It can cost up to seven times more to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. There is a much greater probability that an existing client will purchase products because there is already a trust factor established. Imagine how much a spa's profit would increase if their skin care professionals sold an extra item with every purchase.
Although there are many different and creative ways to add to sales, there are two types of add-on sales: upselling and cross-selling. Some of the ways add-on sales can be accomplished are strategically placed products; face-to-face; on the phone; and via e-mail, text, website, Facebook, and flyers. For example, keep a few lip products at the front desk. Apply that product at the end of every facial and when clients comment on how nice it feels, inform them that it is available for purchase at the front. Spas can also keep bottled water for sale at the front desk. Professionals can place flavored energy packets and ice tea packets for sale near the water. Selling the water is an example of a cross-sell, whereas selling the flavor packets is an example of an upsell.
Upselling is one of the easiest and most effective marketing methods. Upselling is when an existing client who has previously purchased or is in the process of purchasing a product is offered an upgraded version of their purchase, an additional feature, or an add-on. The client has already made the commitment to buy; the professional only needs to offer them additional features or upgrades.
Upselling often occurs when people purchase a cell phone. A good salesperson will suggest a wall charger, a car charger, a protective screen shield, a phone case, and more. Whether or not these add-ons are purchased will depend on many factors, the most important of which is the rapport that the salesperson developed with the customer. Did they show the customer how to use the phone? Did they put the protective screen on the phone? Did they seem excited to help? Were they rushing through the sale or seem distracted? Did they view the phone plan to see if they could save the customer some money? Did they answer all of the customer's questions? These considerations will influence whether or not the sales associate is successful in selling the customer upgrades for their phone.
Skin care professionals must build rapport if they want clients to purchase products at the spa rather than buying them online. Online retailers are not licensed and trained skin care professionals; they do not light up with a smile when clients walk in the door, make them laugh, or ask about their vacation. The biggest part of the professional's job is customer service. Upselling should become more natural as the professional gets to know their clients and their specific needs.
Cross-selling is a little different from upselling in that it requires selling additional, usually complementary, services and/or products using suggestion, incentives, or product placement. McDonalds sells millions more French fries every year by simply asking, "Would you like fries with that?" Amazon reported that cross-selling was responsible for 35 percent of its sales. Professionals can ask clients when they schedule a facial, "Are we going to need to add on some time for waxing services while you are here? Underarms, eyebrows, lips, or nose hairs?" They may also ask, "How are you doing on products? Our serum is on sale."
INCORPORATING ADD-ONS INTO ALL ASPECTS OF THE SPA
Often, the perfect time to start the upsell and/or cross-sell is when the client calls in for an appointment. Do not offer too many upsells at this time or they will feel pressured. If the client agrees to an upsell, offer another. However, more than two upsells will more than likely feel aggressive to the caller. Having a script to follow is helpful. The spa can also create a chart listing every service with matching upsell and cross-sell suggestions. Make another chart with upsell and cross-sell ideas for the products that are carried in the spa.
Monthly promotions, gift ideas, and travel-size products are wonderful for generating add-on sales. Promote them in confirmation calls, e-mails, and texts, as well as with flyers at the reception desk, bathrooms, and treatment rooms. Mention them to clients when they are checking in and again when they are checking out.
Every service and every product should be featured at least once a year. It is important to let clients know about everything that is offered. Hosting events like a lunch-and-learn seminar for a small fee and including some products is a great way to increase sales. For example, the professional can hold a class about essential oils and include a special anti-aging blend as part of the fee. There is a good chance that attendees will also purchase some of the essential oils that are discussed in the interactive smell-and-sell class. Professionals can even offer a 10 percent discount on purchases made during the class. Makeup classes are also a great way to create interest and sales for the spa's makeup line. Once a client purchases an item, there is a much greater likelihood of them repurchasing the product, which leads to repeat sales for the spa.
Tactful upselling and cross-selling focuses on retaining clients by making sure professionals are taking care of their needs. Clients can sense when someone is just trying to sell them and when someone is truly trying to take care of them. Be sure to only suggest necessary or helpful products and services. Offering unnecessary items and services can negate the trust that professionals, product lines, and businesses have built with the client. If a client declines an offer or is not in the mood, do not continue to push it. Never force an offer on a client, but do not be surprised if that same client asks about the product or service that was previously suggested at their
Spas can also maintain a loyalty program that offers discounted services if clients come back within 30 days. This type of program is easier to track than a monthly club or a frequent client program. Taking care of a client would consist of reminding them of the 30 day policy, especially if they are calling to reschedule.
Professionals should also do an invoice for each service before the client arrives. There is usually a space for the skin care professional to write notes, list recommended products and services, and document samples given. Sampling is another great way to increase sales because once clients try a product, they tend to love it and come back to buy more. It is important, however, to follow up with a phone call one week after the sample is given. When the client says they love the product, offer them free shipping so they do not have to make a special trip to purchase the product or wait until their next appointment. For custom products, let clients choose the scent to put in their products as they typically enjoy the aromatherapy. Custom products leave clients feeling specially tended to and cared for.
Another good idea is to create a limited-time-only service flyer deal. Professionals should change it often to keep it fresh; this technique offers another good reason for clients to take advantage of the offer.
HAIR REMOVAL ADD-ONS
There are many ways to add product sales to waxing services. For example, when a client calls to book a Brazilian wax, ask, "Would you like a regular Brazilian wax or would you like a pain-free Brazilian wax?" Clients that do not like pain may request the pain-free wax; at that time, be sure to let them know about the numbing cream the spa uses. Advise them that it costs $15 extra and that they will need to come 20 minutes early. Inform them that they may use the massage chair or browse the spa's products while they are waiting for the numbing to take effect. Ask the client if they need any waxing for their face, legs, arms, or underarms and offer them a 10 percent discount for two areas or a 20 percent discount for three or more areas.
If ingrown hairs are noticed during the service, tell the client about any available benzoyl peroxide scrubs and alpha and beta hydroxy acid serums. This combination keeps the area bacteria-free and properly exfoliated to prevent ingrowns. Furthermore, offer a skin-relief lotion with hydrocortisone for use after facial waxing to prevent breakouts. Offering solutions is the best way to help clients and increase sales.
Add-on selling is fun, easy, and profitable. To stay in business, stay employed, or even just make more money, it is imperative to start making upselling and cross-selling part of the spa's daily interactions with clients. If it is done correctly, everyone wins.
Kathleen Carney, founder and formulator for Skin Blends LLC, is extremely passionate about skin care, hair removal, product formulation, and the industry's exciting future. Being a seasoned aesthetician, as well as a major distributor for Cirepil Wax and Agape Wax, she has been able to keep her products, services, and education cutting-edge and results-oriented. As the owner of Skin Blends Medical SPAtique, Carney keeps current on the latest trends and treatment modalities by training her staff and other skin care professionals on a variety of services.