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Last updated: June 13, 2018

12 Add-Ons That Really Add Up

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There are two ways to earn more money as a stylist. You can service more guests or you can provide more services to the guests you already have. “Add-ons are a big part of our thinking in our salon,” says the Global Artistic and Business Director of John Paul Mitchell Systems and owner of A Robert Cromeans Salons and Walk-In Salons by Robert Cromeans. “Regardless of whether our stylists charge $25 or $75 for a haircut, an add-on increases the ticket. The difference between the industry average of 1.1 services per guest and 1.8 services per guest can really add up. We target 1.5 services per guest, and if a kid can pull in an $80 service average off of a $45 haircut, my hat is off to them. What’s more, an add-on like haircolor nearly always leads to Take-Home sales.”



Here are more of Robert’s thoughts on building the service ticket.


1. The add-on process starts with a salon tour. Tours are fundamental for any new guest. It shows them all the ways they can enjoy the salon. If she’s coming in for a haircut and sees the Color Bar, it’s an opening to have a conversation about color. If you show her your men’s section, it sparks her to think about what her husband or boyfriend can enjoy. If your salon is small, conduct the tour like a flight attendant giving the safety briefing—diagram each area with your hands.”


2. The consultation is everything. You won’t increase your ticket with add-ons without a great consultation. This is where you understand the problems your guest might be having with her hair and which services could solve those problems.”


3. “I can’t stress how important the Color Bar is for building color add-on business. Every color is visible; stylists are mixing up beautiful shades. It gives a salon the energy of an Italian restaurant. It’s so much more effective than seeing a guest sitting in a dark corner with color on her head.!”


4. The consultation will also reveal how much time you have to care for your guest. Did her entire day open up because she missed her ¬ fight to New York? Then she has time to enjoy everything the salon has to offer. Is she on a tight schedule because the babysitter has to leave? Respect that. This is a perfect time to make a future reservation for the guest to return to the salon for an additional service between regularly-scheduled visits. This will increase your FOV (frequency of visits)!”


5. One of the most important elements of the consultation is clarifying costs. Your guest must be clear about what she will be charged when she checks out. She must also be clear about her investment in time and money moving forward. If you’re upgrading her to a platinum blonde color, for example, she has to know that you will need to see her every three-to-four weeks for retouches, and she will require regular deep conditioning treatments because of the stress on her hair. Map out the precise cost of these services.”


6. “Let collateral do the talking. Paul Mitchell offers beautiful signs that talk about color and treatments. Visuals prompt conversations that lead to upgrades.”


7. Take a problem-solving approach. Is your guest complaining about her split ends? Let her know that a MarulaOil Hair Masque treatment will make a huge and immediate difference. If your haircuts are $25 and the treatment is $25, you’ve instantly doubled your ticket.”


8. “I feel like the kid from ‘The Sixth Sense.’ All he saw was dead people. All I see is shiny hair! I encourage my stylists to see shiny hair on every guest, and recommend PM Shines. They might say ‘Because you said your hair is dry and dull, I’d recommend a Clear Coat of PM Shines to hydrate and polish your hair.’ Yes please! This is the fastest way to add an additional service, generate Take Home sales and referrals and boost guest loyalty.”


9. “You don’t always have to charge for an add-on. Sometimes it’s a gesture that builds loyalty. I recently bought a hat by the great designer Philip Treacy. I own many of his hats. When I picked up my hat in London, it came with a copy of the designer’s book and a personalized, handwritten note. It meant a lot to me. It really enhanced the customer experience. You could follow that lead and apply a special, complimentary conditioner at the Wash House for a regular guest, and she will feel she is receiving added value. This will directly affect your return and referral rates.” (See box for more Wash House experience ideas.)


10. “Be deliberate about dialog. ‘What are ya havin’ today?’ will not be nearly as effective as ‘Which services will you be enjoying today?’”


11. “Know your product stories. It should include a reason and a tagline. Say, ‘If your hair gets frizzy in humidity, we recommend Paul Mitchell Smoothing Gloss Drops. They will seal the cuticle, and your hair will stay frizz-free and shiny until your next shampoo.’ Practice your story and edit so that you sound professional without overwhelming the guest. She doesn’t need to know the pH of the product—just what it will do for her hair.”


12. “I use an app called ZeeZor to manage my salons and see real-time numbers. With ZeeZor, no matter where in the world I am, I am able to see my stylists’ numbers and give them coaching on the spot or advice to increase add-on sales. Stylists can also see their fellow stylists’ performance and be a part of healthy competition in the salon. The app connects directly to salon software, like Millennium, in order to give owners insight into what is happening each day with their salon.”


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