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How to Upsell Salon Services: 3 Tips for Stylists

How to upsell salon services

As a stylist, wouldn’t it be great if you could get more money out of every appointment you book? While it might seem like an out-of-reach wish, the truth is that it’s definitely possible. All you need to do is get good at upselling your services.

Upselling means finding the opportunity to add on to an already scheduled service. This can include additional services or even if the client leaves with some take home products.

Just a few examples of potential upsell opportunities include:

  • If a client comes in for a partial balayage, you can upsell to a full balayage
  • If a client comes in for highlights, you can upsell to shadowing with depth
  • If a client comes in for a haircut, you can upsell to a gloss
  • If a client comes in for a haircut, you can upsell then to a face frame balayage
  • If a client comes in for color, you can upsell them to a new hair care regimen

Below we discuss the importance of upselling, and offer a number of tips that you can use to become more successful at it.

Why Upselling is So Important in the Salon Industry

Simply put, it’s important to get in the habit of upselling because it’s a great way to give yourself a raise!

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So often, stylists believe that the only way to make more money in the hair industry is to find more clients and book more sessions. But the truth is that you don’t always need more clients. Upselling your services to the clients that you already have gives you the opportunity to make more money while simultaneously providing an even better experience for your clients. 

Tips Stylists Can Use to Get Better at Upselling

Salt society stylist tips

1. Always start with a hair consultation.

If you’re a regular reader of our content, then you know that we always recommend that stylists begin all of their appointments by conducting a hair consultation. Doing so allows you to tailor your service to meet the specific goals of your clients, which will keep them happy with your services and help you retain your existing client base. But beyond this, a hair consultation allows you to ask questions that may uncover upsell opportunities.

Whenever a client is sitting in your chair, it’s because they either have a want, a need, or a desire about their hair. Ask them about their hair goals and aspirations, and actually listen to what they’re saying. Then, use this information to make suggestions that can help them reach those goals. You may uncover that in addition to the service they specifically came in requesting, you might be able to upsell another service or treatment.

For example, if your client says that her hair is “feeling really dry after the summer,” that’s an upsell opportunity! You might recommend a deep conditioning service or a gloss, on top of whatever else they already planned to have done. The result is more money in your pocket, as well as a happier client who truly loves their hair. 

2. Make retail recommendations that relate to the services you’ve provided.

The average profit margin when a salon sells a retail item is a whopping 50 percent! This means that selling retail is likely to be the most profitable part of your job. If you can increase your retail sales while your client is already in the door, it’s an easy way to add money to your paycheck.

The secret is to never recommend a product that you don’t truly love or that you don’t think the client actually needs. Doing so is a surefire way to burn trust and essentially guarantee that you’ll never make another retail sale to that particular client.

Tying your retail recommendations to the services or treatments that you’ve just provided is an excellent way to increase the likelihood that a client will buy. As just one example, when a client comes in for a coloring treatment, you might recommend certain products that will help them keep the color for longer. Framing it like “In order to maintain today’s investment, here are the products I recommend to insure longevity in your hair color” can help. At a minimum, the client will be more educated about their hair, even if they don’t make a purchase.

This is easier to achieve when all of the services that your salon provides are aligned with one another and the overarching goals that your clientele looks for. Listen to Episode 12 of our Hair Goals Podcast to learn Jamie’s strategy for nailing which services to offer.

3. Book the next appointment while you have them in your chair.

While this isn’t truly “upselling” in the sense that you’re not selling them an additional service besides what they’ve already had done, it is upselling in that it’s a way to guarantee a client comes back—likely, sooner than they would have otherwise.

Very often, clients only come in for another treatment or touch-up after they’ve begun to notice that their hair is changing. The color has begun to fade, it no longer feels as healthy as it once did—something acts as a precipitating moment that makes them realize they need to make an appointment. But a good stylist will educate the client about the best way of maintaining the results, and that should include a timeframe for a touch-up or followup appointment.

Before your client ever gets out of your chair, tell them that in order to maintain the results of the day’s treatment, you’ll need to see them in X weeks. (This should be however long you recommend.) It’s always easier to get someone to make an appointment when they’re already in the salon, and when the treatment is done and they’re thrilled with the results, they’re ten times more likely to understand the need for upkeep. It’s just the smart thing to do!

Ready to learn more tips and tricks that will help you maximize your earning potential behind the chair? Download our free Confident Charging PDF to learn how you can finally start charging what you’re worth. You can also sign up for our Six Figure Stylist Virtual Course, scheduled for November 23, where you’ll learn how to elevate your consultation, verbiage, color skills, and how to create raving clients!

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