Upsell in the Salon:  
9 Groovy Ways to 
Increase Your Income by 50%



First and foremost, to upsell in the salon remember..........every client counts, and every dollar counts.  Being on a 50/50 split commission with your salon, every time you increase you service ticket you are adding money to your paycheck. You may think that a $10 brow wax is not worth your time. But $5 commission for a service that takes you 5 minutes to do will add up by the time payday rolls around.

Increasing your income by 50% means if you are a $20,000 a year stylist, you can be a $30,000 a year stylist by using your techniques to upsell in the salon.

Keep your eye on the prize.  Upselling is a tool we use to maximize your beauty career.  It's a game of inches and we are constantly pushing forward. Every client counts and every dollar counts.

While other stylists in the salon struggle, you will be gliding along building a fat paycheck.

Upsell in the Salon
with These Simple Tips

  1. Own your confidence as a professional hair stylist.
  2. Do not ask yes/no questions.
  3. Ask open ended questions.
  4. Use your skills as a professional hair stylist to analyze their needs.
  5. Seek out reasons to upsell.
  6. Make "recommendations."
  7. Communicate fully about the time it will take and possibly the pricing, depending on the type of clientele. 
  8. Based on previous services, assume the upsell.
  9. Plant the seed for future upsells. 

 I showed you how drastically a little upsell in the salon will change your lifestyle in the form of more money in your pocket. But I forgot to share with a you a very pleasant side effect of the upsell.  It has the same effect as selling your client retail.

It strengthens your bond with the client which increases client loyalty and retention. They trust you to do what's best for them. This means you not only benefit that day, you can benefit for years to come. Imagine the impact if you experienced this effect with 75% of your clients.  How fast could your client base grow?

And if all that isn't enough, you also make a bigger tip from a higher service ticket.

#1 Own Your Confidence as a
Professional Hair Stylist


To upsell in the salon you need to have confidence that you are a professional hair stylist.  I know that seems like common sense, but few new stylists can actually own it. 

You have to own it to sell it.

So how do you own it?

By accepting the truth.

The truth is you are a licensed professional hair stylist. The fact that you are standing behind the chair servicing your client means the client has already accepted this truth about you.

It doesn't matter that this is your first year working as a professional hair stylist.  You went to school for this and clients assume you learned EVERYTHING about hair. I know you didn't, lol, but their perception is their reality.

You are the one that is educated and they want your recommendations.  They honestly don't know what they need.

They may not realize that their hair is fried and needs a deep conditioner.  They aren't aware that a brow detail would make a positive impact with their professional look.  They probably don't know the latest color trends or that they could use some lightening for the spring.  They could possibly not understand how gorgeous a blow out could make their hair appear.

Do you see what I mean? You have insight as a professional hair stylist that they don't have.  And they are willing to listen to your recommendations because they want to trust you.

So accept your truth and own it. 

You need to believe this to be believable.

If a client detects hesitancy in your voice or lack of confidence they won't bite the upsell in the salon. 

#2 Do Not Ask Yes/No Questions

It sounds like this:

"Do you want a shampoo today."

"No, I just want a haircut."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I just want the haircut today."

And that's how it goes with inexperienced stylists or lazy (and money poor) stylists.  "Are you sure?" is NOT an upselling technique and will never work, no matter how many times you try it. Got it?  You cannot upsell in the salon by asking if they want it.

I did a lot of personal research on this and discovered a very interesting thing.  Anytime I asked a client a yes/no question like "Would you like .......?" they always said No.  It was like an automatic response!  It took me a while to get it, but I realized that asking them if they want something just doesn't work. 

Here is the formula that DOES work:

#3 Ask Open Ended Questions

Open ended questions make the client explain things to you, giving you a better understanding on how to meet their needs and upsell in the salon.

Instead of "Do you want a shampoo today?", you could ask, "Where are you going next when we are done?"

If she says "Just going home" then you know you have time to go for a color treatment.  If she says, "I have to get back to work" you have the opportunity to say "Then we need to style your hair to go back to the office. Would you like some curl in your hair today or would you like me to straighten it for you?"

See how that could work in your favor? She is choosing curls or straight now, both of which are upsells.

Let's do a few more.

"When was the last time you had fresh color?"

"How do you like the new vibrant reds this season?"

"How much time do you take styling your hair in the morning?"

Engage your client with open ended questions and they will literally lead you to the upsell in the salon.

#4 Use Your Skills as a
Professional Hair Stylist
to Analyze Their Hair

As a professional hair stylist you know what hair needs. Moisture, condition, scalp treatment, ends removed, texture, shine, color, gray coverage, etc.?

They may have come in for just a haircut but their hair is telling you what else they need.

Gather this intel for step 6 to upsell in the salon.

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#5 Seek Out Reasons to Upsell

Now that you have analyzed the client's hair, start thinking of avenues to upsell in the salon.

Did they just come from the gym?  Then you need to shampoo. (They won't argue that one out of pride.)

Is their hair super oily?  You need to shampoo to give a more precise cut.

Is it really, really hot today?  Then the long haired girl might like a beautiful braid for something different.

Is your lady client having lunch with an old friend today? How about a little balayage in the front.  It will only take 30 minutes and you will feel fresh and confident to see your friend.

Family pictures this weekend? Great, we need to shape your eyebrows.  We want you looking your best.


#6 Make Recommendations

As a professional hair stylist, the client is looking to you for advice. I wish I had a quarter for every time a client asked me, "What do you recommend?"

They believe you know all. So making a recommendation is not inappropriate.  It is very appropriate and even wanted.

You have analyzed their hair's needs and sought out opportunities for upselling.  Now it's time to open your mouth at just the right time.  Timing is everything.

If the client sits in your chair and you say, "So we are doing a shampoo, conditioning treatment, all over color, a haircut and brow wax today" she will likely say, "Whoa, hold on, I just want a haircut."

But if you do a great salon client consultation, you will be able to slide your recommendations in at just the right time. You will intuitively know when.

For example, if you feel the client needs a deep conditioning treatment, a good time to make this recommendation is while at the shampoo bowl, since you are already there......

While talking during the haircut, you find out she is having lunch with the old friend. Now would be good timing to recommend the front balayage.

A word of caution.....be careful to not overwhelm a client with the upsells.  There is a fine line to being helpful and trying to push extra services.  Remember that, yes, you want to increase your income, but always with the good of the client in mind.  If you will keep their best interest at heart you can't go wrong. They will reward you with loyalty for years to come.´╗┐

#7 Communicate Fully

I don't like leading a client on to hit them with a big bill they weren't expecting, or keeping them a lot longer than they intended.

I believe in full communication and find that clients really appreciate it.  Nobody likes being taken advantage of.

I find a way to let them know how long the services will take and make sure they can accommodate it.  As far as pricing goes, some clients could care less how much something costs in a salon because they have deep pockets. But others may be living on a budget.

You will likely know who is what.  If you are unsure then be clear.

Like, "I would love to see you in an all over color today for gray coverage.  It will take us about 25 minutes and is only $30 this month."

#8 Based on Previous Services, Assume the Upsell

Technology today allows us to leave comments and notes in client files.  Before taking the client, check their record for services they have received in the past. This will help you upsell in the salon on their next visit.

If she usually gets a shampoo and conditioning treatment, assume she is getting it this time. After her consultation, point her chair to the shampoo area and say, "Ok, Helen, let's go in the back for your shampoo and conditioning treatment."  She is already programmed to go.

The reason I even include this as a technique is because so many lazy stylists assume the very least,  Even if the client usually gets more services, a lazy stylist will skip it to rush them out the door.  I am aware how crazy that sounds. Who would throw money out the window, you ask?  You would be surprised.  The same ones that complain there isn't enough business while doing everything in their power to run clients off.

#9 Plant the Seed for Future Upsells

Because you have taken the time to learn these techniques to grow your beauty career, I know that your client base is growing.  You are developing loyal followers.

So even if they didn't go for an upsell today doesn't mean they won't go for it next time.

If your client showed any interest at all in a service, but didn't get it today, make a note of it in her file.

For example, she may not have had time for highlights today, so on her next visit when you read her file, you will remember to ask her if she has the time now for those highlights.

We are planting seeds for our future upsells because every client counts and every dollar adds up.

Wrapping Up the Upsell

I know we focus on female clients but men are half the population!  You should always upsell in the salon to men and children (the parents) as well. 

An upsell is an upsell. 

A client is a client. 

And a dollar is a dollar.

Play the game of inches and watch over the months coming as your paycheck gets bigger and bigger!

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