Learn the art of up-selling

We ask Lilliane Caron, owner and director of Caronlab, about the art of up-selling and what we need to take note of when selecting retail products for our salons.

“Retail products have a much higher profit margin than most salon services,” says Lilliane Caron, owner and director of Caronlab. “They have the ability to increase your bottom line dramatically, which makes them a very important part of your business.”

We sit Lilliane Caron down and ask her to spill how we, as professionals, can up-sell to our clients in a way that is honest and mutually beneficial.


Get your retailing right in salon and your clients will leave feeling confident and happy about their purchases.
Get your retailing right in salon and your clients will leave feeling confident and happy about their purchases.


“Up selling retail products at the end of a treatment can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you’re not stocking the right products, or products you are familiar with,” says Caron. “You need to make sure you select products that are most relevant to your services and your client’s needs.”

When it comes to choosing which products to retail there are a few things you should consider:

1. Does it work?

“This might sound fairly obvious but generally in the beauty industry, people want products are going to help fix an issue i.e.; ingrown hairs, dry skin, skin irritation etc,” says Caron. “Make sure you stock products that actually do what they say they do! You only really get one shot to prove to you client that you have their best interest at heart, selling them a product that doesn’t work will hinder your chances of ever upselling them a product again.”

2. Price point

“Understandably price plays a huge factor in whether or not a product will sell successfully,” says Caron. “You are much more likely to up-sell a $20 product rather than a $90 product, especially when the client is already handing over money for a treatment. The key is to make sure you stock products that are affordable to your client, yet still offer a reasonable profit margin for you.”

3. Education & Training

“Look for companies that actually provide their stockists with education and training,” says Caron. “Some companies will offer this on their website through an online portal or via a company rep that will come and do product knowledge with you and your team. You can’t sell something you don’t know about, so making sure your team are educated about the products you are trying to sell is extremely important.”

4. Marketing Support

“When it comes to retail, any little bit of marketing can help,” says Caron. “Stocking a brand that will provide you with free marketing support such as posters, brochures, t-shirts, window decals, shelf wobblers or even samples can be extremely beneficial. Having content your clients can read while waiting for their appointment is a great way to ‘plant the seed’ and encourage your clients to consider their own needs. It may even prompt them to ask you about a particular product instead of you having to ask them!”

5. Values

“Whether your products are vegan friendly, Australian made, or not been tested on animals, can be huge deciding factors for many consumers,” says Caron. “Do your research! Choose products that are manufactured locally by Choose Cruelty Free Accredited companies. This can be your go-to selling point or a great way to spark conversation about why you like the brand and their products.”


Stock reputable products that you believe in will give the consumer a positive retail experience.
Stock reputable products that you believe in will give the consumer a positive retail experience.


6. Comprehensive offering

“Often it is easier to sell items when there are several products in the range,” says Lilliane Caron. “It shows that you have a solution for various clients. For example, you could sell a body scrub with a moisturiser or an exfoliating mitt with an ingrown product.”

7. Reputation and quality of the brand

“Stocking brands that have a good reputation can definitely increase your chances of making a sale,” says Lilliane Caron. “These days, consumers are paying more attention to what they are putting on their body. Many people read ingredient listings and have a wealth of knowledge about what ingredients may or may not be good for them. Having products that have a good reputation, and known for being made with high quality ingredients means half the work is done for you!”

8. Competition

“Make sure you are familiar with other products on the market,” says Caron. “Know the strengths and weaknesses of competing products so that when asked, you can explain to your client why your product is better.”

9. Nail your display

“Whether your retail display is large or small, browsing for products should be an experience,” says Caron. “Keep your displays organized and clean. No one wants to buy a product that is dusty; not only is it visually unappealing, it also looks like no one else liked the product enough to buy it.”

10. Be honest

“Make sure you only choose products you believe in, this will make selling them much easier,” says Caron. “You will no longer feel like you’re selling anything – you’re just simply recommending products you know will be right for your client’s needs. Your recommendation will start building a trusting retail relationship with your clients, which will ultimately lead to further retail sales.”


Lilliane Caron is owner and director of Caronlab Australia. For advice advice on your own salon, call (free) 1800 245 412, email info@caronlab.com.au or go to caronlab.com.au



Have your say: Do you have any retail tips you’d like to share? 




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