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.
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.