A phone conversation with a salon owner this week started like this:
“I’ve got a new salon opening up just three doors down, three others nearby are cutting prices, I don’t know what to do!!”
This salon owner was beginning to panic, but she was missing the point, so I told her, ‘settle down, and think for a moment’.
Most hair salons, beauty salons and day spas are terrified of their competition, ever watchful for price undercutting, more worried about what their perceived competition is doing than they are about their own backyard.
And that’s primarily because of a misconception about who your competition really is.
Your biggest competitor isn’t the salon down the road, it’s not the worry of staff leaving and taking clients with them. No, your biggest competitor is…
Your own prospect.
Imagine this for a moment. Your prospective client, whether she’s just walked into your salon, or she’s picked up the phone to call you after seeing one of your ads, has only four basic choices.
1) She can choose to buy from you
2) She can choose to do it herself
3) She can choose to do nothing, or
4) She can choose to do business with somebody else.
Only ONE of those four choices involve a rival salon. The other three involve only YOU.
As Harry Beckwith writes in his best-seller about marketing in the service industry, ‘Selling the Invisible’, Peggy, your typical prospect, is fearful – fearful of making the wrong decision. Peggy is not looking to make the ‘superior’ choice, she is looking to avoid making the bad choice. It is less risky for her to do nothing.
Almost every prospect for every service would rather minimize the risk of a bad experience than shoot for the best experience.
It’s called ‘looking for good enough’. Forget looking like the superior choice, make your salon an excellent choice. Then, eliminate anything that might make you a bad choice.
And that means eliminating the risk of Peggy doing business with you, eg with a free trial, or a money-back guarantee. And make sure you deliver a good service, rather than spend needless energy attempting to convince Peggy that yours is the best service.
Peggy isn’t looking for the best. What she wants is a comfortably good result, without any risk.
Which is why we have hundreds of already-proven ads and flyers that contain these ‘risk-reversing’ devices.
These devices haven’t been written into these marketing pieces just to fill out a bit of space. They’re there for a very good reason.
Because your competition is not the rival salon nearby, your strongest competition is your prospective customer. And you need every means you can muster to get that prospect to make the ONE choice you want them to make.