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Add-ons for Your Summer Services

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Summertime can be a wonderful opportunity for spa therapists and technicians to become busy with summer-inspired upgrades to treatments. By combining your awareness of your client’s needs and preferences with knowledge of the products you offer, you can easily “up sell” a treatment. You help a client decide to purchase a little extra something or “upgrade” a level before starting the treatment. It does not have to be a major change, just an adjustment to the plan.
In some areas, summers tend to be a slower season, mostly due to the migration north of those spa clients who are snowbirds.

These clients come south for the winter and go back up north for the summer. They get the best of both seasons in two different locations. However, this is an ideal time to give special attention and personal care to your permanent clients. It is on them that you should focus your attention, with special programs, summer specials, discounts, and upgrades (free or otherwise); let them know that the specials are “just for them.”

When up-selling, keep in mind the three biggest mistakes:

  1. No attempt is made to up-sell, so you lose the opportunity.
  2. The therapist or employee comes across as being pushy, thereby diminishing the “especially for you” effect.
  3. The up-selling is made in a clumsy, unconvincing manner, so the customer is turned off by the offer and refuses it.

Add-on services or treatments can be tricky. The therapist may not understand the value of the extra add-on and decides to not sell at all. The clients may misunderstand the value of the up-sell and feel like they are being taken advantage of financially. No one likes to be nickel and dimed. It is up to the spa to:

  1. Have a diversified and flexible product line
  2. Be sure the therapists know the product line well
  3. Teach and train them in the approaches and the language to be used when offering an up-sell
  4. Develop clear and concise verbiage conducive to the introduction of an additional value to the guest

There are many companies that consistently do a fabulous job with up-selling. Have you ever stopped at a fast food place? When ordering, have you noticed the predictable questions you are asked? Do you remember being asked if you “would you like fries with that? Or an apple pie? Or do you want to super size it?” How many times have you found yourself saying “yes” and later enjoying the fruits of your impulsiveness?
Do not assume that all your clients know exactly what your spa has to offer and what they specifically want or need. It is part of your responsibility to make them aware of what is available and appropriate for them. If the client has never enjoyed the particular treatment or modification you are offering, that is the perfect time to offer a discount “so that you can try it and see if you like it.” It is of the utmost importance for therapists to ask and be able to really fine tune what the client needs and is looking for. If the particular treatment they signed up is not for them or does not match their expectation of results, recommending changes is part of your job and a good moment to up-sell them a more beneficial service, while explaining the difference. If the clients feel that your true interest is for their welfare, not just hitting them for a more expensive treatment, they will likely purchase the added benefits willingly. But, you must be honest in the process.
Many spas encourage their guests to take the opportunity of their visit to ask for extra treatments, such as an added eyebrow or lip wax. This is fine, but when such additions are made, it is important for the aesthetician to keep a close look at the time, so that the extra service does not become an extra hassle for the massage therapist or hair stylist, making everyone late. If there is not enough time or the additional service cannot be performed in the allotted time, it will create confusion and irritation among fellow employees and the client will feel out of sorts. Be courteous when adding on extra services and make sure to confirm with the front desk that the client can add this to the package. Sometimes with gift certificates, clients do not realize that add-on treatments are not covered and they may not want to pay. For example, a brow tint is an easy up-sell but an eyelash tint may take too much time away from the original treatment. Always confirm with front desk or management and make sure the client understands that there will be an additional charge.
Some clients refuse to stay out of the sun. Even worse, they do not apply sunscreen correctly. If one of them books a deep pore facial, that is an excellent opportunity to up-sell them to a Sun Lover’s Facial. This facial is specifically for those clients who have been kissed too much by the sun and now are experiencing a heat wave on their skin. It is commonly $10 to 15 extra because there are additional steps involved in the treatment and special soothing products need to be used. An experienced spa should have Aloe Vera chilling in the refrigerator for these treatments. Of course the therapist should avoid hot towels and the steamer. This is a perfect opportunity to use a Dr. Lucas’ Championniere. For those not familiar with a Dr. Lucas, it is a small hand held stainless steel cool steamer to which you can add herbs, seaweed, essential oils, and hydrosols into the canister. It is excellent for rosacea and sunburned skin. The facial massage may have to be nixed due to sunburn on the shoulders, décolleté, and/or face, so offer a scalp treatment or foot massage. The mask should cover the affected areas of the face, throat, décolleté and part of the shoulders.

Sun Lover’s Facial Mask

  • One half cup of Kaolin Clay
  • four tablespoons chilled Aloe Vera
  • two teaspoons of castor oil
  • mix till creamy and apply

If client is extremely sunburned, the aesthetician can gently massage with ice cubes or beauty globes. Dr. Lucas Championniere

Amy Wall, aesthetician and owner of Mendocino Beauty in California, says that summer is the perfect time to surprise and delight your clients with additions to your menu. The spa shelves should be well stocked with a variety of SPF lotions, sprays, and creams. You should have information on skin types and how to provide protection to the skin when it is exposed to the sun. For some persons, the best alternate is to stay out of the sun. Remember, there really is no “healthy” tan. They may consider a Sunless Glow body treatment, which offers the benefits of looking great without the side effects of skin cancer. This is just one of many ideas. Others include: décolleté smoothing, hand rejuvenating, feet softening, eye brightening, lip plumping, and even wax prepping.
Wax prepping? Amy offers an add-on scrub to the legs before they are waxed. This added exfoliation makes the hair stand up straighter, softens coarse hair, and removes all dead skin build up allowing the hair to be removed more easily. Clients love it. It is a good procedure to follow the wax with an application of post inhibitor oil. Always explain the benefits and how it retards hair growth. Recommend that they take the product for use at home and it will reduce the frequency of waxing visits.
In order to make your add-ons successful, train your front desk staff to inform guests of new options when a client phones in for an appointment. This is the best way since the add-on will add more time to their appointment, so it can be taken into consideration when scheduling. Another great idea is to make a printed menu of additions that can be slipped into existing brochures and given to the guest for review when changing into a robe or gown. Amy wants aestheticians and therapist to remember that the purpose of offering your guests add-ons to their treatment is to enhance and deepen their spa experience, thereby enriching their satisfaction and your bottom line!
Aesthetician Diane Buccola, owner of, admits she feels challenged by add-ons and feels that she does not do a great job of up-selling. In fact, she stopped years ago. Recently, she has changed the definition of the concept from an add-on to a customized facial and she is much happier. For summer specials, Diane tweaks an existing facial a bit, by switching to summer scents. Summer scents are essential oils infused in the towels, steam, massage cream, and body oils. If she can include a scented candle which will blend in with the chosen oils, she thinks it is that much better. Summer scents can be lemon, sweet orange, honeysuckle, or lavender. Another great essential oil which symbolizes the summer season is bergamot. Bergamot oil is produced from the citrus fruit of the tree called Citrus Bergamia and this fragrance uplifts and relaxes. Bergamot also evokes joy as well as boosts self-confidence. Diane also recommends to choose products such as vitamin C, papaya, pineapple, seaweed, and then just rename the facial to something tropical-like, such as Sea & "C" Facial, Aloha Nui Facial, or Papaya Peel.
Additional add-on services to facials do not have to be more products only; it can also be equipment. There are several wonderful modalities that can be added as a complimentary service to introduce the guest to the benefit of the equipment. The client who has had that experience may now request it when booking the next service. Equipment can be high frequency and Blue LED for acne, microcurrent, or Red LED and Galvanic for anti-aging treatments. Malinda White, aesthetician and owner of Jade Advanced Skincare in West Palm Beach , Florida researched microcurrent before making a commitment to purchase a machine. When she did she introduced her clients to microcurrent with a complimentary add-on during a facial visit. Her clients were sold and she informed them of the many benefits of microcurrent while they received their complimentary add-on treatment. She has a client who is flying from New Jersey to West Palm Beach during the summer because she has seen such great benefits from this amazing add-on! Clients who are introduced to equipment that enhance their facial will request it for future treatments. Many prefer the Skin Scrubber to traditional manual scrubs as they feel that they can do that to themselves at home. Clients who know the value of the equipment and its benefits frequently want to obtain the maximum benefits during their visit when they are in the aesthetician’s treatment room.
Summer inspired add-on services can be an opportunity for the aesthetician to allow clients to experience something new. With temperatures rising and client’s skin exposed to more sun, it is an excellent opportunity to encourage clients to invest in products to keep their skin healthy. With a little education and extra time, the spa team will be able to increase their sales, productivity, and treatments.

Denise R. Fuller is a licensed aesthetician and a certified body wrapping instructor in the state of Florida. Fuller is a trained Australian beauty therapist, a published author, and an AIA Ambassador., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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