How to craft a compelling offer

How to craft a compelling offer

How to craft a compelling offer

Too many salon owners spend money on an ad, or a flyer, and somehow expect a flood of customers simply because they placed the ad. It’s an enduring mystery to me how so many business owners think the mere running of an ad should be enough in itself to generate business.

Yet the information about what makes great advertising – for the salon business, for any business – has been public knowledge for more than a hundred years.

It was six o’clock on a May evening in 1905 when John E. Kennedy sent a note up to A. L. Thomas, the senior partner of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency. Thomas was just getting ready to leave the office when the messenger brought him the note. It read as follows:

“You do not know what advertising is. No one in the advertising business knows what advertising is. No advertiser knows for certain what advertising is. If you want to know, tell this messenger that I should come up. I’m waiting in the lobby downstairs.”

It was signed: “John E. Kennedy.” Thomas read the note with an amused smile then handed it to Albert D. Lasker, the junior partner in the firm and said to him, “Well, you have been asking this question for years and nobody has yet satisfied you. Maybe here is the answer…You see the man.”

Albert Lasker saw Kennedy that night. It wasn’t until 3 o’clock in the morning before they left the building. And when Lasker left that night, he had the answer to what advertising was. What Kennedy told him that night was simple. Advertising is

SALESMANSHIP-IN-PRINT.

Salon advertising doesn’t get much worse than this. It smacks of pure laziness, ignorance and desperation. With advertising as pathetic as this, the salon deserves to fail. And it’s so easy for a competitor to counter with “We fix $5 haircuts.”

And the core skill of ‘salesmanship in print’ is in creating a compelling offer – then building a story around that offer which virtually forces the reader to keep reading.

Most business owners are too lazy to bother with this. About the best that most can bother with is a plain and simple discount. For example,

“Half price waxing!”

That’s not an offer. All it does is train your clients to expect a discount. It devalues what you sell. And it takes money right out of your wallet.

But it doesn’t take much effort to do so much better. Take a look around at what you already do in your salon or spa – things you currently provide your clients for free, in the normal course of business.

Now, what if you put a notional value on each and every one of these things?

A stylist will typically give a client a brief scalp massage during the shampoo. A beauty therapist might, in the normal course of doing a facial, relax the client with a soothing hand massage, some eyebrow grooming, perhaps a mini pedicure.

All of these things have a value. Yet, if they’re merely provided as a freebie, without declaring that value, then in the client’s mind they are worth…nothing.

It’s only when you clearly ascribe a defined value of each and every ‘extra’ service that you provide, that you create in the mind of the client what we call in marketing ‘perceived value’.

Worldwide Salon Marketing member salons will know all about this. The hundreds of ad, flyer and sales letter templates in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, and in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ of this website, all contain some form of what we call

value adding.

Once you ‘get’ this, it suddenly becomes easy to create massive added value – and it allows you to actually increase prices under the valued-added ‘shelter’.

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About The Author

Greg Milner

Greg Milner, CEO & Founder, Worldwide Salon Marketing. Greg is a writer, marketing consultant, direct response advertising expert and former TV producer. Since founding WSM in 2004, he's coached and guided more than 4,000 salons & spas all over the world in all aspects of marketing, both online and offline. The tools and templates he and his team have developed are used by salons & spas on every continent. He is the author of the industry-standard direct response marketing manual, Simple Salon Marketing, and the e-book Rich Salon Owner.