What's Holding You Back from Selling Retail?

What's Holding You Back from Selling Retail?

I like to start out any retail conversation that I have with, “Hi, I’m Missy and I didn’t sell retail for the first 12 years of my career.” 

You might think that I’m joking, but I can assure you I am not. When I started doing hair in the “olden days”, almost 18 years ago to be exact, social media didn’t exist really.  So, the only exposure I had to retail education was what I saw being done daily in the salon.  Let’s just say I was not a fan.  Can you relate?  So, I didn’t want any normal person would do, and buried my head in the sand like an ostrich and pretended it didn’t exist.  I even could be caught telling my clients to “get it at the drugstore”. I wish I was kidding.

Fast forward to today and that could not be further from my reality.  Today, my retail profit has become a huge part of how I pay bills inside my salon, and my strategies have helped hundreds of stylists do the same. 

What’s the secret? 

You might be surprised to know that it’s not the brand you’re selling, the packaging or even your promotions.  Don’t get me wrong, those things all are super important, but they aren’t what finally changed the game.

What finally changed my relationship with selling, and prompted me to go on to write a curriculum all about retail sales, was understanding the Emotional Intelligence piece behind it all.  Say what? Yes.  


Your Sales Emotional IQ involves 3 important parts:

Empathy in Sales

Sales Situational Awareness

Sales Self Awareness


By definition, empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  Hello, almost every hairstylist ever.  But so often, your empathy might actually be what is the biggest factor keeping you from selling retail.  What’s that saying, “too much of a good thing”?  Too much empathy and you end up absorbing what YOU think your client is thinking or feeling.  This is where you start deciding how much you think they can or cannot spend and start making financial decisions for them, instead of offering them solutions for their home hair care and leaving it up to them! 

Sales Self Awareness is where you start becoming aware of what is going on around you. 

This is where I say you get to use that empathy as our freaking super power!  What is a pain point in your client’s life that you could help offer a solution for?  Busy mom? What is the one thing she needs the most.  Teen who spends the summer at the beach and pays for their own hair?  What is going to keep their hair in tip top shape and protect their investment?  Are you with me here? If hair care truly is a solution, which I without a doubt believe it is, then how can you start using that special super power you have of understanding what is going on with our clients and use it to help them even more!

Which brings us to the last part of Retail Sales Emotional IQ. 


Sales Self Awareness

What is really holding you back from selling?  In order to overcome something, you first have to figure out what’s holding you back in the first place!  Do you have a fear of judgement?  Fear of being slimy and sleazy?  Fear of rejection and being told no?  Are you creating assumptions of your clients budget?  

For me, it was the fear of being sleazy.  Once I was able to really pinpoint that, I started calling out the truth of what I was actually doing when I offered a product.  I was allowing my clients the option to have the best hair possible the 6 weeks between seeing me.  I was helping solve major problems that they couldn’t understand why they were happening.  I was creating an insurance policy for my work.  All of these things FAR outweighed my fear of being salesy.  The risk was worth it.  Ultimately, the risk wasn’t really a risk after all, because learning how to sell retail quite literally changed my business which in turn changed my life.  

I want that for you.  One of my favorite quotes is by Brene Brown and it says “Don’t puff up, don’t shrink down, stand your sacred ground.”  Stand your ground.  Start using your empathy as your superpower.  Be honest with yourself about what’s holding you back and go for it!


Thanks for reading + till next time!

Missy @soyourahairstylist

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