client. 

It is easy to think you are being pushy with the client and then minimising the value you are actually adding to the client's experience. With this in mind, stop worrying about being pushy and focus on the added value your expertise brings to the client. 

Informing, guiding, educating & recommending

Selling is a word that is dreaded and feared – even though we all know we need to “sell” our services and products, many of us feel anxious and fearful about actually doing so. If you alter your mindset and focus your attention on informing, guiding, educating and recommending, you will be in a far better place to secure a sale, than someone who negotiates a transaction with the sole purpose of simply making client X buy something. 

Beauty therapist selling beauty product to customer
Think of yourself as “sharing information” or “showing benefits” rather than trying to convince somebody to buy.
To shift out of fear and into excitement about selling, I recommend a few simple and effective technique to the therapists and salons and spas that I work with. They include:

1. Knowing the source of your fear is an important part of overcoming your fear of selling. For example, fear can come from worrying about not being liked or being perceived as pushy, struggling with the idea of being rejected or lack of confidence in the product.

2. Take action to address the source of your fear. For example, improve your product knowledge, you are after all the trained expert. Believe in yourself. Find a way to bounce back after rejection, which becomes a lot easier if you don't take the ‘no' personally.

3. Find enthusiasm for what you offer. Make a list of all the wonderful benefits and successful outcomes of past clients. I am sure you have changed the way people perceive themselves and improved the health of clients' skin many times. 

4. Shift your perspective. Think of yourself as “sharing information” or “showing benefits” rather than trying to convince somebody to buy. Education, education, education is a great mantra here. 

5. Start small when you want to overcome your fear of selling. The most successful salespeople are those who interact with clients in an authentic, passionate way, so find a way that feels comfortable with you. Engage with your client, get to know him or her. From a position of trust, your recommendations and advice will be accepted. 

6. Keep track of your successes. Sometimes we forget just how much we do right. By keeping note of this daily your confidence will begin to improve. And this doesn't just refer to how many sales you make each day. Think of all of the positive things. 

7. Have fun with it. Rather than approaching selling from a “have to” perspective, find a fun and interesting way to share your knowledge and passion. Relate it to beauty stories you have read online or trends you have seen on Instagram (adjust it to suit your clients age and background). 

Beauty therapist reading label on beauty product
Improve your product knowledge, you are after all the trained expert.
8. Stay focused on your desired outcome. Most people take actions and reach their goals because they stay focused on the benefits of doing so. Sometimes, reminding yourself what you want and why you're doing this can help you to keep going.

9. Detach from the outcome. Very often we get really attached to “making the sale” or having the situation turn out a certain way. Instead, staying focused on your effort – doing a great job – the outcome turns out better than you might ever have imagined.

10. Keep practicing. Like any other skill, “selling” gets easier the more you do it.

Pushiness is in the eye of the beholder. Generosity requires that we be aware of how the other person, the client, is feeling about the forward motion we're trying to make.

Liz McKeon is a successful Business Coach, Trainer, Author and Mentor, whose expertise lies in growing small businesses from scratch and taking existing companies to profitability.