As the owner of a service-based business, selling products may not be in your comfort zone. You want to increase revenue, but you don’t want to come off as “salesy” or pushy.
We get it. The salesman’s grind isn’t for everyone. With so much to think about — knowing your products, knowing your clients, then convincing your clients to purchase your products — it may even seem a little daunting to get started.
Good news is: It doesn’t take a sales background to increase your product revenue. There are plenty of selling techniques out there to simplify things and help you feel comfortable making a sale.
With the tips we’ve gathered below, you’ll learn to sell products without feeling like you’re selling at all.
Know Your Clients
Adding retail and merchandise to your revenue stream is a great way to not only bring in more money — it also makes life a little easier on your clients. If they can buy their products from you as part of their hair appointment or workout, they don’t have to search for it in a store or go down any product rabbit holes online.
Listen to your clients
Business coach Brooke Schultz of Forbes says “Listening more is a powerful way to not only build a rapport with clients but also help them see that you’re coming from a place of service, not a place of only wanting to make a sale.”
You want to build a relationship and trust with your clients and keep them coming back. So instead of focusing only on pushing more products, you need to take the time to get to know their needs and wants. Then you can provide solutions with your products.
At the end of the day, you’re always coming from a place of service to your clients. That goes without saying. But providing products for your clients is a part of that service, too.
Focus on your clients, not the product
How can your products help your clients? What products do you offer that would make their life easier?
Maybe there’s a new shampoo you’re selling that’s perfect for curly hair, and your curly-haired client is having trouble finding the right shampoo. Or maybe you’re a personal trainer, and your client is interested in trying protein shakes or other nutritional supplements for the first time.
Whatever it is they need, you’re there to help.
Fill a need
Sometimes it’s as simple as having supplies or products on hand that clients need for their fitness class or may need after their class. We all know how annoying it can be to arrive at the gym without that one crucial thing you need to work out or participate in the class. So you want to try to anticipate those needs for your clients.
If you’re a yoga studio or a gym, this could be yoga mats, workout gloves, or post-workout protein bars. If you’re running a salon, you may know of a great shampoo for clients who color their hair regularly or the perfect conditioner for those clients dealing with frizzy hair.
Think about what your clients might need before or after their appointment or class, and have those products on hand. You may just save their day!
Pro tip: You should also make checkout as seamless as possible — after all, you don’t want to ruin your client’s zen by forcing them to go digging for a credit card. For selling products before, during, or after a session, we recommend Norm by Schedulicity, our payment by text tool that allows clients to pay and tip from the privacy of their own phones. You can also use Norm to charge clients for products remotely, which means you can offer contactless product orders and pick-ups!
Know Your Products
In whatever industry you’re in — yoga, gyms, salons — your clients consider you an expert in that industry. They expect to receive solid advice based on your experience and knowledge.
And whether you like it or not, the products you sell come with an unspoken endorsement from you — again, based on that trust you’ve built. So you want to make sure you know your product, how it works, and how it will benefit your clients.
Try it out
Before trying to sell a product, you want to know exactly what you’re selling. Take it for a test drive (so to speak).
According to Glofox, you want to make sure you know as much as you can about your product — from the nutrition label to the sources behind the product. You ultimately want to “choose brands that will help you be as successful as possible, that have a reputation for excellent customer service and make high-quality products.”
The easy takeaway? If the product isn’t something you would personally use, don’t try to sell it.
Believe in the product
It’s hard to sell something when your heart’s not in it. So to really make a sale without feeling like you’re selling, be sure to find products you believe in and know will help your clients. Then it’s easy to make a pitch for a product in a more casual way because you know it works. You’ll also feel more genuine in offering it to them.
Know the benefits
Think about why you’re selling the product you are. More than just additional revenue, your products need to benefit your clients in some way or at least make their lives a little easier.
If you’re a gym owner selling protein smoothies or protein bars, you’ll want to closely evaluate the brand you choose. Know how it will affect the goals your clients are trying to achieve.
Market Your Products
You already have your marketing strategies for your business and the services you offer. You know your clients, your products, and now you just need to get the word out to start making more product sales.
Use your website
If you happen to already have a website for your business, that’s a great place to mention and promote your products. More than likely clients are going to visit your website before booking with you, so why not take that opportunity to show them the products you use and how to purchase them? Website hosts like WordPress even have built-in tools to sell products online.
For in-person purchases, scheduling softwares like Schedulicity have the tools you need to add a product or two to a client’s bill and get them out the door. This way you have your schedule, your products, and your payment all under one roof!
Use social media
Using social media like Instagram or Facebook to sell products can be tricky, but it’s also a great way to get your products out in front of a ton of clients and potential clients. There’s a balance to find between promoting your products and coming off as “salesy” or pushy.
Social Media Today advises to “build trust with your followers first by providing value as often as you can.” Another tip of theirs is to highlight potential pain points for clients in your posts, then consider how your products and services can help them.
Lastly, don’t forget to mention the offer in your post. It’s great to share the value your products have as potential solutions for clients, but you also need to let clients know how and where they can purchase your products. And, if you happen to be offering a promotion on a certain product, don’t forget to mention the deal they can get!
Use the products you sell
This one’s easy. If you believe in your products and know their benefits, why not use them as part of the service experience for your clients?
For salon owners, this could be a shampoo you love or a new styling product. Use it on your clients as part of their visit, and as you’re using the product, be sure to share why you’re using the product and all the benefits that come along with it.
For gym owners or yoga studios, maybe you just love the yoga pants you sell at the front desk or the comfy tank tops that keep you cool for your workout. Wear the clothing you believe in and don’t shy away from talking it up before or after your class.
Display products where clients will see them
Go beyond displaying your products at the front desk or in the lobby of your studio. As a hair stylist or esthetician, you have your own workstation, so it’s easy to have your products on display there as well. The “proximity of the product to the client” may just be enough to convince them to buy the product you’re using on them.
Depending on your industry, you could also offer samples of your products for clients to take home after their visit.
Knowing what your clients need and believing in your products will give you more confidence in making a sale. Instead of seeming pushy or overly “salesy,” you’re able to simply have a conversation with your clients about their needs and how you can help. That’s what it’s all about, right?