Case Study – how to profit from another salon’s database.

Case Study – how to profit from another salon’s database.

It’s all very well having a Salon Business Plan. But if that plan doesn’t include specific details about how you’re actually going to find clients, then it isn’t worth much as a plan. 

Here’s a great example of how to ‘put a salon business plan into action’.

George and Kim Astropalitis were in a quandary. Their Chroma Hair Studio business in Highgate Hill, Brisbane was faced with a huge opportunity, but they just weren’t sure how to capitalize on it.

A salon in the next suburb had gone out of business. George had a hunch the failed salon might possess a very large database of past and present clients, since it had been operating for many years. But how to get hold of that database? And what to do with it if he did?

The answer to the first question was simple. He just called the owner, and asked if she’d like to sell her client list. Clearly unaware that the real value of any business is ‘in the list’, she agreed to sell the client roll…for basically lunch money, a few hundred dollars.

But what now? George signed up as a Client Attraction System member, and with the guidance of our Facebook Group, got to work on a carefully-planned strategy to wring as much value from the new database as possible.

First, creating a special ‘hidden’ page on the website and then, developing a series of email and SMS messages directing the target market to that page.

Within two weeks, Chroma Hair Studio had nearly ONE HUNDRED new clients. And that’s just the start. Here’s George on video, describing what happened, and how they did it.


To learn ideas and use proven, ready to download marketing templates like George, learn more about the Client Attraction System

Read the interview:

George: So a salon in our area, regrettably, you know, these things happen and they close down. We were able to contact the previous owner. And we were able to buy her database, her computer and database list of clients on.

We’ve taken that and we’ve imported that into our, our Point Of Sale software system and we’ve started a series of campaign with, with Greg’s guidance in terms of offers and how we should structure things.

And we’ve got a series of email and SMS happening and that’s going out to the previous clients of that salon that closed down.

Greg: And what results have you had so far from that, George?

George: Yeah, pretty good, um, what we’re going out by email and SMS at the same time. We did our first round of all sending out about 10 days or so ago. And in that first round we booked around 80 clients looking for appointments with us. And of course, we’re trying to do all the right things internally and you know, get the re-bookings right and get them returning again. And we’ve just, today, done our second round of marketing and again that’s via email and SMS and the phones are running hot again this morning. I can see that in terms of people filling in online forms, and in the first couple of hours this morning, we’ve got 15 or 18 forms (filled in) for us to call people back and book them in. And the girls informed me that the, the phone has been running off the hook again at the actual salon where people ringing to take up the offer and book appointments in.

Greg: And so what are the numbers you bought a database, you paid a few hundred dollars for a database of how many clients?

George: Ah, so look, they had 10,000 – about 10,000 people in the database, not sure how up to date the database was. I suspect some of that was quite old, may be irrelevant, but nonetheless, it still gives us another name or number that you can reach out, that you can, you can, you reach and make contact.

Greg: And how many do you think you’ve reached out and actually made contact with?

George: In terms of the people who’ve rung and made appointments, I’d say that we’re approaching 100 or past the hundred mark. So you know, that’s a hundred new people coming into our salon from a couple of marketing campaigns.

Greg: And a hundred people at say, $1,000 a year each if they stay on?

George: Yeah it’d be nice to keep them as a regular. You know what we’ve got to get ourselves a benchmark of what we’d like to retain of those people are but yes, certainly if we retained a hundred of these people as a regular client, yeah, it would have to be worth $100,000 or $150,000 a year to the turnover of the business.

Greg: So, the process you went through was you set up the offers on your website and then you emailed the client base you SMSd them with links to that page on your website?

George: Yeah, we created like a hidden page on our website. We had the offers on there, we had a video that you recommended we do, and that actually has gone really well. So we did an invitation, a welcome video and then of course, we just used the link to that secret page on our website and that went into the SMS’s and the email. So they were clicking through essentially going through our website and then from there they could either fill out a form or they could just give us a call. Salons and spas close down every day, every week, all over the place.

Greg: So what would you recommend people try to contact those former owners and, and perhaps look at buying their databases?

George: Oh yeah, look, uh huh yeah, buying this database with kind of an off the cuff thought for us, it’s not something that we really considered as a strategic marketing ploy, but based on what we’ve seen already yeah if your thing. Yeah, if you’re seeing a hair salon or beauty salon in your vicinity closing down, it is definitely worth contacting that, that previous owner and seeing whether they’re willing to sell you their client database. It’s definitely been a positive outcome for us.

Time: the secret to selling more.

Time: the secret to selling more.

There’s a common misconception among people in business: “Get ’em in, get ’em to buy, and get ’em out again as quickly as possible.”

Wanting to spend as little time with your customers as possible while making a sale is a mistake, and here’s why:

There’s a reason long, text-heavy ads outsell brief copy, why the best websites keep prospects engaged for longer, why a long engaging video presentation is better than a short one. That reason is time.

The more time my prospect spends looking at, listening to or watching my proposition, the more likely he is to buy.

It amuses me when I see people falling into the trap of competent technicians who know nothing about marketing and sales thinking. They get hoodwinked into believing that ads should be short and to the point, that websites should just have lots of pretty pictures and not much text, that a sales brochure should be as brief as possible.

All completely disproven for decades by actual marketing tests, the world over.

The ideal:

Find ways to create more interest.

The prospect will stay with you, keep watching, reading, or listening.

The more time they invest, the more likely they will buy.

You can overdo it of course. When I was doing sales presentations at big seminars, I quickly worked out that a 90 minute presentation was the sweet spot. If I kept it to 60 minutes, or ran longer than 100 minutes, sales would be substantially lower.

There’s a direct link between time invested and the size and number of sales.

I live in one of Australia’s top wine producing areas, Margaret River. Every one of the 200 or so wineries here know and rely on the fact that the longer they keep people tasting wine at the cellar door, the more wine they’re going to sell.

Ikea did not design their stores for quick entry and exit. They deliberately force customers to wind their way through the entire store, passing every display. Why? Because they’ve proved it increases sales.

The same applies to websites. If your website is nothing more than an online brochure with a few pretty pictures, and nothing much for the visitor to do other than click on a few images, then your ‘bounce’ rate is going to be high. Visitors will quickly click away.

But if your site is involving, engaging, carries interesting and varied content, encourages the visitor to participate in a competition or download a free book or video, offers an incentive for following your social media pages, then you’re going to get

  • More sales
  • More inquiries
  • An increase in email opt-ins
  • A bigger social media audience

Yes, younger buyers have shorter attention spans. Everybody’s busier, fewer people are reading as a matter of course. But don’t sacrifice what’s effective. The answer is to be more interesting and compelling.

You think there’s nothing particularly interesting or compelling or different about what YOU sell?

Well, there’s nothing all that rivetting or amazing about mattresses, I suggest. Yet online mattress start-up Koala has been a roaring success, so much so that Australian cricket star Steve Smith’s initial $100,000 investment in the company 4 years ago is now worth $12 million!

So, to think about:

  • How can you involve your customers and prospects? By being more interesting, by revealing more of yourself, your personal story.
  • How can you actively involve your prospect? By figuring out ways to engage with you, through competitions, freebies, opt-ins.
  • How can you create a ‘buying experience’? By making the process of buying a memorable one, not just a transaction.

Recently my wife and I had the tearful experience of ending the 17 year life of our beloved dog Milly.

We had her cremated at the Rainbow Bay Pet Crematorium, owned by animal lovers Tim and Sharyn Vanderbeek. We didn’t just receive a wooden box with her ashes, Tim and Sharyn made sure we received a beautifully designed urn complete with Milly’s name etched into the ceramic, along with a heartfelt poem and Milly’s pawprints inked on a card.

That’s what I call a buying experience.

What I Wish I Knew (Part 2)

What I Wish I Knew (Part 2)

Marnie here…
As I discussed in my previous post, isn’t it interesting how our failures become our greatest teachers?

My biggest failures were the most shameful, isolating and downright revolting experiences of my life.

They were also my biggest lessons. I chose to LEARN from them. Every challenge that ever presented I chose to seek a lesson from.

I accidentally bought a little bit of a salon, but A LOT brothel that cost me my home and almost my marriage.
My most shameful, horrific failure experience ever!
Thankfully I was able to fire-sale the ‘salon’ (take whatever I could get to get out).

I’m all for learning, but seriously, failing isn’t fun and the lessons we learn are often difficult ones.

Late one night, in the 2am ‘wake up in the sweats’ moment – that I would not lose anymore, I was going to learn to do whatever I had to.

Something had to change and fast.

Two words would always make my eyes glaze over. They were 2 areas I knew nothing about and felt intimated but knew I had to learn about.

Marketing…and Systems!


Wouldn’t it be nice to get the same lesson and avoid the failure all together? If only I had been driven to learn about marketing and systems without that humiliating failure.
It occurred to me that surely there MUST be a way where I can inexpensively hire someone to do some marketing layouts for me, that I can use and re use whenever I wanted.
There must be someone who can systemise and monetise my salon. 
I searched high and low, found a few business coaches who all talked the same stuff and charge A LOT.
I tried a couple of them, but it was more fluff than effectiveness for me.
I managed to find all my answers in the company Worldwide Salon Marketing (WSM) whose entire business was on marketing / ad templates that I could just tweak to my salon details.
(Sadly I let their Simple Salon Marketing manual sit and collect dust for 9 months before I finally devoured it all in one night and implemented my first ad the next day!)

They had a lot of audio I could listen to and absorb as much information as I could on the mindset and psychology behind successful business, advertising, CUSTOMERS!

And none of it was ‘woe is me’ – it was all about being positive, in the face of your struggles, and TAKING action.

Not waiting for it to change… MAKING IT CHANGE!

I developed marketing strategies/steps taken when I did an ad campaign. What ones worked best, what wording worked best.

I learned how to ‘turn the tap on’, I learned how to put it all together to make money AND make customers happy. Finally our account was looking healthier and so was business.

We were MAKING money! Delightfully, somewhere in here our marriage recovered as well!

It gave me an incredible sense or relief and control of my business that I hadn’t ever felt before.

This amazing box of feelings only increased when I discovered Done-For-You templates for staff training, salon operations, and scripts became a BIG part of our business for everything.

(TIP: This amazing package for hair and beauty owners is available for instant download right here!)

.. and I really learned HOW to hire, HOW to fire.

HOW to train my staff so that they didn’t run the show – I DID!

Having my salon systemised and my marketing sorted, I devoured everything I could get my hands and eyes on!

You have no idea of the sense of FREEDOM all this knowledge and these tools gave me!

Another incredibly powerful marketing system I discovered was the huge power of…Google!

Yes, Google. Like lots of salon owners “of a certain age” I used to advertising heavily in the Yellow Pages. No more of course – because Google IS the new Yellow Pages.

But having a website or a Facebook page, and getting prospective clients to actually find you and notice you are two different things.

So here’s a freebie for you:

Need some help getting NOTICED? 

If your prospective clients and customers aren’t finding you online when they’re searching for beauty or hair services, you’re missing out on business!

Enter your details below and get a FREE, customized, comprehensive analysis of your online presence, in a 30-page report delivered to your inbox within 48 hours.

How To Make Salon Loyalty Programs More Valuable

We all want customer loyalty; it’s a solid foundation for growth. I thought it would be prudent to take a look at how to make loyalty programs more valuable to you and your clients.

According to a recent study by research group Neilsen,

“Disloyalty levels are on the rise among the world’s consumers, with just 8% of people considering themselves to be committed loyalists when it comes to their favourite brands, according to a global consumer study conducted by global measurement company, Nielsen.

Nielsen’s Global Consumer Loyalty demonstrates that consumers are actively on the lookout for new brands as the gamble of buying new products is de-risked by levers such as rising income levels in developing markets. A significant 42% of global consumers say they love trying new things and nearly a further half (49%) of consumers – whilst preferring to stick with what they know – can be moved to experiment.”

So it’s more important than ever to develop some kind of “sticky” loyalty program to keep your salon & spa clients close to you.

(See our story here about How to Sell Salon Memberships to see how a membership program is one kind of loyalty program that really works to keep your clients for the long term.)

According to Nielsen, there is a better way to build a mousetrap, in this case, a program that ensures stronger loyalty, as well as profits.

This intriguing study says that giving clients what they want for rewards isn’t always the best idea, if you’re looking to increase profit margins.

The point is to develop a customer loyalty program that gives clients strong rewards and builds your bottom line. To achieve that, you have to ask yourself a critical question: What do you want your loyalty program to accomplish?

Nielsen outlines what consumers want most and least in a loyalty program and it gives you some real insight for developing or expanding your own program.

See the full Neilsen report here. 

Do agree with this study?  Leave a comment below.

Free Salon Appointment Book Template

Hi, Marnie here, as a salon owner myself, I know that running a successful salon requires a lot of things. One of them is organisation, and strict procedures. Not every salon has a booking system on a computer, and if you don’t, look into one now.

Before you download your free salon appointment book template, remember: this template is in 15-minute time slots from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

It’s designed to be an easy, temporary replacement to your booking system on your computer or iPad. One spill of a coffee, and your appointments are lost!

How to Stop No-Shows

One thing, before you download your free salon appointment book template, is to stop your no-shows. Studies have shown that people value and cherish products they spend money on, versus products they get for free. In other words, when you put your credit card towards an appointment, you’re going to show up. So the next time you’re booking in a client, respectfully ask for either a deposit to secure the appointment (which you take over the phone), or ask for their credit card information in-case they don’t show.

Use this script:

“Now, Jolie, for me to secure this appointment on Friday at 11am, I do need a deposit of $50. This secures your time and appointment, and guarantees you’ll be getting the best service we can offer you.” 

If they’re uncomfortable, or against a deposit, you can try one of two things:

  1. Insist you can’t book the appointment, as it’s salon procedure:

“I’m sorry, Jolie, but it is salon policy. I do need this deposit for me to secure your appointment. How would you like to pay for the deposit today?”

2. Ask for their credit card information, but insist you’ll only charge if they don’t arrive

“I’m sorry, Jolie, but it is salon policy. I do need this deposit for me to secure your appointment. What I can do, instead, is take your credit card information on file, and only charge you if you don’t show up for the appointment. How does this sound?”

Get instant access to your copy of the salon appointment book template here.

[VIDEO] Rude clients – how to eliminate salon no-shows

[VIDEO] Rude clients – how to eliminate salon no-shows

Hair & Beauty salons are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of no-shows, and the lack of deposit-taking policies for fear of upsetting clients.

That was the headline on a blog post a couple of years ago. And it seems, little has changed. I fixed it in my salon, permanently, by insisting on deposits.

In fact, I was interviewed by Greg about this shortly after implementing the policy:

But in a survey conducted by Worldwide Salon Marketing, the vast majority of 130 salon owners questioned revealed they had no policy of taking deposits to secure appointments, and even it they did have a cancellation policy in place, it lacked ‘teeth’. But it CAN be so simple to both eliminate the fear, AND stop the no-shows, as long-time WSM member Kim Susskind explains in this recording with WSM founder Greg Milner.

If salons want to be taken seriously by their clients and stop hemorrhaging money, they have to take the lead from industries like travel, hospitality and entertainment, which simply refuse to take bookings without payment. Customers accept those policies completely. Try booking a concert ticket and telling them you’ll pay when you get there. It just doesn’t happen.

  • But, 88% of salons do not take deposits.
  • The average annual loss through no-shows is a whopping $10,000 per salon, with one salon reporting a staggering $52,000 – even though fully 80% of salons claimed they sent appointment reminders by text message.
  • Extrapolated across Australia’s approx. 25,000 hair & beauty businesses, the losses represent $250 million annually.
  • Of the 12% of salons who insist on deposits for appointments, the average annual losses dropped to less than $2,000
  • Asked ‘How many times must a client ‘no-show’ before you no longer take bookings from them?’, 31.5% said three times, while another 32% said “I always let them book another appointment because I’m too scared to lose the potential business.”

It appears the industry is beset by fear. According to one respondent,

“We do have a cancellation policy, but rarely enforce payment, as so few other beauty clinics do so. Clients will not come back.”

And this from a salon in Melbourne:

“I would like to put a cancellation thing in place but I don’t have credit card facility nor any way of safely storing peoples numbers.  And yip I am scared of scaring people away.”

But that fear appears largely unfounded. Said another salon owner,

“We started taking credit cards or a cash deposit on February 1st this year, for the first time. It works a charm, no more no shows, the clients now know we’re serious.”

Another long-time WSM Member, Sharon-Lee McGaw, says deposit taking has dramatically changed the way her clients behave:

Get the PERFECT client letter to stop no-shows – PLUS hundreds of tested and proven salon promotions, TEST DRIVE the exact same system Kim and Sharon and I use to boost our sales and profits. 

Test Drive the Client Attraction System 2.0 here

No contracts, no ifs or buts, just hundreds of tested, proven, done-for-you salon & spa promotions, templates and how-to videos.

It’s client-grabbing, ‘push-button’ simple