July 2012

Charlene Abretske

Beyond Your Chair| Jayne Morehouse


Add-ons Offer a Menu of Delicious Treats

This month's issue of The Stylist focuses on making more money with add-ons. And add-ons certainly do help you make more money.

But these low-cost, high-touch mini treats also do something much more important — they help you form a deeper connection with your clients and create a stronger level of loyalty. That means you earn more money long-term, as well as increased referrals.

Why are add-ons so delicious? They come in every price point and for every part of the body. From brow grooming to lip smoothers from hair treatments to the oh-so-in-demand nail art for hands and feet, add-ons allow you to pamper your clients, while giving them a treat they can't resist and an extra benefit of relaxation, anti-aging or adornment on every visit to your salon—without a high cost in time or dollars.

What's even better is that depending on how you design your add-on menu, many can be so low-cost that you can offer them as a quick thank you or a complimentary time-killer when you're running late in the salon or take them on-the-road for quick results during mini demos, charity events, women's fairs or anywhere you want to introduce your salon's services.

They're fabulous complements to the primary hair and makeup services to help bridal parties relax as they're primping and prepping for the big day. They're also the perfect way to say thank you for a referral, celebrate a client's anniversary with you or welcome a new client into your salon.

If you aren't offering any add-ons yet, how do you get started?

First, think in sets of three. Introduce a trio at a time, then rotate them in and out seasonally so you always have something fresh to offer, or continue to build your menu of mini services. Some of that will be determined by the size of your team: Performing add-ons is a great way to get new team members/ assistants talking with clients and helps them learn how to market themselves. If you work by yourself, having three on the menu is probably plenty.

Be creative to stand out. Even my dentist offers paraffin dips today, so don't go there. Come up with something that you know YOUR clients will love—and can't get anywhere else.

Can't narrow it down to three? Ask your clients to help you. Post your top six and have clients vote in the salon and on your Facebook page for which ones you'll introduce first. It's a no-cost tactic to pre-market your services and get your clients interested and engaged in advance. If you work with a team, have your colleague vote for their favorite each quarter and market it as "Our Favorite."

Think marketing when you create your menu. In addition to treating your clients, you want to use your add-ons to build buzz in your salon and on your social media. One option is to focus on a trio of treats for one part of your body at a time—for example, an eyebrow arching, a fine line smoother and mini eye makeup application can all be combined in an All About Eyes package or offered a la carte. You can also focus on the primary benefit—three anti-agers for eyes, lips and neck, three shots of color for fingers, toes and lips or three smoothies for eyes, lips and hands.

Think seasonally. In the fall, focus your featured add-ons around pumpkin, which is a wonderful hydrator and exfoliator and can be found in many products. For winter, chocolate is another featured ingredient that is delicious in head-to-toe masks, treatments and colors all served with a comforting mug of spicy cocoa.

Ask your distributor/product supplier for suggestions. Most professional product companies already have a menu of mini services that's yours for the taking. Often, they come complete with marketing materials like shelf talkers and mirror clings that the company has already designed to help you build your business.

Give your team first dibs. Who deserves a little extra pampering more than your team? Make sure every one in your salon has experienced the add-ons before offering them to your clients. You want them to be able to share their delight first hand.

From super-fast hair and scalp treatments to eye and lip smoothers and soothers to de-stressing and moisturizing hand massages to relaxing neck and shoulder massages, add-on services can be the delicious icing on your traditional services.

What is your favorite add-on service? How has it helped you to be more successful?

Jayne Morehouse is a columnist for Stylist Newspapers and the president of Jayne & company, a full-service brand communications agency for beauty companies and salons. Follow her on Twitter @JaynePR and @BeautyIQ and connect with her on facebook.com/jayneandco.