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Business Types, Beauty & Wellness

Increase Salon Revenues Without Upping Expenses – How to Upsell & Cross-sell

Amie Parnaby
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Increase salon revenues with up selling and cross-selling

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As a beauty business grows, there comes the point when you need to be happy where you are or ready to leap into something bigger. You can’t grow a business without increasing your provisions and your sales. It’s the whole risk & reward thing. You can’t achieve the next branch without testing your reach. However, most of the time, that reach for something more or bigger requires a cash infusion that your regular revenues won’t cover. So you need to increase salon revenues to fund the next step.

At this point, you need to get creative and maximise salon revenues without increasing your costs. You’ve probably heard that old saying, “you have to spend money to make money”, and while that’s true, you still need the money to spend in the first place.  

I’m not advocating finance or credit for untested expansions and crazy ideas.

I’ve mentioned before that beauty businesses can cover an extensive range of ventures. The type of venture you have will inform what you can do to increase your profit without increasing cost.

Seize the Right Opportunities for Upselling & Cross-selling

Throughout your clients’ journey with your salon or spa, there are numerous opportunities for you to upsell products and services that will help you increase salon revenues.

During the Booking Process

If you have a booking system for your salon, upselling extras during the process can help you to highlight additional service enhancements. It also allows you to promote products that you sell in your salon.

An example could be that a haircut and blow-dry can be enhanced with a deep conditioning treatment. You could also sell the deep conditioning product to help maintain the hair condition between salon visits.

Even if you don’t manage to secure an upsell during the booking process, it makes the client aware of the potential upsell during the appointment.

At Check-in

Even if the client couldn’t commit to an upsell during the booking process, a well-informed staff member can help to persuade a reluctant client into a supporting service. If a client wants a manicure, why not suggest a pedicure to go with it? Or perhaps gel nails? You can always secure those little extras on the spot, especially if the client feels relaxed and ready for a bit of pampering.

During Consultation

Depending on your client, they might require a consultation to ascertain their needs fully. Every client is different and, depending on the required service, will require a personalised service based on the consultation.

Specialisation and personalised service make people more inclined to invest in the service offered.

Through Product Placement

If you sell retail products in your store that enhance, prolong or maintain the service being provided, having them on display in the right places will help you to promote their availability.

If you have a brief waiting period, when people might show up a few minutes early for their appointment, providing refreshments, product catalogues, and possibly even testers while they wait is an ideal way to grab attention.

During Treatment

When you use specialised products to enhance a service, you can include it in the standard price. However, explaining the product’s benefits and reasons can help you make a sale later on.

If you have already taken advantage of the previous opportunities to upsell your services and products, your clients have already had plenty of exposure and potentially had the benefits.

At payment

If you have managed to secure an upsell in the previous steps, you will be happy to receive the results at the point of payment, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop trying. Increasing salon revenue is an ongoing cycle; you shouldn’t stop after service. There is always next time.

If you have appropriate product placement in your waiting area and near where you take payment, you have ample opportunity to sell those little extras.

At the same time, you can nudge your clients to make their next appointment, potentially adding one of your service enhancements to the next booking – which takes you back to the first step of upselling during the booking process.

Everyone knows the key to a successful salon business is the returning clientele.

Promotional Upselling – Seasonal Offers

Seasonal promotions are a great way to solicit upsells, such as treatments for sun and sea-damaged hair or skin treatments for winter and cold-affected skin. Hair and make-up packages for Christmas parties, or you could extend it all year for special occasions. There is a season for everything and an upselling opportunity for every season.

What about spring waxing when people start to get their legs and arms out again?

Social Media & Sharing

Upselling through social media could mean that you can provide small discounts for some of your standard treatments. Small promotions, including some of those little extras for negligible amounts, means you can run promotions and voucher codes without reducing your prices but increasing the perceived value of the services. Thus you increase salon revenues without costing yourself money.

Upsell & Cross-sell more with team training

It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you have for upselling if you don’t take advantage of them. The best way to ensure you take full advantage of all these opportunities is to identify them. And the best way to ensure everyone is on the same page is to provide team training on upselling and cross-selling.

Just because you might have the best stylists, cosmeticians and beauty therapists doesn’t mean you have the best salespeople. Sales is a skill you need to learn, and the extra training will help everyone in your team increase salon revenues.

When, Who, and How Much to Upsell to Increase Salon Revenues

It can be difficult to judge how, when, where, and to whom you should target your upselling. You will get a feel for your clients and learn their habits, but when they first come to you, it’s best to be gentle with your sales pitching.

Provide add-on services

Make your service add-ons relevant to the primary service, but provide a value seemingly above the cost. Don’t make the mistake of trying to push irrelevant add-ons, but make it seem like a personalised recommendation based on their history and current selections – Okay, you’ll need client logins for this to make sense.

Sell packages

Packages, especially those with a defined expiry date, are an excellent way to increase revenue without increasing expenditure. Packages look like an ideal way to get your services cheaper. For example, suppose you offer a monthly massage that includes six for the price of five. In that case, the client feels like they got a good deal, but you have guaranteed massage income for at least five months.

If your package has an expiry date, there is also the possibility that the final one might never be redeemed. I’m not suggesting that your expiry date should be definitive, but a reasonable

Run promotions

Promotions aren’t all about reducing prices. They are about promoting particular services and products or your business as a whole. Your advertisements should feature inexpensive extras rather than lowering costs to entice more people to your business without losing revenue.

Know your stuff

You can’t upsell to your clients if you don’t have a deep understanding and knowledge of the products and services you offer, and that applies to your whole team. Even if you employ a team of individual specialists, you still need to educate them on your entire range to make the best use of upselling opportunities.

Knowing your stuff is a quick and easy option to upsell and make recommendations to clients. Confidence in your knowledge will make the option to purchase the additional extras a complete no-brainer.

Offer flexible payment options

Flexible payment options at the process’s booking stage can help you sell more to clients. If you only require a deposit at the booking stage, the potential to afford more when the appointment comes around is increased.

At the same time, if someone doesn’t pay for those added extras at the booking confirmation but pays in advance, they have nothing to pay after their service and potentially have the spare cash to purchase products from you.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are a perfect way to increase revenue. When someone buys a gift card for someone else, they act as a brand ambassador bringing in a new client and making a direct payment into your business.

If you could get all of your loyal clients to buy gift cards for their friends to come to your salon, they have potentially increased your client list by 50% and paid for the privilege.

It might sound very cheeky, but do you know how many gift cards don’t get used within their validity period?

Targeting Niche Clients: Specialise & Personalise

I said earlier that adding personalised and specialist options during a consultation can help increase your upselling potential. Yet there is more to it.

Personalisation makes your clients feel special. If they feel incredible after their treatment with you, their hair is in spectacular condition, or their skin has completely cleared up, they will want to ensure they keep it up.

Specialist products or personalised skincare regimes and combinations of products will help you to keep upselling well into the future.

Increasing Salon Revenues – Beware of Overspending

From a delivery perspective, the key to increasing salon revenues through upselling and cross-selling is to make the additional extras as cheap as possible. For example, a brow wax while waiting for nail polish to dry will cost your business pennies in wax, strips, and maybe a little after wax lotion. However, adding it to a service at a discount means you have added a sale without extended working time, minimal outlay, and the client feels like they got a good deal.

This is the fundamental premise of upselling; your added extras should increase your salon profits, not your costs.

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