A straight-razor shave is just one of the add-on services that can help you build a higher...

A straight-razor shave is just one of the add-on services that can help you build a higher average ticket. 

Upselling is a way to encourage your existing clients to spend more in your business, all while increasing client retention. For barbers, it's a great way to introduce additional services, add revenue to your business, and help take your bottom line to the next level. But what are some of the upselling techniques, and how do you get your clientele on board?

Consider these ways to achieve higher ticket totals:

Wax On, Service Revenue Up

Most people think of waxing services for legs, underarms, and the bikini area for women. However, a wide range of waxing services is also available for men. Waxing is a great way to clean up facial hair or remove it all, give eyebrows and difficult hairlines some boundaries, and tame ear and nose hair.

Consider letting some of your non-waxers sample the service for themselves. Once clients see how effective waxing is and how good they look, ask about adding time for this service to their next appointment.

Straight to It

Not all men have tried a straight razor shave. Mention the option to your clients to see if they bite. Even give it away to a select few - perhaps for a special occasion - to get the ball rolling for future appointments.

Upselling to Curly-haired Clients

People with curls have a unique set of issues with their hair. Naturally curly hair is typically drier than other hair types and can be unruly or even frizz-prone. As their hair expert, it’s up to you to make your client’s home care and styling easier. First, consider mentioning the need to add moisture. While at the shampoo bowl, suggest a moisturizing treatment as a service. Follow up by recommending home care products to keep their coils hydrated and frizz-free.

About Face (and Body)

If your barbershop also offers spa services, then you have a brilliant option to cross-sell. Facial and body treatments and massages provide opportunities to step up the offerings to current hair clients. More men are taking skin care seriously, so educate and encourage them to follow through with products and services to keep their skin in top shape.

Massage the Options

If your client mentions how stressful their life is, suggest a full body massage to relieve some of the tension. Even take a moment to check your massage therapist’s schedule to see how soon you can get your client in for an appointment.

For clients in general, simply introduce them to services they may not know about. For example, if your massage therapist has some downtime, have them offer clients a complimentary hand massage while in your chair. While working with the client, the massage therapist can mention other services and their benefits to encourage regular treatments.

Gift Cards, Memberships & Packages, Oh My

More than just during the holidays, make sure your clients know about gift cards for your barbershop. It’s the ideal way for them to prepay for services or offer anytime-of-the-year grooming gifts for others.

Memberships and packages are also excellent opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to your clients. Just think through your offerings carefully, so you are not selling yourself short. For example, if a client already comes in every week for a shave and is paying full price, you would not offer them a shave membership. Instead, introduce the idea to anyone who opts for an occasional shave service to see if you can turn them into a regular. You could also pair shaves with other services that a client has yet to try.

Upselling Grooming Products

Although basic home care is considered a necessity, you can upsell a client who is not currently purchasing their products with you. Many industry professionals find male clients more likely than their female counterparts to buy products at their salons or barbershops, and they are heavily influenced by the recommendation of their stylist or barber. That’s why it’s important to educate your clients about caring for and styling their hair at home, and make recommendations for products and tools based on your expertise and knowledge of their hair. Make product suggestions while your client is in your chair, at checkout, or even send a recommendation after the service so they can shop your online store or reserve products for their next appointment.

Now that you have some ideas to help upsell and cross-sell – have at it. Don't forget to post it to social media to bring awareness to your business. Just be sure to track your success and adjust your tactics and offerings as you move forward.

About the Author: Lori Obiedzinski is a licensed hairdresser and salon management specialist with a background in sales management and client relations. She is currently the Director of Sales and Business Development for Rosy Salon Software