Here’s how to stop staff taking clients…it’s YOUR money!

Every salon & spa owner fears the day when a long-serving staff member suddenly announces she’s leaving. Whether she makes it obvious or not, the instant fear is that she’ll take valuable clients with her.

If this has ever happened to you – or you fear it might – then you need to study this campaign closely. Because it just might not only save you a fortune, but actually make you money as well.
Tracey Orr1

Worldwide Salon Marketing member (ten years) Tracey Orr (left) of Absolute Beauty in Launceston, Tasmania, runs a VERY tight ship. And, as the Commanding Officer, she takes absolutely no prisoners when it comes to protecting the only real asset her business owns – her clients.
A while back, two of Tracey’s nail technicians left to start their ‘own business’. Tracey wished them well – and then swung into action a well-planned, two-pronged attack designed not only to sabotage her former employees’ ambitions, but to actually profit from it.
It was breathtaking in its military precision.

Here’s how Tracey takes up the story…

Hi Greg,
 
Read the latest newsletter and thought I would share my thoughts with you. In relation to the section on the salon owner who does not think newspaper ads work…..
 
Neither did we until we started working with you guys all those years ago!!!  Using what you have taught us we have gradually fine tuned our ads, promos etc until now when we have it down to a fine art!! 
 
A bit of a story……

Two of our nail techs left to start their own “nail business”.  I wished them well, gave them some advice but
…all is fair in love and business! So I put a plan in place to absolutely crush them in a nice way – after all they are now competition.

We designed up an ad to target full sets of acrylics (new clients) as we knew this is the market they would initially be targeting.  Basic black and white ad to run on a Wednesday and Saturday over three weeks.  Not expensive, not large, but well designed.  We also put the ad on our website.  We knew that the two techs that left would also be advertising.  We got a great response from the ads!   

So far we have got 50 new clients that have already been in and another 25 future bookings. 

That’s 75 bookings so far.  The offer began the second week in July and ends on August 31 – so is still going. We increased our other nail techs’ hours and one returned from maternity leave to pick up the extra clients and still keep our regulars.

(HOW TO GET THIS AD: Members log into the Members Only ‘sealed section’ here.

Secondly, we did not want to lose regulars that had been going to these two nail techs here for the last two years.  So we sent out a letter (using the tips from the Toolkit) to all their clients informing them that Katee & Jess were leaving and what we were doing to make sure all of them, our lovely clients, were looked after.  This took away the “fear” for clients of who was going to look after them.  This letter also contained a great offer if the clients pre-paid for their next 3 nail appointments. 

By us getting them to pre-pay we ensured that they would not follow the other two, even if they did nails for $5!  It also ensured that the clients (who come once per month for nails) would still be here in at least 3 months… and then their past nail techs would be but a distant memory….

We had 26 of their clients take us up on this offer (the letter was sent to their 68 best clients). 

Of the 26 clients to purchase their initial offer, 7 of them then went on to buy a Solitone Package worth $1330 so this was a huge added bonus.
  11 clients are yet to use their free stuff so we will get more ad on sales when they do. 
We run Beautyware here and so have been able to track the….wait for it…..loss of clients since Katee and Jess left – and it is a total of 5!The rest our clients have just kept coming, I suspect because they know what and who is going to continue to look after them, the extras we offer like monthly specials, newsletters, all treatments, extended hours, our guarantee, our child free zone, general atmosphere, free parking etc etc….. and the fact that a week after Katee and Jess left we launched heaps of new and exciting nail goodies for them!
 
So I say newspaper ads do work!  And don’t panic when staff leave, instead plan, and you will reap the benefits!
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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.