The key to success for any salon or spa is to make and keep repeat clients. Not only is it more economical to retain existing clients than to onboard new ones, but you’ve already formed a trusting relationship with your existing clients – a relationship that is ripe with opportunities, especially when it comes to upselling products and related treatments.
Every client that walks through your doors is unique, but each treatment should consist of specific phases to ensure a memorable and mutually beneficial experience for both the client and the practitioner. It begins with the discovery phase, followed by the relaxation phase, and draws to a close with a detailed plan for at-home skincare.
It All Starts with the Discovery Phase
Any professional spa treatment begins with intake – also known as the discovery phase. This is the stage in which the esthetician learns about the client’s skin concerns and assesses issues like allergies, sensitivities, and medications. An in-depth intake form is essential, but it’s also important for spa owners to train their staff to complete the in-take process properly. After all, the client’s treatment results will only be as good as their intake form.
As a skincare professional, you have limited time to spend with your client, so it’s important to make the most of it. Every client should be treated as a first-time client – your client’s skin concerns can change at any time, so don’t take anything for granted. The practitioner should review the intake form prior to meeting the client and ask relevant questions before the treatment begins. Once the treatment has started and the client is unwinding, you can explore the client’s skin concerns in greater depth.
During the discovery phase of treatment, it is important to ask questions. Inquire about the client’s overall health and lifestyle as well as their skin concerns. Ask about the client’s daily and weekly skincare habits including the products they use. This information will come in handy later when it comes time to make product recommendations.
Create the Optimal Client Experience in the Relaxation Stage
Once you’ve obtained the necessary information from your client, it’s best to back off and follow the client’s lead through the heart of the treatment. The relaxation stage is when all questions should be put on pause so the client can let go, relax, and ease into the treatment. This stage may come after treatment rituals and a thorough cleansing of the skin, though some clients prefer not to talk at all throughout the treatment.
Always follow the client’s lead when it comes to conversation during treatment. If your guest likes to talk through the treatment, steer the conversation toward education. Talk the client through each step of the treatment, educating them about their individual skincare needs along with the treatments and at-home products to best address them. This method of prescriptive selling offers your best chance for upselling products and services at the conclusion of the treatment.
Finish with Custom Product Recommendations
While some of your clients may have the time and resources to visit the spa on a weekly basis, many don’t. Even monthly treatments may not be enough to achieve and maintain the results your clients want. That’s where product recommendations for at-home skin care maintenance come in.
Some health and beauty professionals mistakenly believe that upselling the client is strictly about increasing the salon’s profit margins. It’s not uncommon for businesses to pressure their staff to push products, but there’s a difference between making recommendations and pressuring the client into making a sale. Upselling is an important aspect of the spa experience when you do it right. It helps the clients maintain and improve on the benefits they receive from their treatment by continuing the work at home. Thoughtful product recommendations are just as valuable as the treatment itself.
Here are some tips for upselling your clients:
- Make notes on your client’s intake form throughout the treatment about their skincare concerns including complementary services or products that might be beneficial.
- Take the opportunity to write up a thorough at-home skincare program while your client is comfortably relaxing with a mask.
- Provide a complete at-home program including morning, evening, and weekly rituals and review it with the client in a comfortable space after the treatment.
- Assess the client’s upsell potential and make appropriate recommendations based on their skin concerns and budget.
- Upsell during checkout by highlighting special offers and loyalty benefits for each client – check the client’s past purchases and offer to replenish products they’ve purchased before.
While product recommendations are a primary component of the upselling process, don’t forget to upsell services as well. Consider what add-ons or complementary services your client might benefit from and suggest them for the client’s next treatment.
Upselling is an art that takes time and practice to perfect. The most important thing to remember is that your clients want to feel valued and understood. By taking extra time during intake to get to know your clients and their individual concerns, you can tailor their treatment to fit their needs and make appropriate recommendations for additional services and products. The goal is always to keep your clients coming back for more rather than upselling them into a single large purchase.