The Salon Business – at least your clients don’t HATE you!

It can only be the money. I can’t for the life of me imagine what else could possibly be attractive about running a business like a bank, where an entire army of customers almost universally loathe you.

I actually feel a bit sorry for the banks. The fact that they’re in business to make a profit – just like every other business – appears lost on media and government, who relish in taking a shot at this soft target every time interest rates hi the news. Pity nobody in the banking industry has the balls to stand up and say ‘Hey, wait a minute, we’re a business not a charity, it’s our job to make money…!’

(Isn’t it funny how most bank customers moan bitterly every time their mortgage rate goes up, complain about the ‘greed’ of big business when the banks publish their billion-dollar profits – but don’t twig that their own retirement savings are heavily invested in bank shares.)

But that other public whipping boy – the airlines – deserve every dose of doggy doo thrown at them. Dumber than a bagful of hammers, for years they’ve competed with each other on little more than price, a strategy that – in any business – can only lead to death.

According to figures from the US Bureau of Transportation, US airlines collectively lost only about $145 million in the last quarter of 2012, compared with $602 million in the corresponding period the previous year. For some years now, they’ve been fighting back with an almost-universally despised trick of ‘un-bundling’ air fares so that passengers have to pay extra for things that have traditionally been included in the price of a ticket.

More and more airlines are charging an average of $25 to check in a bag. Several will slug you an extra $8 for a blanket. It’s now common for cut-price airlines to charge extra for exit-row seats which provide a bit more room for tall passengers.

Airlines are beginning to charge extra for what was previously part of the deal – like $8 for a blanket. Oh well, at least you get to keep the blanket….

After years of cutting their own throats by discounting, these big dumb companies have suddenly realized they need to make money. But the way they’re doing it smacks of desperation, and worse, complete ignorance about the concept of adding value, packaging, differentiation and giving themselves an ‘unfair advantage’ over the competition without discounting.

Salon owners who are Members of Worldwide Salon Markeitng could give the airlines a much-needed lesson in such market-making processes.

In Australia, I fly Qantas exclusively. Of all the competing airlines, Qantas is regularly the most expensive carrier. That’s why I fly with them. The food is free, and good quality – even in Economy Class – unlike the inedible trash on US domestic airlines. There are no extra charges for blankets, checked baggage, headsets, movies or anything else. On many flights, even beer and wine is free in Economy. It’s all included in the price.

Where even a profitable airline like Qantas falls down is in its failure to capitalize on this competitive advantage. They still attempt to compete on price alone, too timid to shout from the rooftops

“Hey, we’re the most expensive – but there are no hidden charges, sneaky extras or nasty surprises when you get to the airport. When you buy a Qantas ticket, everything is included in the price!”

Here’s what’s instructive for your salon business:

Take a lesson from bumbling mistakes of the airlines. Instead of constantly trying to compete with rivals on price (discounting), figure out a way to package your services. Don’t allow your customers to ‘cherry pick’ your treatment menu on price alone. By learning to package – as our member salons have done using the templates and tools in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit® you’ll find yourself attracting customers who are more interested in value than mere price, want service above perceived (often phantom) savings, and are prepared to pay for it.

Salon Marketing: How to sell $3,000 worth of Gift Vouchers in Two Hours [VIDEO]

Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in Katanning, WA; massive action brought $6,000 in sales in a single afternoon

Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in Katanning, WA;  $3,000 in gift voucher sales in two hours

Most business owners simply leave everything too LATE to capitalize on marketing opportunities in the hair & beauty business. And you don’t have to be a genius to identify many of these opportunities, they’re scheduled in the calendar years in advance. For example, Mothers Day. (In most of the world, the second Sunday in May)

But great rewards come to those who plan well in advance. For example, long-time WSM member Ashleigh Mills of Ashleigh Renea Hair & Beauty in regional Western Australia.

With Mothers Day approaching, Ashleigh decided she needed military-style planning and precision to make the most of this major ‘salon marketing trigger’ event in any salon’s annual calendar.
From the WSM Members Only ‘sealed section’ resources website, Ashleigh downloaded a series of templates for email marketing, planned her campaign several weeks out, and drew up a schedule of out-bound marketing pieces to her database of clients.

On the appointed date, she pulled the trigger. On Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, Ashleigh arrived at work early. Just as well. Before she’d even opened for business, the phone started ringing, and didn’t stop for two hours.

And that’s in a little country town of just a few thousand people. Here’s how Ashleigh describes that morning, and the lead-up to it.

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newtoolkitAshleigh and hundreds of other smart salon owners around the world have 24/7 access to the huge library of resources in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ website, plus the world’s best online marketing tools, templates and systems in the ‘done-for-you’ My Social Salon marketing program, ONLY for salons & spas.

Check it out here – and see how you could qualify for a $4,995 FREE BONUS: the original, and still the best, Essential Salon owner’s Marketing Toolkit.

LIVE now on the Members Only website

All NEW Mothers Day advertising, posters, fliers – instant downloads for Members

We’re adding dozens of new salon advertising and marketing templates to the Members only ‘sealed section’ website site every month – in March, a completely new series of templates for one of the BIGGEST salon marketing events of the year.

Mothers Day is a big day for salons & spa marketing all over the world. It’s when thousands of salons make (or should make!) a large part of their annual revenue.

But so many face the thought of marketing with a shudder – all that work!

Not for Worldwide Salon Marketing members. As always, we provide our members with fresh direct response marketing templates – for all the major Marketing Trigger Events – throughout the year.

You’ll find them in various sizes and formats, both US and A4, postcards, posters etc.

Never stare at a blank computer screen again!

(STOP PRESS: new Mother’s Day Marketing & Advertising Templates here)

The new templates join literally hundreds of done-for-you advertising only for salons & spas, in the world’s biggest specialist library for salon & spa marketing.

All you do is simply download them from the website, edit them to suit your own salon’s offers and specialties, enter your own business name and address, and bingo – instant advertising! Never again stare at a blank computer screen, not knowing what to write or how to lay it out.

These templates are being continually produced by our copywriting and graphics team, adding to our vast library every month.

The Members website is a storehouse containing literally years of proven, done-for-you direct response marketing templates. They’ve been downloaded, tested and proven to grab salon clients fast, all over the world.

Online marketing, email, SMS, newspaper ads, radio ads, salon posters, client letters – you’ll find them all on the Members Only website.

Not yet a member?

Still sitting in front of a computer screen, tearing your hair out, not knowing what to put in your ads?

Go here to find out how you can get 24/7 access to the world’s largest Marketing Resources Library just for salons & spas

Salon Marketing Tools: How a FOOL IDEA helped this US salon owner DOUBLE her sales…in two weeks.

 

“…We are stoked and plan to run this sale the entire month of June in 2011!”

Inner Circle member (3 years) Molly Verbrugge of Indulgences in Little Rock, Arkansas, is justifiably glowing after a Worldwide Salon Marketing promotion she used for just two weeks in June this year boosted sales to $81,235 – a staggering DOUBLE her takings of $41,956 for the same two week period in 2009.

Now if that doesn’t get your attention, you’d have to be comatose from the neck up.

It came about after a coaching call with Tim & Kanna Reilly in our Arizona office, after they’d modified and implemented a WSM marketing campaign in their own clinic in Scottsdale.

“After speaking with Tim and giving my review of our discussion to Leslie (my spa manager), she and I decided we might benefit from running the promotion ourselves! Well, we started running the sale on June 17th.

We sent email blasts along with approximately 5 newspaper ads totalling a cost of around $750. We began the sale on June 17th and it ran until July 3, 2010. Last year during the time-frame of June 17th thru July 3rd, we had total revenues of $41,956, this year our total revenues were$81, 235!!!

We are stoked and plan to run this sale the entire month of June in 2011.

Thank You Tim and Kanna and Worldwide Salon Marketing for your invaluable marketing ideas!

Husband-and-wife team Tim & Kanna Reilly’s Body Solutions Laser & Skin in Scottsdale, Arizona, grew 63% in 2009 – after a massive 500% increase in 2008 – thanks to the marketing and ‘sales thinking’ tools in the Inner Circle marketing & mentoring program…

Successful marketing is NOT about re-inventing the wheel, unless you’re particularly a) rich, and b) prefer to risk your money on experimentation. Tim and Kanna had proven this particular strategy works, having rolled it out with massive results every year for three years.

Here’s how Kanna describes the promotion:

“We started it in 2008 when we came to our One Year Anniversary, and now do what we call the “Penny Sale” every year.  It happens to be June.  We ran the Penny sale for the entire month.

We printed the copy on paper with US pennies around the borders.  We also e-mailed out to our database of customers 4 times that month.  No other advertising at all, just e-mail and in store flyers! You can also mail out to your client database in an envelope with pennies printed on it.  This year our total gross sales for June was up 62% over our average monthly sales.

We originally did this for a few reasons:

1.  To let clients know that we are celebrating our anniversary and to let them know that we appreciate their patronage and loyalty and to reward them we offer the penny sale.

2.  July and August are brutal in Arizona as our temperatures reach 110 degrees F and over.  Many people leave town for weeks on end to avoid the heat.  So in order to boost sales and keep people coming in we offer the Penny Sale.  Originally, this helped us pay the rent for the two months in advance while our books were slower in the beginning for those hotter months.  You can also use this strategy to pre-pay for equipment investments or Salon renovations etc.

What we found:

1.  We found that many of our higher margin, more costly services was what people bought the most of (which was fine with me).

2.  We also found that clients purchased services they didn’t regularly come in for or had never tried before.

3.  We received and still receive more referrals in the month of June than any other month of the year.

There are many ways to use this program. You can run it for only a few days, or a few weeks, or for the entire month as we do.

Remember to remind your client base about the Penny Sale and when it will end.  We had a majority of our sales come in the final week as people rushed in or called their orders in by phone.  And when we ran our final e-mail  that in 24 hours the sale would be over we could hardly keep up with the phone volume.

Salon Gift Certificate Template: Does this happen in YOUR salon???

customer service

Salon Gift Certificate Template: Does this happen in YOUR salon???

Yesterday, I did some free research for you, ‘mystery shopping’ a local salon business touted as one of my town’s most up-market, stylish salons.
And the news is:

It failed my report card.

I won’t name the salon, but if its owner is reading this, she’ll recognize herself. This salon is one of three owned by a young entrepreneur who’s done a lot of things right, but still lets money fall through the cracks through lack of attention to detail. And there is magic in the detail.

I wandered in late yesterday afternoon, a Monday, to get a haircut. The layout is impressive – 20 chairs line the walls, with a massive raised catwalk down the middle for the fashion shows the salon has become known for.

That’s a tick for laterally thinking about how to create a ‘buzz’ that spills over into attracting new clients, an ‘involvement device’ to acknowledge that as the majority of customers are women, they’re interested in all things fashion and style, not just getting their hair done.

I was greeted at reception by a pleasant young lady (one of five staff on duty, only one of whom was actually cutting hair, being a Monday) who informed me that my haircut would cost an eye-watering $71. This for the privilege of having the services of the company’s ‘art director’, an innovative way of describing their most talented stylist.

When I visibly gulped at this – in a town where an average male haircut might stretch to $35 – she offered me instead, one of their ‘artists’ – another inventive term for what ordinary salons would call a ‘senior’ – for only $62. And if this was too much, I could have one of their ‘designers’ – their version of a mere apprentice, for a few dollars less.

Another massive tick from me for innovation. This salon owner is doing what I’m constantly nagging our Members to do – to re-think what it is they’re selling, to re-invent the business in such a way that it differentiates itself from the competition, simply by re-branding the common and thus making it un-common. Out of thin air, creating more perceived value. “Ordinary salons have seniors and apprentices. We have ‘artists’ and ‘designers’.”

Here’s what’s instructive: using differential pricing, you can elevate the perceived value of your own services. Example – clients insisting they only want the owner pay more for that privilege.

Next, I was asked to complete a client details form – name, all my phone numbers, email address – and crucially, tick-boxes for how I found out about the salon. A database-building system most salons are too lazy to implement, too ignorant to recognize its value.

I was introduced to my ‘artist’ who led me to her chair.

Unfortunately, that’s about when the shine started to come off an impressive start.

I was handed a selection of magazines. They were dog-eared, months old. As she washed my hair, my ‘artist’ cheerfully asked me the standard questions – ‘had a busy day so far?’ Yes, thanks. … ‘Got a big weekend planned?’ Mmmm…couple of social functions, that’s all. ‘What line of work are you in?’

I knew she was going to ask this, so I threw in a truthful answer, specifically to check her pulse.

‘Er, I show salons how to market themselves more effectively, more efficiently, how to increase the per-visit ticket price, and get customers coming back more often…’

“Really….and do you live locally?”

She might have been thinking, but it wasn’t about what I was saying. Nice enough girl, no pulse.

But the wheels really fell off back at the reception desk. Here I was, a brand new customer just walked in off the street, happily paying my $62 buzz-cut bill. I stood there idly chatting with the receptionist, my ‘artist’ attentively nearby.

Sigh. No attempt to sell me product, despite earlier telling my ‘artist’ I always use gel in my hair.

No request for feedback (i.e. testimonial) about my experience in their business.

Not even the slightest effort to re-book me next month.

I walked out the door, the sound of staff chattering to each other about their Christmas plans fading in my ears.

What a crying shame that it’s like this in almost ALL businesses. Attention to detail is its own economic stimulus package.

Salon Marketing Plan Strategy: Getting Your Clients to Pay ONE YEAR Up Front…

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Salon Marketing Plan Strategy: Getting Your Clients to Pay ONE YEAR Up Front…

Need cash in a HURRY? When I’ve needed cash in a hurry, I’ve always found that the best way to get it is…drum roll…. ask your customers for it.

That’s exactly what Inner Circle member Nikki Gilbert (left) of Creations Beauty Studio, just outside Canberra, did recently.

“How I Brought in $12,000 …. in ONE Week, from just SEVEN Clients”

(No wonder she’s smiling!) What Nikki did was create a terrific value-added offer as a marketing plan for her salon, based on the techniques in her Toolkit. (In Nikki’s case, $4,572 worth of facials, microdermabrasion, waxing and massages over 12 months, for just $1,794.)

She took a carefully hand-written two-page letter template from the kit (Inner Circle members see below), written on yellow legal pad…and re-wrote it in her own hand. Then she printed a bunch of them, and sent this two-page letter to just 15 of her  clients.

Result?

“I had seven clients take up the offer, for a total of $12,558. I am delighted!” says Nikki.

NOTE TO WSM MEMBERS:

The exact letter that Nikki used is now available in the Members Only ‘Sealed Section’. Login and click on the category ‘marketing to existing clients’

Not yet a WSM member? Click here to find out more about My Social Salon

When Flowers Just Won’t Cut It

How to Create Mothers Day Gift Vouchers that Sell Like Crazy

Mothers day is the second biggest opportunity of the year to sell gift vouchers. Most mothers these days would love to receive more than a bunch of flowers or a box of delicious but guilt inducing chocolates… which is where you step in!

Marketing for mothers day requires some creativity and planning if you’re going to get outstanding results. Sure, snazzy gift vouchers look great, but vouchers generally won’t leap out of the salon and sell themselves without smart marketing. So grab a pen and paper and let’s brainstorm…

Step 1: Creating the Voucher

Who is your client, and how can we create vouchers that are irresistible to them? We want your gift vouchers to appeal to new clients AND your existing clients. A basic but powerful marketing strategy is to find a problem and then solve it. Obviously all your clients for Mothers Day are mothers, so what are their most common problems and worries?

  • No time to pamper themselves due to work and family
  • Stress and exhaustion
  • Ageing skin
  • Not looking as good as they’d like to

If you can think of more problems jot them down. Now, for each major problem we solve it by creating a ‘package’ or group of services. Packages mean you make more money from each sale than just selling plain $20 or $50 gift vouchers – and they sound so much more tempting to potential clients.

Package Examples…

‘Heavenly Hair Escape’, a wonderful experience for all ladies who deserve to relax and get 5 Star Treatment. Recline and enjoy a shampoo, condition, ultimate shine treatment, indulgent professional head & neck massage, hair trim, and Hollywood Woman blow dry & style.


‘Ultimate Rejuvenation Package’, an effective and indulgent treatment for tired skin and aching muscles. Relax and release tension and stress with our therapeutic 30 minute neck and shoulder massage. Next you’ll be totally delighted at the incredible results of our luxurious 60 minute professional anti-ageing facial.


‘Feet Treat’, perfect for tired and aching feet. Enjoy an aromatherapy foot spa, salt exfoliation, and then relax as we treat you to a wonderfully rejuvenating foot and calf massage. Followed by nail shape and polish of your choice to leave your footsies looking and feeling totally fabulous.

I could carry on creating packages forever… but now it’s your turn. Remember: put some thought into solving your clients problems. Create a ‘menu’ of between 2 – 5 choices. Offer a range of prices, some people want to get mum a ’little’ treat, and you will truly be surprised at just how much others are willing to indulge their mum.

Inner Circle member Tracey Orr from Absolute Beauty says “’We are used to doing well with our in salon promos, but this was fantastic! All we did was print the packages up from the Toolkit… it was interesting to note that the more expensive ones sold best because people believed the value was better”.

Step 2: Selling the Voucher

You need to promote your mothers day vouchers to both new clients and existing clients, starting at least two weeks prior to Mothers Day.

It’s usually the partner, hubby, son or daughter who is actually making the purchase. So, mostly males who will be buying gift vouchers. You should be displaying your exciting Mothers Day Packages in a minimum of three places:

Salon Window/ A-Frame chalk board
Salon answering machine
Mailbox flyers to the local neighborhood
Online website
Posters in the salon
Flyers to be handed to each client as they leave reception
Salon Newsletter/ Email Newsletter

Here’s an idea: find those lazy men! One Inner Circle member went to several construction sites a few days before mothers day armed with her voucher ‘menu’ and an eftpos machine. She managed to sell thousands of $$$ of vouchers to men who otherwise didn’t have time or couldn’t be bothered.

Step 3: Staff Make the Difference

Book a staff meeting so you can enroll your team in your exciting Mothers Day strategies.
Make sure they understand the packages. They may even take pride in offering suggestions themselves.
Share your goals and expectations with them, you may like to offer incentives for selling gift vouchers.
Remind them to promote the vouchers to all clients: on the phone, during the treatment, and to hand clients the Mothers Day menu as they leave reception.
Remember, YOU are driving the campaign but your staff are the ones who will make it successful.

Step 4: Redeeming the Voucher

I know you’re wondering what expiry date should be on your vouchers. In the March/April edition of Professional Beauty, salon expert Faye Murray recommends “a 6 month validity date… busy people often take a little time to get organized for their special treat”. Very good advice thank you Faye.

One More Thing…

Sick and tired of staring at a blank computer screen wondering where on earth to start? Wish you could get your hands on Mothers Day postcards, flyers, posters, and great packages that have already been done for you?

All Inner Circle members will find tested and proven Mothers Day marketing campaigns in their enormous marketing manual, ready to simply modify and hit ‘print’ on the template CD. PLUS all Inner Circle members will have received FREE in April a collection of brand spanking new flyers and postcards created specially for 2008, valued at $1,457.

Not an Inner Circle member? Click here to see if you qualify for a 30-day Free Test Drive of the Inner Circle marketing and mentoring program.