How to Sell Without Selling

Want to increase your profits and customer satisfaction rating? Andrea Taylor, CEO of Mediterranean Tan shares her business secrets.

Jodie loves trying out all the testers at her local salon! Image: Jason Nelson 2007
Jodie loves trying out all the testers at her local salon. Image: Jason Nelson 2007

So you think you can’t sell or can’t manage to close that retail sale? Here are some handy tips from Mediterranean Tan CEO Andrea Taylor that have proven success over the years.

Visual Displays

With more than 90% of all purchasing decisions taking place at the counter, it makes perfect sense to feature products on the counter of your salon. Ever notice that most successful retail stores have some form of product display at their counters and/or registers? This is no coincidence. Display items create a non-pressure environment, allowing clients to react on impulse.

Always encourage your staff to verbally recognise your display items to all customers, even if they aren’t making a purchase that day. This will help remind them of what you have on offer as well as the benefit these impulse purchases will provide.

Testers and Staff Recommendations

If the aim is to get the product into the hands of the customer then testers or samples certainly help close the sale. This can be done in a “non-sales way”. Once you have referred to the visual display, encourage the client to test the product. Assist the client to apply the product and talk about the features. How lovely is this fragrance? Look at the difference in your skin, this is the colour I have on today .etc.

A product that a staff member likes or uses will always be the one they are comfortable selling. This is so simple that it almost seems ridiculous writing the suggestion. Use the retail products that you sell and let the staff try it so they become a fan first!

The In-Treatment Recommendation

Some salons are so retail-savvy, backing the retail products that they sell by giving the customer a sample of the recommended product. In the spray tan arena this can occur at the time of the client assessment. The therapist can gain insight into what the client may need by completing the assessment questionnaire with the customer. Then during the treatment, make comments and suggestions. For example, “I notice your skin is really dry, how long does your spray tan last?”

If the customer agrees with your suggestions and is willing to try some products, have the products waiting for them at the counter when they are finished. Give the client a sample of the product and demonstrate how to apply.

Why the sample when they have already purchased it? It’s called positive reinforcement. It expresses to the client that they have made a worthy purchase as you are prepared to give them the sample.

Andrea Taylor
Andrea Taylor

Never discount – always value add

There is a massive difference between offering a service at a fair market price and providing a service that is massively discounted. I cringe every time I see spray tan services offered for a discounted price. So what is the difference between a $5 spray tan and $35 spray tan?

Firstly, we are in business to make profit. The service you provide has to account for your fixed and flexible costs. Your fixed costs are your overheads, electricity, space, wages, equipment outlay, furniture outlay, public liability insurances, marketing, extraction system etc. If you are working from home, your fixed costs may be slightly lower, but once you factor in all the above there really is not much difference in fixed costs.

Your flexible costs are the consumables you use on the client. These include disposable fee, g string, hair net, barrier cream, pre spray, post spray and of course the cost of the spray tan.

The average time a spray tan client is in your salon is around 15 mins, your time is important and valuable. If you are doing $5 or $10 spray tans you are telling the client and yourself that what you do is not valuable, and when you try to put your prices up, those clients that have been paying the discounted rate will move onto the next discounter. It is a viscous cycle.

It is also important to allow this amount of time [15 mins] in order to be able to retail to the client. A good average KPI for a spray tan client is about $50 per visit. This includes the service and retail products.

For more information visit

Back to top