How to make an extra 10% behind your chair using Upsells!

by Oct 26, 20180 comments

If you don’t know what an upsell is let me give you a real-life example.

Chandelle and I love to get out of the office once a week. Usually, when the kids are in school and daycare, to work on Stylist Nation, plan a little, and have a bit of a lunch date. If you have kids you know how hard it can be to get some time with your husband or wife where you can actually talk and get stuff done. RIGHT?!

I think kids have a magnetic sense that triggers as soon as their parents sit down to talk about anything. Moooooom!!! I need (Fill in the blank) water, snack, money!

So getting out of the office is a crucial part to our success.

As it should be yours. Setting some time aside each week, I recommend at least an hour, will let you work on your business growth, rather than always being stuck in the war zone behind your chair.

Now years ago when we first started this routine. We were knee deep in our flagship salon (Vrata Hair Design), and we were trying to figure out how we could increase revenues not for one stylist, but for everyone who worked with us.

So one day, instead of heading to our favourite coffee shop for a planning session, we decided we should go grab some lunch at a nearby bistro. Great little place in an old house that was converted into a funky bar and patio joint. Great food too.

And let me tell you, this was the day something clicked for me. This was the day I realized we were leaving a ton of money on the table because we weren’t serving our customers as best as we could.

Not because of the services we were performing. We were leaving money on the table from the services, and products that we weren’t offering our customers.

Let me explain.

On that day, the first thing I noticed when we walked through the door was that the hostess showed us to our table and asked us, “Would you like still, sparkling or bottled water today?

This was her first upsell. The sparkling water was six dollars and the bottled water was four dollars. This is pretty common when you go any restaurant right?

“Here are your menus. Would you like anything else to drink, a beer, wine, or coffee?” — Our waitress asked.

So, of course, we upgraded our drinks from water.

“Would you like to hear our lunch features this afternoon?”

“We have a delicious Mediterranean salad, a prime rib beef burger with a side salad, and shrimp tacos”. ( honestly, I can’t remember what they had, but let’s pretend ).

Then when we began to order lunch more upsells came.

I ordered a burger and was immediately offered bacon, mushrooms, and cheese to go on the burger (each $2 more). “What side would you like with that, it comes with fries, soup, or house salad. You can add Sweet potato fries, or Caesar salad or another $2.”

And of course, I opted for the Caesar salad… Honestly who likes house salad? Not this guy! 🙂

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Chandelle had the same experience when she ordered her salad, would you like to add chicken or shrimp? How about blackened chicken?

All upsells.

As we finished up lunch, the waitress came back over and as she was clearing the table, asked if we would like to see the dessert menu.

I think on this day we politely declined.

However, it was another opportunity for the restaurant to sell us on something new.

How you can use this strategy in your salon!

We can learn something from the restaurant industry. They are masters at offering their customers all of the options and letting them choose what they want. Once you do choose what you want, they offer you upsells to increase their revenue.

Let me ask you a question.

When was the last time you gave your client all the options and let them decide what they want?

Have you ever offered your client a menu of services?

My guess is that you haven’t, I know before that day we hadn’t, and it wasn’t something I had ever heard of.
You see, we all assume our clients know what services we offer, and if there is something they want they’ll just ask us for it. Right?

This is not the case. I guarantee to you that 90% of your customers are only aware of a few of your services. More than likely, those few services are the same ones they book in for every month.

Think about it.

A client will ALMOST NEVER ask what else you offer. So you need to show them. There’s a huge opportunity for you to make more money by simply letting them know what’s available.

How profitable would a restaurant be, if they never let you know what they had to eat? How would you rate the customer service at the restaurant if you had to ask for a glass of water, a menu, a coffee, and ask what else they had to eat?

If you went into the restaurant and they told you they have burgers and salads, but never told you what kind of burgers, or what kind of salads, how would you rate that restaurant?

What if you went to the dentist and they never told you that they could fix your cavities before you needed a root canal, or to get a tooth pulled?

Why should your salon be any different? Why is it that we leave our guests in the dark when we have such a great opportunity to offer them more while they’re in our chair.

For example.

  • You could offer a hand massage while their hair is processing.
  • Some salons offer a teeth whitening service.
  • You could offer a deep conditioning treatment while you’re washing their hair.
  • Makeup touch-ups will lead to 80% of your clients buying product.
  • They could get their nails done while they wait.
  • And so much more…

The trick (and it’s not really a trick) is to actually offer the service to them.

Your clients are in your salon to spend money and time on themselves.

For a lot of your clients, they’re treating themselves to the experience of sitting in your chair. It’s not a job for them. It’s a GIFT they are giving themselves.

And they’re there to spend money. It’s a given. No client walks into your salon, sits in your chair and doesn’t expect to spend money.

If they do…

It’s time to get rid of that client. They’re dead weight! Even if you think of them as a friend.

This is your career and your time, and you need to make money doing it. (This topic is fuel for a post for another time)…. Today we’re talking about Upsells.

Once we implemented upsells, featured services/products & menus in our salon, our revenue jumped at least 10% across the board.

It was that easy.

We started letting our guests know what we offer, and what we recommend, and what features they could take advantage of that visit.

It didn’t mean we discounted anything, it simply meant we profiled what we offer to our clients, so they were more aware of what they could get.

Once they know what is available, and if they were asked, they said YES!

Remember, they are there ready to spend money and time on themselves. By offering them more, you’re actually making their experience better, and they’re going to leave happier knowing they were being taken care of.

They’ll also love that they saved time, by getting two things done at once.

I just read of an all-women mechanics shop that also has a hair & nail salon attached so women could get their hair done, a manicure, and a pedicure, while their car is being worked on.


What upsells can you offer in your salon that your clients would snap up?

How can you let your customers know about all the services you offer in your salon? — I know you do more than you’re telling them!

How can you position featured products and services in your salon so clients will want to take advantage while they’re sitting in your chair?

When you take a cue from the restaurant industry I guarantee you’ll add 10% to your bottom line in your chair and in your salon.

One last thing…

Would you like fries with that? UPSELL!

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