Trouble Closing Sales?…Try This!

Trouble Closing Sales?…Try This!

Have you ever had that sinking feeling, after you’ve spent time enthusiastically explaining a service or treatment to a client…

…and you stop, and wait, and she says…

“Thanks…I’ll think about it….!”

And that’s where you go “oh, damn, lost that sale…”

You can have the best marketing on the planet – the right offer, the perfect Facebook page, a website that dazzles, a salon that screams quality, happy and accomplished staff…but if you haven’t worked out how to actually get the sale once all that marketing has created an inquiry, it’s all for nought.

The late, great American sales mastermind Ziglar was fond of saying “poor sales people have skinny kids”, and he’s right.

So many of the businesses I consult with have great marketing, but they also have what I call a finely tuned “Sales Prevention Department.”

I bet you’ve heard sales people say it’s all about “handling objections,” right?

John Blake is an accomplished sales trailer of my acquaintance, whose business is helping business owners increase their sales.

This is what John teaches about “handling objections”:



“For a start, If you are getting objections, especially at the tail end of your sales process, what it means is that something is broken at the start of your sales process and most times, it’s happening way before you get to the end or to the “closing” part of the conversation.

What I find when I work with clients on their sales process is when we fix the front part of their process for handling new enquiries, we rarely if ever get objections at the end.

So what are your options if you haven’t had your sales process optimised and this does happen to you…

1.If it’s a question, you can simply answer it

What can also be really useful is to know in advance how to better answer common questions in a more powerful way. What I normally suggest is a list of frequently asked questions or FAQ’s but also a list of questions that people who are in the market for your product should ask which are called SAQ’s
This will go a long way toward keeping a sale on track.

2. If it’s a mis – understanding, you can dissolve it by simply clarifying the point in question

Often an objection can be dissolved simply by doing this.

3.If it’s a stall or a decision to postpone the decision

What I normally suggest and do myself, is to ask “when would you like to continue the conversation?”
This effectively does two things, it puts the onus back on your prospect and makes it their idea as to when to talk again. And because it’s their idea, when you do contact them again, you are doing so on the date and time that they said.

Never do this:

Where sales people get into trouble is when they try to trick people into buying by using “linguistic binds” that attempt to force someone into a pressured decision. There are sales training programs that teach these things and whilst they may get you some short term sales, long term they end up being toxic to your business

Here’s why

1.Potential clients hate it (and will go tell the world how “pushy” you are)
2.Even if they do become a client they will be the client from hell (I know because yep I’ve tried it)
3.If they do become a client and they actually stay, they will never refer or subject anyone they know to the torturous process they went through with you to become a client.”

Good advice, don’t you think?

If you want to know more of John’s work, check out his website here.

Speaking of websites, is YOURS functioning like the best ‘unpaid salesperson’ it should be? 

If it’s not, we’ve got a FREE tool for you – our brand new Website Analyser – just enter your details below, including your website’s address, and you’ll be send a FREE, 30+ page report that you can send to your website designer and say “fix these please!” 
7 Reasons Your Salon’s Online Marketing Could be Putting Your Business in Danger (PLUS Free Gift Below)

7 Reasons Your Salon’s Online Marketing Could be Putting Your Business in Danger (PLUS Free Gift Below)

Enter your website’s address here to get your FREE, comprehensive (30+ pages) Functionality Report – a $245 value – and find out the key changes that’ll turn your website into a sales and lead-generating machine.


It seems to have become fashionable – particularly in the hair & beauty business – for many owners of these businesses to put all their marketing eggs in one basket.

More and more, we’re hearing from salon owners who declare “I just use Facebook,” or “It’s all about Instagram these days.”

And worse, many are either letting their own websites go, or not even bothering to get one built in the first place. This is really, really short-sighted, damaging thinking.

Here’s why: 

  1. Of all the digital media platforms you can use – and the list is a long one, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, Google and a dozen others – your website is the only one you can completely control.
  2. Facebook, Instagram, Google etc – they are all controlled by the companies that own them. They can and do change the rules, often. And they can drop you like a stone, without notice. Your account can be cancelled, your access to it blocked, or the whole platform can go down. If that’s the only media option you have to reach out to your market, you’re toast.
  3. Think all those people who ‘like’ you on Facebook and Instagram are your prospects and customers? No, they’re Facebook’s customers. Only Facebook as direct access to them, only Facebook has their direct contact details.
  4. Your website, on the other hand, is the only digital asset over which you have complete technical and creative control. You alone decide what it looks like, what messages it carries, what functions it performs, when and how it is updated, how many pages it has, how many images it contains, what experience your visitor has, and whether or not you want to link it to other parts of the internet.
  5. Your website is the only digital asset under your control that you can use to generate leads and sales the way you want to, rather than the way Facebook or Instagram or Google wants you to.
  6. Unlike Facebook, Instagram and all the others, your website gets people away from all your competition, to focus on only you and your business. Once they’re looking at your website, they’re not distracted by the next salon’s post on Facebook, or another salon’s tweet or Instagram photo.
  7. On social media platforms and search engines, all businesses look pretty much the same. Thanks to the platforms themselves, it’s very, very difficult to make a stand-out statement when you’re restricted by the necessary guidelines of Facebook or Instagram. (You can’t change Facebook’s layout, or background colors. It’s blue, and always will be.)

People might find your business using a Google search. But they won’t understand what you’re about unless and until they can click through to your website, and see your business the way you want them to see it, not the way Google or Facebook wants them to see it. The very first thing people will do when wanting to find out about your business is look for, and at, your website. Quite simply, if you don’t have one to visit, you are very unlikely to get their business. It’s that simple.

Having your own website is security for your business. Imagine the unthinkable – that one day, through market changes, technical disaster, or legislative changes, suddenly Facebook and Instagram were wiped out, simply disappeared from our screens. Where would that leave you if you had no website, or it wasn’t functioning properly? Dead in the water. 

So yes, it is madness for any small business to be without its own website.

But even if you have a website, is it set up to do its job properly? 

  1. Is it visible – on the first page of Google – when your prospective clients are searching for a hair salon, beauty salon, a massage, a facial, a haircut, in your local area?
  2. Is it easy for people to find your phone number and call you, on their cell phone?
  3. Is your site set up properly to send you free leads? 


Enter your website’s address here to get your FREE, comprehensive (30+ pages) Functionality Report – a $245 value – and find out the key changes that’ll turn your website into a sales and lead-generating machine.


Things you didn’t know about salon price lists…

Things you didn’t know about salon price lists…

burger1 In my morning newspaper today, a story that precisely illustrates and emphasizes this essay on pricing strategy I blogged about earlier this year. The story is about an Australian chef working at a restaurant in London who’s created a waygu beef burger with a sticker price of more than two thousand dollars. Now, if your immediate reaction is “that’s ridiculous, nobody’s going to pay $2,000 for a burger!” you’d be absolutely right.

And you’d be absolutely missing the point.

The chef, Chris Large, of Honky Tonk restaurant in up-market Chelsea, created the burger – with gold-coated buns, lobster and black truffle brie – with no intention of actually selling it.

In fact, the story quotes him as saying “…although I don’t excpect we’ll be selling many at that price…” The entire purpose of a burger for the price of a small second-hand car is not to sell it. Its ONLY reason for existence is to get free marketing exposure, and make everything else on the menu look cheap by comparison.

On both counts, Mr Large’s creation has over-achieved. In the past few days alone, his gold-plated burger has received massive publicity in print and online, all over the world. As I wrote (below) back in July, ANY salon or spa can – and should – find ways to exploit this strategy. But very few owners bother to even try. Nevertheless, here’s the rest of the essay I wrote earlier. (And from the comments posted below, it clearly struck a chord.)


I’m a well-known thief, and a lazy one at that.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked at what’s working in one industry or company, swiped it, and put it to use in another industry or company. It’s productive laziness and larceny though, and I teach it to our Member salons & spas because it saves a whole lot of time compared to the energy, money and intellectual property required to re-invent the wheel.

Here’s a prime example:

Recently I came across a report in Business Insider based on research by the Cornell University of School of Hotel Administration on all the sneaky tricks restaurants use to get you to spend more money. And I instantly thought, ‘well, what if we applied exactly the same thinking to salons & spas?’

So here are some of the key points of this research, and my ‘swipe and implement’ thoughts on how to use the strategies behind it in a salon.

Get rid of dollar signs...they scare people.

Get rid of dollar signs…they scare people.

1) Clever restaurants don’t use dollar signs! (Next time you dine at an upmarket eatery, check that little gem out.) According to the report, a dollar sign is one of the top things restaurants should avoid including on a menu, because it immediately reminds the customers that they’re spending money. Cornell’s research showed that guests given a menu without dollars signs spent significantly more than those who received a menu with them. Even if prices were written out, eg “Ten dollars” – as though it signified a more upper-class diner – it bit them on the backside because guests still spent less money, triggered by negative feelings associated with paying.

My take: same applies in a salon. Get rid of the dollar signs. Do you really think that putting ’89’ against a service, rather than ‘$89’, is going to confuse your customers?

2) Restaurants are tricky with their numbers: Menu designers recognise that prices that end in 9, such as $9.99, tend to signify value, but not quality. In addition, prices that end in .95 instead of .99 are more effective, because they feel “friendlier” to customers. Most restaurants just leave the price without any cents at all, because it makes their menu cleaner, simpler, and to the point.

My take: simple. Just steal the concept and apply it to your price list.

3) Restaurants use extremely descriptive language. Research from Cornell University revealed that items described in a more beautiful way are more appealing to and popular with customers. According to further research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, descriptive menu labels raised sales by 27%, compared to food items without descriptors.

Menu Engineer Greg Rapp (yep, there is such a thing as a ‘menu engineer’) poses an example of Maryland Style Crab Cakes. They are described as “made by hand, with sweet jumbo crab meat, a touch of mayonnaise, our secret blend of seasonings, and golden cracker crumbs for a rich, tender crab cake.” This brings the ultimate sensory experience to the reader, and the descriptive labelling will make customers more likely to be satisfied at the end of the meal.

Interestingly, brand names in menu descriptions also help sales, which is why chain restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday’s use Jack Daniel’s sauce or Minute Maid orange juice on their menus. The more adjectives, the better.

My take: Day spas are often pretty good at using descriptive language. Hair salons and beauty salons, not so much. Try this – take a look at a typical service in your salon, say “Cut n Colour”. Now, 99% of salons do nothing more than list “Cut ‘n Colour” and a price, or price levels based on length of hair. But what actually happens during a cut and colour? The more effort you take to describe in detail the process of performing a cut and colour, the easier it’ll be to sell, at a higher price.

There is magic in the detail.

4. Restaurants use expensive items to draw you to the cheaper items. According to Rapp, restaurants use extremely expensive foods as decoys. “You probably won’t buy it, but you’ll find something a little cheaper and it will look more reasonable,” he says.

According to William Poundstone, author of “Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It),” in a New York Magazine interview, “The main role of that $115 platter — the only three-digit thing on the menu — is to make everything else near it look like a relative bargain.”

My take: this is an absolute steal for any salon or spa. For years I’ve been showing how salons can ‘bundle’ or ‘package’ services and products in such a way that there’s always one ‘hero’ service, one so expensive, so luxurious as to almost ensure that nobody ever buys it.

You don’t actually want them to. It’s purpose as an ‘anchor’ service is to make everything else on the menu, no matter what it costs, look relatively cheap.

5. They offer foods in two portion sizes. This strategy is called bracketing. The customer has no idea how much smaller the small portion is, so they assume it’s the best value price because it costs less. What they don’t realise is that the restaurant wanted to sell the smaller portion at the lower price all along, and simply used the bigger portion with the higher price as comparison.

My take: similar to ‘anchor’ packages. Except you can repeat this all the way through your menu of services. A 90-minute facial for $120, and alongside it, the facial you really want to sell, 60 minutes for $89. Far more profitable.

6. Restaurant engineers analyse your reading patterns. Restaurants consider scanpaths, which are a series of eye fixations that can be studied to see how people read certain things.

According to a Korean research study, a third of participants are likely to order the first item to which their attention is drawn. As a result, restaurants will put the most profitable items in the upper right hand corner, because it is where peoples’ eyes go first.

My take: you can do this research yourself. Show a few clients your standard, garden-variety price list and ask them to pick their preferred service. Then show them your ‘psychologically refined’ price list, with your most profitable service in the top right hand corner, and see what happens.

10. They limit your choices. Through features such as “try-all” samplers, tapas, or fixed menus, restaurants remove the heavy responsibility people feel when choosing what to eat. It is much more effective for restaurants to limit their selection. Apparently, the optimum number of menu items is six items per category in fast-food restaurants, and seven to ten items per category in fine dining establishments.

My take: salon menus are often far, far too complicated. I saw one recently with no fewer than 104 different service items. Give people too many choices, you’ll confuse them. Confused people don’t buy.

11. They set the mood to spend. According to psychology research from the University of Leicester, playing classical music in restaurants encourages diners to spend more, because it makes them feel more affluent. Meanwhile, less sophisticated pop music caused people to spend 10% less on their meals.

My take: for salons and spas, this is easy to test and measure. Play classical music for two weeks, and play pop music for the next two weeks, even if muted. Keep everything else the same, and measure results.

[VIDEO] Podcast 22 – Angel Star, a children’s publishing phenomenon

When my friend and colleague Chris Sanders wrote a song for a grown-ups album he was recording, he had no idea it would turn into a children’s publishing and marketing phenomenon.

The song was Angel Star, written for his daughter Emmy, and in this podcast video, Christ reveals how a combination of a great product, excellent marketing, and community involvement made him one of New Zealand’s biggest-selling authors…


  • Watch how the Big Three of marketing were used perfectly to create a buying frenzy
  • Discover how Chris turned a $2 product into a $20 product
  • Listen to the catchy songs Chris wrote and performed
  • Buy Chris’s songs and books from


NEW: Revised & Updated Simple Salon Marketing Toolkit for 2018

NEW: Revised & Updated Simple Salon Marketing Toolkit for 2018


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332 Pages, Downloadable Templates, How-To Videos and More


Revised, updated with new sections, Simple Salon Marketing Third Edition delivers up-to-date guides on all manner of marketing strategies for salon & spa owners all over the world.

New sections include:

  • Are you ‘visible’ online – how to check your Google positioning
  • What to do to boost your visibility
  • Facebook advertising – the must haves to make sure your advertising dollar works
  • The ‘Big Three’ of salon websites
  • How to turn your website into a lead generating machine
  • Chatbots – what they do, and do you need one?

Used, tested and proven by more than 4,400 salon and spa owners worldwide, Simple Salon Marketing is the Industry-Standard ‘how-to’ for direct response marketing for hair & beauty professionals who want marketing that WORKS – not just marketing that looks pretty!

“I used this very same toolkit to take my business from a struggling $2,000 a month to more than $17,000 a WEEK,” says Marnie Kallmeyer. “If you implement these strategies, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the results.”

Here’s how Marnie describes what happened when “the light went on…”