Four tips to create great salon offers

Four tips to create great salon offers

Most business owners know that Christmas is a no-brainer. Bookings are full, and everybody’s scrambling to fit as many clients in as possible before the break.

But the really smart owners have their eyes on the New Year. Finding clients before Christmas is easy. After? Not so much.

It takes some clever “Sales Thinking”.

And the very first “Sales Thinking 101” is your offer.

Marketing without an offer is like putting up a logo and imagining it’s somehow going to attract a stampede of customers all on its own.

How to Create an Irresistible Offer.

Pretty pictures alone doesn’t cut it. Most small business owners know how to throw up a picture on social media, or send an email to their clients and prospects. But few know the ‘secret sauce’ of creating an offer that compels people to respond. That’s irresistible.

So here are the “Big Four” elements that make up a great offer: Run these by your current marketing and see if it ticks all these boxes.

1. It has to be clear.

Confused people don’t buy. Discounts and value-add-ons can work, but don’t make the prospect think. Half off works better than 50% off, and 50% off works better than 35% off or 60% off, because people have trouble working out percentages.

Two for one, or buy one, get one free will almost always work better than half off.

For years, Members of our Client Attraction System have used our famous “Buy One, Get One Free” templates to great effect around Christmas time to drive clients and prospects into the salon after the holiday.

2. The offer has to be good value.

Don’t be shy about publishing prices. If you’re offering a discount or a premium, make sure people can compare it with published prices. People have been lied to for decades, by everyone from the church down. So they’re suspicious. Make the extra value crystal clear.

3. Put a limit on the offer.

There’s no point creating a great offer and then, by default, making it open-ended. Scarcity drives response.

You can either limit the offer by time, or by numbers. But I’ve found limiting by numbers has almost always worked better than limiting by time.

So “only for the first 17 to respond” tends to work better than “Offer ends January 31.” And thanks to technology, if your offer is on your website, you can automatically show how many of the special offer or deal are left.

4. Make it believable.

There should always be a reason for you making this offer. Again, people are suspicious. We’ve all been taught there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

So you need to explain. You’re doing this to introduce a new team member. Or to celebrate a birthday. Or the opening of a new shop, an anniversary, a celebration of some kind.

Almost any explanation will do. But there has to be one.

Now, take a look over your most recent marketing material. Does it offer great value? Is it scarce? Is it believable?

Strategies and tips like this are just the – pardon the pun – tip of the iceberg.

Which is why so many salon & spa owners are Members of our Client Attraction System.

It’s a complete “how-to” online course in marketing for smart salon owners, plus a huge range of downloadable tools, templates, and done-for-you social media marketing.

[VIDEO] Is your salon marketing shallow, or deep and strong? Salon marketing ideas you probably haven’t though of…

A salon owner wrote to me a few weeks ago, bemoaning the fact that “I’ve run out of salon marketing ideas. Everybody’s doing package deals now, value-added offers and so on. It’s frustrating, if we all do it, there’s nothing to help the customers differentiate between us any more….”

That kind of thinking betrays a dangerously narrow view of what marketing is, and what makes a business successful.

Yep, everybody’s doing special deals. The daily deal sites, bless their black and bleeding hearts, have made an entire industry out of it. And it’s bitten a lot of businesses on the backside.

But to concentrate all your marketing focus on the next package deal, the next offer, and ignore everything else in your message is akin to expecting a perfectly baked cake when the only ingredient you’ve used is sugar.

Apple's new iPhone - will it maintain the company's cult status?

Apple’s new iPhone – will it maintain the company’s cult status?

Let’s be clear; your offer is only the tip of your marketing iceberg. All the other ‘below the surface’ stuff is what holds it up in clear view, above the waterline. Imagine if all Apple did was build mobile phones and offered a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal. Sure, they’d sell a bunch of cheap mobile phones. Until somebody else came along with a better offer, a cheaper deal. It’s shallow, creating little more impact that a stone skipping across the surface of a lake. The ripples fan out, and just as quickly die off.

No, what Apple has done for decades is build a cult, it’s nurtured a culture, created a massive below-the-surface support structure that turns mere customers into raving, evangelical fans. The most fanatical, tub-thumping born-again Christian ought fear for his life if he gets between a gospel-preaching Apple fan and a new MacBook Air. It’s Apple’s culture, its below-the-surface iceberg, that’s allowed it to enjoy the fattest profit margins in the business. Apple charges more than any other company producing similar products. It never discounts.

(But even Apple isn’t infallible – the launch of the latest iPhone has hardly set the world on fire. Evidence that without the theatrical inspiration of it’s spiritual leader, any company can slide down to ordinary.)

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and examine for a moment what your iceberg might look like below the waterline. And there has to be a LOT of it, otherwise the tip of the ‘berg will sink.

First, what stories do you tell your clients, customers and prospects about you, about your salon, about your beliefs, successes, failures, achievements? People want to do business with real, flesh-and-blood people, not faceless entities. In your client newsletters, in your website and social media posts, do you tell stories about yourself, your family, your kids, your dog? Do you present a human face, or do you retreat self-consciously behind the front window of a pretty, stylish website and a salon facade that holds customers back behind a wall of ‘professionalism’?

Do you invite your customers into your life, or do you hold them at arm’s length?

Second, what is it about you and what you do/say/deliver that is unique, that cannot be found at a competing salon, that cannot be ignored, that is compelling, magnetic, attractive…or are you just another ‘me-too’ business, doing/saying/delivering pretty much the same as everybody else? What’s your Unique Selling Proposition (or propositions plural)?

Third, what kind of customers do you want, and what do you do to attract them? Are you trying to be all things to all people (and therefore nothing special to anybody in particular) or do you deliberately and carefully filter out the kind of people you don’t want, and only let in the kind of people you do want?

On my local TV news last night, a perfect example – a gym that deliberately makes it difficult to join. They have a long waiting list. If you don’t jump through all of their hoops, you don’t get in.


Fourth, what interests do most of your customers have in common? Are they from a recognizable niche? Smart business owners will forensically examine their list of clients, collecting as much useful data about them as is possible to do. And then identify key factors which might give them a clue as to why certain types of people are attracted to the business – vital information that gives the business owner the ammunition to go after more of those types of people.

It’s niche marketing at its most basic.

Fifth, what intellectual capital do you have that you aren’t using? Qualifications, awards, photos of you with ‘celebrities’ (or, people who are well-known within perhaps a very narrow circle of people/professions/groups).

Trying to build a viable, profitable, in-demand business based only on the ‘tip of the iceberg’ special offers and package deals is going to give you a shallow result at best, a grass castle easily blown away by the lightest puff of breeze from a rival salon.

Spend time and energy on the basic foundations. When you do that, you won’t need special offers. People will queue up. And pay top dollar.

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