Here’s where many owners of service businesses tie themselves up in an ever-tightening knot. Instead of ‘mining’ that database for gold nuggets, they ignore it, and focus frantically on finding ‘new’ clients – an expensive, time-consuming and often frustrating exercise.
So let’s do some numbers. Say you have 500 clients you haven’t seen for three months or more.
In all honesty, if you haven’t seen someone in three months or more, they’re either dead – there’s not much you can do about that – or they’re so ‘cold’ as to be barely registering a pulse.
But…and here’s the major difference between these people and all the brand new clients you spend every waking hour trying to attract – you have their contact details. (Well, you do, don’t you…don’t you???)
Even the most haphazardly-organised salon collects mobile numbers.
Some might even have email addresses.
And the really serious business owners, those who treat their salon as a proper business, rather than a mere job – or worse, a hobby – have meticulously built a comprehensive database containing not only phone numbers and emails, but real, actual, old-fashioned physical mailing addresses.
Back to the numbers.
Let’s say you’ve done your numbers – if you’ve read this far, your fingers should have been dancing over your calculator well before now – and you’ve worked out that a regular, long-term client is worth at least $1,000 to you in a year.
If you were to send a compelling offer to those 500 former or one-time-only clients, using a combination of media (phone, email, hard-copy letter), and that offer resulted in say, 30 of those 500 re-visiting the salon to redeem that offer…
…and you were able to turn 20 of those 30 into regular, long-term clients, guess what? By that single, well-executed marketing campaign, you’ve just given your business an annual income injection of…
And what if you were to repeat this exercise say, three times a year?
(And here’s a thought: next time a new customer walks through your front door, are you going to see $150 stamped on her forehead…or $1,000 stamped on her forehead? Makes a big difference in how you view and treat each new visitor, doesn’t it!)
There is overwhelming evidence that this process produces results.
For years, I and our Member salons have been using a famous sequence of client letters now known as the “Rupert the Dog” series, in combination with SMS and email follow-up, to ‘Raise the Dead’ from among their lost-client database.
In the UK, Hannah McEnteggart is a typical example: