Illustration by Ajay Peckham

Illustration by Ajay Peckham

“If you’re at a full-service salon, you need to create reasons for your valued clients to try new services and products,” says Larry H. Oskin, president of Marketing Solutions ( “Cross-marketing will be your most effective marketing tool, if handled properly.”

Start by creating special cross-marketing gift certificates, says Oskin. “They may look similar to your regular gift certificates, except that they must already be filled out for the specific new services you are attempting to promote each month. Leave room on each certificate for the issuing salon professional to personally fill out the client’s name as well as her own name.”

Each month you can promote two areas. For example, the nail care team can promote “first-time” hair color services, while the hairstylists promote “first-time” facial treatments or the estheticians promote “first-time” massage services. “In other words, work as a team to consistently promote each other’s service areas while only cross-marketing one or two new or specialty service areas per month,” he says.

The approach and presentation must come sometime during each client’s beauty care consultation. Your nail staff needs to ask the question, “Have you ever experienced hair color at our salon before?” If the answer is yes, just say, “Oh, how did you like it?” If they say no, it’s time to then introduce the special introductory new service gift certificates that are only available to your valued clients. “These certificates must not be left out on the front desk or a station like a cheap coupon. Instead, they should be treated like gold while being presented personally,” says Oskin.

“These cross-marketing gift certificates need not be for free services. You can mix and match services with retail products. You may want to use a $10-off First-Time Service Certificate of a Half-Price Introductory XYZ Service offer.”

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