The KISS Principle – Keep it Simple, Stupid
We’ve accepted a whole bunch of new Members into the My Social Salon marketing & coaching program this year, from all over the world…and it’s kind of creepy how – no matter whether a salon is hidden away in either a suburb of Boisie, Auckland or on a main street in central Sydney – the owners all say pretty much the same things, talk about the same challenges.
New Salon and Spa Members Saying The Same Things
Here are the top handful of complaints:
“I want more clients, and I don’t know how to get them.”
“I want my clients to come back more often, and spend more money.”
And “I want to get ‘off the tools’ but I don’t know how.”
There’s a whole seminar, a dozen books and several university degrees in every one of these questions, but for clarity, let’s just deal with the top two. The faster you find answers to those two, the easier it is to find an answer to #3.
First, some basic Marketing 101.
There are only TWO types of people: Clients you already have, and ones you haven’t met yet.
And it’s a mystery to me why so many business owners spend ALL their time, energy and money, busting a gut to constantly find new customers, while ignoring the farm in their own backyard.
For years a prominent hair replacement surgeon paid me handsomely, every month, to advise her on marketing. I spent some time with a couple of the surgeon’s staff, nutting out some issues. This client is spending many tens of thousands of dollars a year on newspaper and Yellow Pages advertising to attract balding guys willing to pay an average of $14,000 to get their mojo back.
But the business has the names and addresses of over 8,000 guys who, over the years, have put their hands up and said ‘I’m interested…’ – and haven’t signed up.
Astoundingly, the surgeon doesn’t spend a single dollar on so much as a monthly newsletter to these highly-qualified, very warm leads. And yet we KNOW that if you market to people regularly, with a worthwhile, interesting newsletter, 80% of them will buy from you over a two-year period._
Do the numbers: if only ONE PERCENT of them signed up in a whole year, that’s EIGHTY customers @ $14,000 average = $1,120,000! The whole business only does about $2 million annual sales!
Talk about ‘acres of diamonds’…
So, let’s keep it simple. Here’s a very basic framework/schedule – the bare minimum requirement – for marketing to both
get new clients, and get your existing/new salon & spa clients coming back.
To Get New Clients
1) an ACTIVE – not passive – referral program. WSM members will know this as the Queen of Referrals program. It’s a systemised, generous referral program designed to get your best clients referring their friends and colleagues. (Why ‘best’ clients? Because people tend to hang around with people like themselves. If you want impoverished, penny-pinching clients, sure, ask them to refer their friends.)
2) Lead-generating mailbox flyers, newspaper ads, street signs and window posters. (My Social Salon members, they’re all in your Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit™, and in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ of this website.)Essentially, lead-generators involve making an introductory offer of some kind of FREE service – with restrictions on numbers, days available etc, to drive them in on days when your appointment book is empty anyway – with the purpose of getting the prospect’s backside in your chair or treatment room for an hour or two. That’s when you sell to ’em, not off the page.
Why would you offer something free? Because, silly, you know that an average client is worth $X to you in a year… and you know if you get ten new prospective clients in the door, you’ll keep say 5 of them for the long term. Five times $X = ?
You need to know your numbers.
To Get Current & Past Clients Coming Back: Here’s the very basic stuff.
1) Regular (Monthly!) newsletter. Anything less than monthly is a waste of time. There is a whole seminar just in newsletters. It doesn’t have to be glossy, ‘professional’. In fact, the more it looks like it’s been hammered out on an old typewriter on your kitchen table, the better. Personal stuff, about you, your kids, your staff… and with an offer in it. (My Social Salon members: in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ you’ll find easy-to-duplicate templates in Publisher format you can use to quickly and easily create your own monthly newsletter – simple, single sheet of double-sided paper, an envelope and a stamp, and the job’s done.)
I cannot stress enough the value of a regular newsletter. They always produce sales, always bring in more than they cost. And they keep your clients close. And they generate referrals. (“Oh, but they’re too hard/I don’t have time/I don’t know what to put in them/I can’t be bothered…” Well, WSM members have NO excuses).
2) ‘Raise the Dead’ letters: go to your database, pick all the clients you haven’t seen for three months or more…and send them a letter with an offer in it. (My Social Salon members: they’re in your kit. Letter #1, and for those who don’t respond, Letter #2) Do this every three months.
3) New Client Letters. If they don’t immediately re-book, every first time client should be receiving a series of follow-up letters, offering them a Gift Voucher to re-book NOW. (My Social Salon members: there’s a series of three of them, linked, designed to be mailed in sequence. They’re all in your Kit, or on the Members site.)
4) Memberships. Want your clients to pay a year’s worth up front? Or commit to a regular credit card payment every month? A member of your ‘Premium VIP Club’ who’s paid for a year of services up front isn’t going anywhere else. Plus, once they’ve spent the money, they’ll soon forget about it….and spend more on products every time they come in. (My Social Salon members: there are several examples of proven Membership letters in your Toolkit and on the Members site.)
5) In-salon special promos. One of our veteran members, Tracey Orr of Absolute Beauty in Tasmania, once produced a series of big posters offering a range of value-add services ranging in price from a couple of hundred bucks right up to $500 or more. These offers were placed all over the salon – under the nail tables, at reception, in the window. And for a month, the staff talked them up, holding people back till the beginning of the following month. Tracey sold over $16,000 worth of these packages in a matter of days. And the more expensive ones sold best! (My Social Salon members: these exact promos are in your Toolkit. Copy them.)
There you have it. If you employ only that handful of strategies, do it regularly, do it well, you cannot fail.
If you don’t want to actually create all of this marketing material yourself, you can get it all as a Member of the My Social Salon Marketing & Mentoring Program, including the kit itself. Click here to find out more and apply for a 30-day Test Drive.
Salon Internet Marketing: How to Stop Others Sabotaging Your Salon Marketing
This salon got 40 new clients in two days – no thanks to their local newspaper…
Interesting case this week which shows just how vigilant you need to be to stop people sabotaging your marketing efforts.
Untrained staff will do it all the time, if you let them. Phone rings madly after your ad comes out, only to be met by “uh…sorry, don’t know about that offer, hang on, I’ll ask someone…”
That’s something that IS under your control, and only YOU can fix it. But what about when your local newspaper refuses to publish your ad because ‘it’s against the law…”!!!?
|Inner Circle member Tamara Jones of Beauty Bliss in Cairns, Queensland – 40 new clients from a single $300 ad on page 23 of the local newspaper. But no thanks to the newspaper itself.
It happend to Inner Circle member Tamara Jones of Beauty Bliss in Cairns, far north Queensland.
“At first they point-blank refused to run my ad at all,” says Tamara, “Then they refused to let me use the word FREE!”
Turns out that some fool at the newspaper had half-read – and totally misunderstood – a recent case where the consumer watchdog had clamped down on an internet company pretending to offer free bonuses which weren’t actually free, they were hidden by inflated prices.
Rightly so…but for the newspaper to interpret this as a blanket ban on the use of the word ‘free’ was clearly nonsense. I know this because, being the diligent reporter that I am, I personally phoned the relevant mouthpiece at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and got it from the horse’s mouth.
“Are you saying that it’s now illegal for businesses to give away stuff for free?” I asked the spokesman.
“Not at all,” he said, “all we’re doing is stopping people building the cost of so-called bonuses into an inflated price for the original product,” he said.
Sometimes, bureaucracy is a a condom on progress. But its effect is magnified a thousand times by officious and ill-informed employees mis-interpreting the ‘rules’ and needlessly preventing perfectly-legal marketing.
So what happened to Tamara’s ad?
On a happier note, Tamara persisted with the idiot newspaper rep. With no time to check the facts with the authorities, she agreed to change the word ‘free’ to ‘bonus’, and let the ad run last Saturday.It was published way down in the paper, on page 23.
“We had 21 bookings on Saturday, another 17 on Monday, more on Tuesday, and the phone is still ringing. 40 bookings so far, and the ad is scheduled to run again Thursday. I am so impressed. Of these bookings, only 2 are existing clients. My new therapist was supposed to be only working 3 days a week, she’s already doing 5 days…this is great for us, the salon is buzzing again, thank you to all the staff at Worldwide Salon Marketing…!”
Forty new clients…let’s say she keeps only half of them for the long term…and each is worth say $1,000 a year. So that single $300 could well have added $20,000 a year to Tamara’s sales. That’s pretty good leverage.
INNER CIRCLE MEMBERS: Want to see the ad Tamara used? Log into the Members Only ‘sealed section’ and navigate to Getting New Clients – Beauty’ and you’ll find it in .jpg format you can download. Hair salon owners: don’t give me grief about ‘oh, that’s for beauty, we’re a hair salon’. Instead, think: “How can I make this work for my hair salon…?”
Marketing Plan For A Beauty Salon: How do YOU Compare with This Salon Owner??
History is a great teacher. In 1944, General Eisenhower assembled the greatest invasion force in history to storm the beaches at Normandy.
Eisenhower knew that anything less than MASSIVE, overwhelming force, and the Allied attempt to drive the Nazis out of Europe would fail.
It remains a source of mystery to me why so many business owners don’t get this lesson. Regularly, I get email from salon & spa owners who moan that ‘I sent one of your letters to 30 of my clients and only got one appointment…’
Or, ‘I ran one ad…on page 68, down in the bottom right hand corner…and I didn’t get any response…”
One letter? To just 30 people? Well, what do you expect? What else did you do?
It’s a well-known law that action and results are inextricably tied together. Yet it’s a never-ending source of bemusement to me that so many salon & spa owners have massive expectations from minimal action.
So it’s instructive to look below at what’s required to get BIG results. And it shows clearly that the 80/20 rule applies in all things… Clearly, only 20% of salon & spa owners are prepared to take this kind of action, but they make 80% of the money in the entire industry.
Inner Circle member Lisa Conway of Marinelli hair only joined the IC program and received her Toolkit in mid-2008. At the members-only closed-door networking session after this week’s Road to Riches salon marketing seminar, Lisa told me how, until she joined the program, she had spent years in fear, afraid to make changes in her business, afraid to confront lazy staff, afraid to take any action.
All that changed when she ‘saw the light’. In this email Lisa sent the day before the seminar, she reveals a partial list of the action she’s taken, the marketing she’s implemented, in just a few months…
“I got thinking about what I have introduced or changed in our salon since I joined the program and got the Toolkit last July….
1.Send out SMS to a data base at a moments notice with deals to make the phone ring.
2.Collect and use Email to send special offers
3.Advertise with huge success in the local paper.
4.Letter drop our area
5.Put flyers on car windscreens
6.Stand in the street outside our salon handing our brochures
7.Give away $50 vouchers in coffee shops to faces I don’t know.
8.Queen of referrals program
9. Raise the dead letters
10. Birthday $10 vouchers
11. Made a fabulous brochure using an offer and great testimonials
12. Thank you for choosing us letters and $10 vouchers
13. Introduced another retail line so we have two now
14. Went from never doing any treatments in salon to doing 30 a week
15. From not one package to consistently doing packages
16. Weekly staff group meetings
17. Weekly staff training in salon
18. Weekly staff one on one
19. Introduced a fabulous system that puts all staff behaviour into 4 simple groups (Attitude, team, skill and Neglect) easy for us both to track and understand.
20. Display the salon’s weekly takings in lunch room showing both great and not so great work.
21. Know my average dollar sale and watched it go up
22. Know how to find so much more out of my computer
23. I have used movie tickets, holidays and chocolate as staff incentives, not just money.
24. Have staff that gets to work on time and has had their breakfast.
25. Have a staff birthday club that we go out for breakfast.
26. A manager who can now manage staff issues with out me.
27. Cleared out the staff I had with bad attitudes
28. Made our 100% money back guarantee common knowledge
29. Ring all colour work one week later to check if client is happy
30. We regularly back the computer up more than once every day.
31. Dialled up and joined a conference call
32. Listen to disks sent every month that motivate me.
33. Raised my price across the board twice
34. My on the floor time is now 4 hours twice a week.
35.I asked one client to find somewhere else to have her hair done.
36. Renovated the salon completely from 6 stations to 10 and 2 basins to 3
37. Know what % my staff cost me, know what it costs to open the doors
38. Sent my staff to another salon to get their hair done for the experience
“I have enjoyed this journey very much, I would never have believed this much could be done in such a small space of time not to mention watching my profit go up and my anxiety level go down. I am looking forward to the next chapter………….. Lisa.”
So, no fewer than thirty eight specific changes, actions and outcomes… and the biggest outcome of all, a massive $60,000 increase in sales in the 5 months August-December 08 compared with 07.
How do YOU compare with this list?
Salon Marketing Strategies: How to CUT Staff Absenteeism to ZERO!
Had an interesting conversation with one of our Inner Circle members this week.
Like most salon & spa owners, Michael Curtis’ Blush Day Spa has suffered for years from the whims of some staff members who would habitually, without notice, report in ‘sick’ – and leave the rest of the staff to carry the load, upsetting clients, costing revenue and profits, and causing Michael to lose hair he can’t afford to lose.
But four months ago, Michael ‘cracked the code’.
Michael Curtis eliminated staff sick days with some rigorous filtering
Traditionally, Blush would lose between ten and 21 staff days every single month. Add it up, and it amounts to an awful lot of distruption and lost business. But for the past four months, Blush has
not lost a SINGLE DAY!
How could this be? Well, Michael first purchased a simple, but powerful system of staff recruitment developed by our own recruitment specialist, David Osborne. (It’s called the Salon Owner’s Recruitment System and you can buy it here for $AUD597)
Using the system, Michael put every single job applicant through a rigorous ‘filtering’ – and then, once he’d got it down to a short-list, sent it to David who put each applicant through a special personality/suitability test that had nothing to do with technical skill and everything to do with a person’s psychological ability to contribute to a positive and enthusiastic team.
According to Michael, ‘aside from joining the Inner Circle program, getting David’s system and putting our staff through this testing process is the single most profitable and biggest business-building thing we have ever done in the ten years we’ve been in the spa industry’. If ONLY we had known about this a decade ago we’d be that much further in front, it’s not funny’.
Listen in as Michael talks about this ‘company-making’ advance.
As I’ve said many times, any fool can get customers in the door, given the right marketing tools and enough action. Shake enough trees, and you can’t help have money fall out of ’em. But many good marketing campaigns have been ruined by sloppy systems, lousy staff and an active Sales Prevention Department at the back end.
If there’s enough interest among Members, I may run a special Group Coaching call (IC members only) with both David and Michael as my guests, so more of our Members can get the obvious business-building benefits of zero staff absenteeism that Blush is enjoying.
Salon And Spa Marketing: Dumb And Dumber-Why The Big Beauty Businesses Are Struggling, And How Small Independent Salons Can Laugh All The Way To The Bank
Despite what you read in the newspapers, it’s not ALL bad news.
From the Big End of town to the tiny end, there are plenty of reports indicating that the “recession” is patchy, uneven at best, certainly NOT a uniform slide into economic oblivion.
McDonald’s is reporting a massive 80% increase in net profit in 2008 over 2007. Spooked by the relentless reports of Armageddon on the TV news, it seems folks are hitting the fast food joints to save money on meals (and no doubt pile on some fat to carry them through the economic winter!)
Maccas made $4.3 billion in ’08, compared with $2.3 billion in ’07.
In our little world of entrepreneurial salon & spa owners, it’s a similar story, all over the world.
In Scottsdale, Arizona, Body Solutions Laser & Skin owners Dr Tim & Kanna Reilly report a staggering 500% increase in sales in 2008 over 2007, using a simple system of done-for-you direct response marketing tools and ‘sales thinking’ strategies they bought from Worldwide Salon Marketing in August 2007.
“It was a revelation,” says Dr Reilly, whose chiropractic clinic morphed into a skin care clinic over several years but had always bled them white. They were on the verge of giving up and closing their doors, until they ‘got it’ just in time and joined the WSM Inner Circle marketing & mentoring program.
IC member Rechelle Watt with her business award…a 40% increase in salon sales in 2008
Then there’s Inner Circle member Rechelle Watt, of Lamonde Hair Face & Body in New South Wales, Australia. While the majority of salon owners whine about how tough things are, Rechelle and hundreds of other Inner Circle members is going from strength to strength.
In ’08, a 40% increase in sales over ’07, according to an email from Rechelle this week.
“WOW!!!….. it’s AMAZING how my business has changed,” says Rechelle, echoing the sentiments of her fellow IC Members. Click here to read Rechelle’s full story.
(Members Only: want to copy what Rechelle’s done? Log into the Members Only section and navigate to ‘Getting New Clients – Hair’ and you’ll find the newspaper ads and the text messages Rechelle used to generate an extra $109,509 in sales in 2008)
And they do it using simple, hard-nosed, “ugly” copy-intensive emotional direct-response marketing, contained in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit and the coaching they get as Inner Circle members – not the unaccountable, ‘imagey’ expensive branding-style-lets-hope-some-of-it-sticks marketing typically rolled out by big dumb companies using other people’s (eg shareholders’) money.
Big companies in the beauty business are as guilty of pouring useless advertising dollars down the ‘branding’ toilet as anybody else at the top end of town.
Take the giant Regis Corporation, owner of such brands as Cost Cutters, Super Cuts and Hair Club for Men and Women, Regis spend gazillions last year in an up-market makeover of its newly-purchased 635-store Trade Secret chain of salons, attempting to ‘European-ize’ them as a means of selling more bottles of beauty glop.
It was clearly money down the drain. This week Regis folded its Trade Secrets tent, announcing it was ‘selling’ the brand to Premier Salons Beauty Inc.
The word ‘selling’ is a euphemism for actually giving it away. Regis will get precisely zero, nada, zilch for the ‘sale’, instead picking up some tax credits on all the money it’s flushed down the drain on its worthless branding exercise.
All of which just goes to show, dear salon owner, that the ‘geniuses’ running these billion dollar product suppliers and salon chain owners are certainly no brighter, and in many cases a lot dumber, than you the small independent salon owner.
So take heart. If hundreds of our small-time independent salon Inner Circle members can actually increase sales in this deep recession, so can you.
If, of course, you’re equipped with the same marketing & sales tools and coaching.
Which is why you need to apply right now, before you suffer any more hardship, for Inner Circle membership and get that Toolkit in your hands.
Note to US and Canadian salon owners: successful IC members Dr Tim & Kanna Reilly of Body Solutions in Scottsdale, AZ are Worldwide Salon Marketing’s first USA franchise, and are handling all coaching for new North American members as of January 2009.
Marketing Plan For Hair Salon Business: Are you an entrepreneur, or just a business owner?
Salon entrepreneurs & Inner Circle members Jane Dowling and Niki Koutrakis: “Xmas was a huge success! Our best ever! Gift voucher sales were up 50% on last year, and overall we were up 30% for December. That’s with the same amount of staff as well! Jane and I are so pleased as January has been off to a busy start also! And the (Advance Notice Marketing Triggers) you send out by email to Members are great…so easy to follow.”
Even those salon and spa owners whose business is recording bigger and bigger sales in spite of the recession (and there are plenty of our Inner Circle members reporting extraordinary results, see the photo and caption at left, and elsewhere on this site) it would be foolish to point at such results and say the recession does not exist per se.
While there may be green shoots of optimism, by and large the picture is a grim one across thousands of industries.
At home, my 28-year-old second son is glum. Just over a month ago he was riding high on the back of the China-driven resources boom, making over $100,000 a year as a fly-in, fly-out driller, about to buy his first property. Then the crash hit, Chinese orders for iron ore started drying up, his employer’s share price tanked 95%.
Within weeks his world has crashed, about to lose his job, no chance of buying that house. He’s no orphan.
But funny things happen when things get tough.
To me, it’s a time of terrific opportunity for (some of) those in the beauty business.
Lean close, dear reader: for here is a dose of reality that 95% of your competition doesn’t get, won’t understand, will to their detriment ignore.
The typical reaction – certainly among Hair Salon businesses – to a downturn is to close the shutters, to actually stop doing the only thing that brings money in the door – a marketing plan for a Hair Salon Business! For you, the savvy salon or spa owner, this is simply a brilliant opportunity.
Because most of your competition actually remove themselves from the market place, decrease rather than increase their visibility. They stop spending money on advertising. And that creates a sudden vacuum.
Less noise in the market place means your message can be heard easier. Fewer salons & spas spending on advertising means your ads, flyers, direct mail can cut through the clutter.
But it takes a certain entrepreneurial mindset to actually get this, a certain determination to not simply understand it, but put it into action. I wonder how many salon & spa owners reading this really regard themselves as entrepreneurial. Not many, I hazard to guess.
The relative few who do are those who tend to be attracted to the My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program. They understand that being in the salon or spa business is not about cutting hair, or applying glop to a client’s face.
They tend to be risk-takers, because if you’re totally averse to risk, you shouldn’t be in business anyhow.
Stubborn, delusionally optimistic, creative, fearless, flexible and focussed are some of the ways psychologists and business people describe the personality of the entrepreneur.
According to former Apple executive Guy Kawasaki, “you need to be in denial or in ignorance about the huge challenges you face.”
And Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway scooter, says he often suffers sleepless nights wrestling over whether to quit a project that’s not panning out. “You end up lying there saying, I’m not stopping. It would be an act of shallow cowardice. Or you decide to quit and you say – This is one of those ideas that just isn’t going to work.”
Of the entrepreneur mindset, Kamen says “It’s not that they’re brilliant or well-educated. They work all the time. They don’t let failure demoralize or destroy them. They pick themselves up and keep going and eventually, every once in a while, one of your ideas actually breaks through and works, and it makes all that stuff seem worthwhile.”
Here’s an example of Entrepreneurship at Work in the Salon Business (AND a special bonus for Inner Circle members)
|IC member Tegan Messineo and partner Ben – spectacular results from some entrepreneurial ‘sales thinking’ and marketing ACTION up for her country town salon.
Tegan Messineo of Body Firming and Beauty in Bunbury, Western Australia, joined WSM and received her Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit in October 2008. Tegan obviously believes in ACTION. She writes this week how she used the Toolkit principles, resources in the Members Only ‘Sealed Section’ website and some ‘sales thinking’ strategies to craft a radio ad.
It ran on the local radio station only THREE TIMES before she had to take it off air because it was too successful.
Members: Get Tegan’s radio ad and salon flyer NOW by logging into the Member’s Only ‘Sealed Section’ and navigating to ‘Getting New Clients – Beauty’
On its first outing, the ad ran twice on Day One and generated TEN bookings. On Day Two the ad ran ONCE and generated another 9 bookings, at which point Tegan pulled the ad because they were already up to the self-imposed limit of 19 prospects for the free trial treatment.
At the time of this posting, the salon had had 5 of those 19 in for their free treatment, and signed up FOUR of them for a full course of anti-cellulite treatment at $1500 a time, paid up front. I’ll do the sums for you:
That’s $6,000 in up-front sales, in TWO DAYS, with another 14 prospects yet to see. But at that 80% conversion rate, Tegan can expect total sales of around $22,000 – all from a radio ad that cost a measly $170 to produce and schedule for a full week.
But there was a lot of more detailed ‘sales thinking’ that went into this, I’ll let Tegan explain:
“Now even though we need to give a client 1 hour of our time and we don’t know if they are really here to buy or if they are just tire kickers, we decided that when they call up and book in we will up sell them an extra $20 and they can include Virtual Mesotherapy and Ultrasound to their appointment. Now if this client doesn’t end up purchasing anything she still has to pay her $20 so that then covers our time and product.
“Also because its a free appointment people sometimes think that they don’t need to show up. That then makes it worse for us as we have set aside this 1 hour time slot. So if they don’t want to upgrade to the Meso and ultrasound we then still get them to pay a $20 deposit which they will get back when they show up for their appointment. If they fail to show up they forfeit their deposit.
“In the appointment we have a structure that we use.
- We do the consultation
- Analyse their body shape
- Grade their cellulite
- Measure them
- Do the treatment
- Re-measure them
- Discuss treatment packages
- Close the sale
- Get the Happy Form filled out
“We have included a lot into the packages that we are selling but..in reality it doesn’t cost us much at all. Absolutely everything is factored into the price and then our mark-up is added on. With the toning tables we are using it as something to basically bulk up the package. And we have already had ladies say that they don’t want this or that in their package but because its a package they still have to pay for it.
The cost to run the radio add for this week has been $170.
Thanks for the great Ideas!!! Its sooo nice to see when all your hard work pays off!
Body Firming and Beauty”