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June 17, 2015

Upgrading for Success

What do the W Hotel, Hertz and Delta all have in common? The answer is at their front desks: “Would you like to upgrade today?” Having a mentality geared towards upgrading is a mentality that is also geared towards success. According to Jeff South, owner of Intrigue Salon in Atlanta, GA, salons everywhere need to take notice and adopt this cultural shift!


“Who wants an extra $300,000 a year? You already have all you need to do that in your salon today so use your current resources—your team and your products—to implement this program,” shares Jeff with attendees at the KAO Salon Alliance Networking Event in Milwaukee, WI. “Last year, 10% of our revenue came from upgrades! This isn’t just about making more money for me—it’s about making sure my stylists get their fair cut, it’s about allowing my new stylists to make an extra $10,000 a year and having extra money in my salon to work on branding. It’s such a cool thing and it’s so easy!”


1. Strengthen your salon culture.
“The upgrade mentality is about updating your culture so make sure you have a clear message. It’s not an add-on, it’s an upgrade! The word upgrade alone tells everyone what exactly this is,” says Jeff. “Never forget that culture overrides everything.” To make sure you have one cohesive culture among your staff members, start by speaking with them about upgrades, explain the benefits (with an emphasis on increased take-home pay) and then assess the upgrade products and services you will offer, including a careful look at which upgrade services and products work at competing salons.


2. Maintain visibility!
“Put that upgrade menu on your booth mirrors so that your clients see it while they’re sitting in your chair. What you want this signage to do is spark a conversation. You don’t want to put on there what it’s about, you want them to ask questions like ‘What’s a lowlight?’, ‘What’s color balancing’, ‘What does a serum treatment do?’” says Jeff. “Educating customers and engaging them in conversation gives them that customizable experience and establishes a point of difference from your salon and the salon up the street.”


3. It’s all about teamwork!
Your point of difference and upgrade success will only be as great as your team is! Make sure everyone has fully adopted this cultural shift and is eager to upgrade. As Jeff told his team when they embarked on this upgrade mission together: “This is not an obligation… it’s an opportunity!”