Let’s face it: it can feel clunky and uncomfortable to try to upsell or cross-sell as a hairdresser or beautician. You’re a salon owner, not a salesperson.
But upselling isn’t just about increasing the amount of money you earn, (though that is a very good reason to do it!) It can also add to the salon customer experience and help you to develop deeper relationships with your clients. There are also a wealth of less salesy, more organic ways to do it.
Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the whys, the hows and the overall art of the salon upsell. So, without further ado, let’s get selling!
The benefits of upselling
First up: why upsell in the first place? There are three main reasons:
Make more money: The first and most obvious reason is that upselling makes your business more profitable. By upselling to extra or more premium products and services, you put more money in your pockets!
Add to the experience: What makes a great salon experience? Often a customer won’t know about a new and exciting product, or won’t be aware of a service that you offer. Upselling to something bigger, better or higher quality can create a far superior salon experience for your customer!
Get to know your customer: Upselling is the art of asking probing questions to gain an understanding of the customer’s needs and wants. In the process you get to know the customer in a deeper and more meaningful way, leading to a better and more fruitful relationship.
Key moments to upsell in the salon
Now that you have a few compelling reasons to upsell in your salon, the question becomes how? The good news is that when you know how to upsell, it can feel like the most organic and even helpful thing you can do. What’s more, a lot of upselling can be automated, taking the responsibility entirely out of your hands.
1. Upselling through marketing
The aim of your marketing strategy shouldn’t just be to bring new customers in, you should also aim to get your current clients spending more.
This can be easier than you might think, particularly if you use a smart tool like Square Marketing. This email marketing tool can link to a Square Seller’s customer database and use information on previous purchases to help you to create offers for targeted groups.
Let’s say you’ve identified a group of customers who go in for a regular cut and colour. One month you might send an email offering a special deal on a blow-dry, a style or another add-on service. The following month you might suggest a new shampoo, conditioner or hairspray that will keep their hair looking better for longer.
For those who might feel a bit of anxiety around upselling, this can be the perfect way to tell your customers about new or complementary products and services.
Grow your business with Square email marketing software.
2. Upselling through your online store
Every modern salon should have a website. It’s as simple as that. Potential customers will inevitably go to Google when searching for a new hairdresser, and a website greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll come up as a result when a user types in “hairdresser [location].”
And if you sell products, your website should feature an online store, granting you the ability to digitally upsell.
Making an online store is easier now than it has ever been before, particularly if you use a smart tool like Square Online. Once set up, you can add a ‘suggested item’ feature: when a customer puts a product in their cart, a pop-up suggests a complementary item – say a conditioner that will work well with a shampoo – and just like that, with no effort at all, you’ve doubled your sale.
3. Upselling during booking
Another website feature that every modern salon should have is the ability to book appointments online, which can be done with a tool like Square Appointments. This makes things so much easier for both salon and customer: your clients are shown a complete calendar of available slots from which they can choose, and you can be confident that you’ll never double-book again.
Square Appointments also offers another opportunity to upsell. As a client is booking their service, you can suggest add-ons or premium alternatives that they might be interested in. This is yet another hands-free upselling opportunity; simply program in complementary products and services, and let the software sell for you!
4. Upselling in the salon
Finally we come to the in-person version. Upselling in your salon should never feel forced – it should always be an organic and relevant suggestion. This could happen while they’re waiting, during the treatment, or during payment.
To understand whether upselling is appropriate in a given situation, ask yourself:
What products and services truly complement your client’s service?
Does this upsell truly benefit your client, or are you just suggesting something for the sake of it?
Is your client comfortable with spending more, or are they on a tight budget?
If your client wants to take advantage of an offer you’ve made, but doesn’t have the money on them right now, do you offer flexible payment options like Afterpay?
You should also encourage your staff to upsell. Offer structured training that arms them with the skills they need, and consider making a game of it – have an upsell leaderboard at the back of your salon and give a prize to the winner every month.
Upselling can be an effective way to accelerate the growth and move closer to the success of your beauty business. What’s more, when it’s done the right way, and when the right tools are used, it can be a far more comfortable experience than you might imagine.
Good news: at Square we offer a complete suite of tools for businesses in the beauty industry, so if you’re ready to sell, we’re ready to help.