Upselling is a marketing tactic to encourage existing clients to spend more money in your salon or spa. It’s a great way to introduce your clients to additional services, add revenue to your business, and help take your bottom line to the next level. But what are some of the upsell techniques, and how do you get your clientele on board?
The Right Opportunities to Upsell
Opportunities to upsell are relative to the services your salon or spa offers. If, for example, your salon provides color services, you can easily suggest color to your haircut-only clients or add more color services to existing color clients. If your salon offers texture and smoothing services, your team should actively recommend these services to their clients. And, if your salon offers hair extensions, waxing, lashes, or spa services, now is the time to add cross-selling techniques.
To help you in your quest for more billable services, we’ve assembled the best upselling techniques for your salon.
Hair Color by the Numbers
Hair color can be a lucrative service in your salon. But are you using it to your advantage? Assuming that your team is well trained and up-to-date on current color techniques, there’s no reason why it should not be your top-selling service, with most clients receiving some form of hair color.
Here are a few ideas to help upsell hair color to your clients:
- Offer to add a few highlights to add dimension to almost any hair color. If nothing else, suggest a few lighter pieces to add emphasis around the face. That’s a great place to start, and if the client does not like the selective highlighting, you can always tone over the top to soften the contrast.
- For already light hair, you could recommend adding lowlights for depth. These darker pieces can break up the solidness of all-light hair and add depth underneath the hair, like at the nape of the neck, or draw the eye away from less-than-perfect areas.
- For color clients who typically only have their regrowth touched up, suggest pulling the color through the ends to freshen up the length for an additional fee.
- Offer to apply a gloss over the top of any color. It can keep highlights from getting brassy and help seal in any shade of color, add shine, and aid in color longevity.
- If you don’t include a pretreatment or a post-color treatment as part of your color services, offer to add one, the other, or both.
Other ways to upsell chemical services:
Add a deep conditioning treatment: this is a very common and effective way to upsell. It’s not overly expensive for most clients, and it helps most any hair type and condition. Simply suggest adding an occasional moisturizing or protenizing (or both) treatment as often as you think their hair needs it. And for those clients in need of ongoing deep treatments, make product recommendations for at-home care too.
Go for a smoothing treatment: great for clients with frizzy or unruly hair. During the consultation or the styling process, remark how a smoothing treatment could help minimize their drying and styling time.
Add ummph with texture services: ideal for clients with thin, flat, or misbehaving hair.
Think texture services for added waves, curls, or body, even ways to get problem growth patterns to behave. The best time to suggest adding texture in the form of body, wave, or curl is when you are styling their hair or even during a consult.
Upselling curly-haired clients:
People with curly hair have a unique set of issues and opportunities for the texture of their hair. If your client warmly embraces their texture, consider recommending adding somewhat contrasty but personalized highlights (or even lowlights) to help accentuate their curls or waves. The grow-out is not overly noticeable and gives a lived-in appeal, but in the meantime, their texture will have more depth and movement.
Since naturally curly hair tends to be drier than straighter hair, recommend adding moisture at every opportunity. While in the salon, suggest a moisture treatment as a service and at home through proper home care products.
Those with curly hair also tend to battle frizz. There are ways to use smoothing services to help tame the fuzz and provide slightly looser but less frizzy curls and waves. Recommend those services when appropriate otherwise, be sure to show your clients how to style their hair at home and take the time to recommend the products that will help.
Upsell length and/or volume:
For your clients dreaming of long and full hair with little hope of growing their own luxurious locks, suggest hair extension services at any point that you think is appropriate. Extensions can be used to add fullness to thin or flat hair, length to any hair type or fullness, and allows clients to add a little color to their current shade without the long-term commitment. This high-ticket service also comes with a certain amount of maintenance as well.
If your salon provides other services beyond hair, consider cross-selling onto other areas:
Wax On, Service Revenue Up
Most people think of waxing services for legs, underarms, and the bikini area for women. But what about simple lip and chin waxing? We all have women of a certain age that could use but are not tapping the service in the salon. It’s an easy add-on. However, you should be very careful approaching the subject. It may be best to offer a promotion for a segmented list of clients that could use waxing. Consider a casual mention on their confirmation or in a targeted text or email campaign. Go for something like: “Free lip wax while you wait…” or something along those lines. That way, the client asks for the service, versus you facing an awkward suggestion.
There’s also a whole range of waxing services available for men, including ear and nose hair removal. Waxing is a great way to clean up facial hair, give eyebrows some boundaries, and tame ear and nose hair. Use your judgment on when to approach your male clientele for such services.
Making Up, Lashing Out & Nailing It
There is a good chance that most of your clients are unaware of your salon’s makeup and lash services. And even those who know about the options don’t fully understand how much the services can benefit them.
For makeup services, consider mentioning the option to clients to have their makeup professionally done if they have an event coming up. Weddings and formals are the typical occasions that people splurge for such services. However, there are other opportunities. Consider mentioning makeup to a new college graduate for a job interview. They can also learn some office-friendly looks (hair too, btw) as they enter the job market. Makeup services can also make a great gift.
Lashes are another service that’s gained much popularity. That doesn’t mean that your clients know the value. Anyone can have lash services done, as they are highly customizable to suit each person’s look and desired result. However, should a client mention or you notice that they have sparse or short lashes, step up and make a suggestion.
Nails are another way to upsell hair clients. For salons that offer nail services, consider giving discounts to hair clients for open timeslots for a simple cuticle trim and a coat of clear over the top. During the color processing time is the perfect opportunity. And don’t forget men; they need mani-pedis too.
About Face (and Body)
If your salon also offers spa services, then you have a brilliant option to cross-sell. Facial and body treatments and massages include many opportunities to step up the offerings to current hair clients.
If a client remarks how dry or acne-prone their skin is or complains about the toll age, stress, or the elements are having on their skin, suggest they book a session or consult with your facialist. If you notice such issues without your clients bringing them up, let targeted marketing help nudge them along without the direct confrontation.
If your client mentions having a stressful time, suggest a full body massage to relieve some of the tension. Even take a quick moment to check the schedule to see how soon you can get them in for an appointment.
For clients in general, simply introduce them to services that they may not know about. For example, if your masseuse has some downtime, have them offer clients a complimentary hand massage while they wait for their color to process. While working on the client, the masseuse can mention other services and their benefits.
Gift Cards, Memberships & Packages
More than just during the holidays, make sure your clients know about gift cards for your salon or spa. It’s the perfect any time of the year gift for others.
Memberships and packages are wonderful opportunities to upsell and cross-sell your clients. Just think through your offerings carefully, so you are not selling yourself short on an offering. For example, if a client already comes in every week for a blowout and is paying full price, you would not offer them a blowout membership. You could pair blowouts with other services that they have not tried, as long as the benefit is mutual.
Ever wonder how to upsell in retail? Although basic home care is not considered an add-on but a necessity, you can recommend products to anyone who is not currently purchasing their products with your salon to upsell. Take the time to educate your clients about caring for their hair and achieving a salon look at home. Make recommendations for products and tools based on your expertise and knowledge of their hair. You can also take advantage of suggestive selling features within your software to help recommend the right products to clients when they check out.
You can also suggest products for pampering above and beyond for clients who do buy home care from you. Think bath salts, luxurious body lotions, a scented candle to help the ambiance, etc. Whatever you carry in your salon or through your online store.
Make product recommendations while your client is in your chair, at checkout, or even send a recommendation after the service so they can shop online with you.
Now that you have some ideas to help upsell and cross-sell – have at it. Just be sure to track your success and make adjustments to your tactics and offerings as you go along.
Have tips on upselling and/or cross-selling? Do tell!