Add-on Advice for Veteran Techs (Part 2)

This is part two of the list of solutions for the seasoned nail technician who is reluctant to offer add-on services. These suggestions will help us to become more confident and give us new techniques to feel more comfortable with making an offer. 


Seasoned nail technicians’ objections:

• I am on auto pilot and can’t change my routine.


Many of us have been doing the same thing for so long that we’re almost robotic.  We think why would we change our routine?  We like it the way it is. The truth is, we can change our routine, many of us just won’t.  We’re afraid of what may happen if we change.  We have to change to evolve; if we don’t change from time to time, we can become stagnant and boring.  Michael Cole says it best “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”  That means if you don’t change what you’re doing, you’ll always get the same results.  That is a mind blowing statement!  If you don’t offer add-ons, you won’t get them.  If you’re tired of working harder instead of smarter, you’ll work more and get burned out. Want a different result?  Change your routine.


• Add-ons are for the new girls who are building a clientele; I have clients.


Yes, some nail techs really believe this to be true.  Any client can benefit from an add-on service.  Think of the add-on as an in-salon treatment instead of an additional service.  Think of it as a treatment you can give your client while they’re in the salon.  Suggest the in-salon treatment to help resolve your clients’ common issues, such as cracked heels, dry skin, etc.  Presenting a solution to their problem gives you more credibility.  Offer add-ons to everyone  — new clients, repeat clients, and referrals — don’t discriminate.  All you have to do is make the offer.

• I don’t want to look stupid in front of the other techs —  they think I know everything.


They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, FALSE!  You can!  Most of the seasoned techs I know are the leaders of the nail department.  With their experience, know-how, and talent, other techs want to be just like them.  If you set an example and start doing things differently, the other nail techs will follow your lead.  If they see you make the add-on offer to your clients, it may give them courage to do the same.  If they see you get turned down and shake it off, they won’t feel bad or take it personally if they get turned down.  Get together as a team and discuss how you’re all going to start offering add-ons together.  They won’t think you’re stupid, they’ll think you’re innovative!


• I am so booked, I don’t have time!


Did I hear that right — you don’t have time to make more money?  Review your service times and see where you have room to modify.  Tighten up your routine and see where you’re altering your time.  Make the time to make the money.  It’s like losing weight, if you don’t make the time to exercise and plan your menu, you won’t lose the weight.  You have to plan in the salon to get results too.  Michael Coles says, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” He’s right, make a plan and take action.  Taking action is the second part of it.  Anyone can make a plan, make a commitment, and take action.  Set aside time to make a plan — you will make more money!

• I’m so busy with $30 fills; I can’t do a $50 pedicure with an add-on!  (Someone really said that)


The truth is we need to do more pedicure services. It’s our biggest dollar earner per hour, it saves our body, and we already have the clients in our chair.  We have natural nail and artificial nail clients; the one thing they have in common is that they both need pedicures.  Stylist can’t cut hair all day, its bad body mechanics.  Imagine how their neck, shoulders, and arms would feel at the end of the day if all they did was cut hair constantly. Many stylists have realized they need to do chemical services to change the position of their body, give their neck/arms/shoulders a rest, change up the routine and make more money.  It’s good to have a variety of services to allow the body time to recover. 


Nail technicians need the same rest, recovery and variety.  If we file nails all day and constantly do the same repetitious filing motion, guess what happens?  Carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s painful and can be career ending.  We need to think of pedicures as our chemical services.  We need to change our old habits; we need to learn good body mechanics for endurance.  Where did we learn that in order to be a successful nail tech we have to be booked solid with fills?  Who taught us this backward way of thinking and why is it ingrained in us?  In order to have longevity in this business, we have to change our way of thinking.  We have to change the way we do things.  Not only will doing more pedicures increase our income, it will prolong our careers.  Save your body, make more money, save your occupation!


My hope is that you were able to relate with at least one of these situations.  So, which one can you identify with the most?  Which one are you going to put into action?  Let me know, please comment.  Celebrate the add-on and start making the offerings.  One more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!


I consult salons to build strong, successful, money-generating nail departments.  I’ll visit your salon onsite, customize your additional services menu, teach you time-saving techniques, and increase your add-on your sales.  If you would like to schedule technical and business education exclusively for nail technicians contact me at [email protected].


— Jill


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