End 2009 in Positive Territory
by Staff on Friday, September 25, 2009
While the holiday season is usually the busiest time of year in salons, it’s also the best time to build business for the coming year by attracting new clients and prepping your loyal base for 2010. P&G Salon Professional, in its ongoing initiative to help salons conquer the current downturn, offers advice from some of its best-known and most successful salon owner partners.
Gift Certificates: Nick Arrojo at Arrojo Studio in New York City details a program that has been very successful in his salon. “Give the Gift of Great Hair” offers a special makeover for the recipient, including a consultation and haircut, a hair color process, a makeup application and lesson, and four take-home hair products. “Offer something out of the ordinary, like a year’s worth of Sebastian Cellophanes, at a special price—that’s the secret to successful gift cards,” says Arrojo.
Transform Referrals Into Forever Clients: Nick also knows referrals are a critical path to building success. “It’s better to have a lot more clients spending a little less money than to have fewer clients spending the same,” he says. The Arrojo Studio offers a “Rewards for Bringing a Friend” program for current or new clients who bring a friend who has never been to Arrojo Studio before. The deal? Two cuts and/or colors for the price of one!
Andrew Poulos of Diva International in San Francisco gives each new client a gift envelope with special offers for future services. He also advises follow-up calls or e-mails to solidify the salon’s and stylist’s connection with their new client.
“We call each client within 24–48 hours of their first appointment to be sure she feels she’s received the ultimate service,” says Poulos. “This follow-up keeps new clients connected to the salon. With color clients, we also call 5–7 days after the service to see how the new color is working for them.”
Use Social Media to Win: Vidal Sassoon’s Stephen Moody uses social media to keep in touch with clients and encourages them to post reviews on www.yelp.com to build word-of-mouth business. There’s nothing like a posted recommendation from clients who love your salon.
Lock in Loyal Clients - “At Vidal Sassoon, we want to make each client into a ‘perfect’ client, [one] who depends on us for cut, color and retail products,” notes Moody. Build loyalty by using any open periods on your daily schedule, he suggests, to prepare for quality time with each client. Review your appointment book the night before to identify opportunities for incremental service and product sales.
Arrojo adds, “Our clients can get free bang trims and neck trims between appointments, free consultations, and free ten-minute makeup applications after a cut or color service.” His “Pre-Booking Discount” keeps clients coming back. If another appointment is pre-booked for within five weeks of the day of the client’s service, she receives a 10% discount when she returns.
Prepare Today for 2010: Capitalize on the busy holiday season to attract new clients and firm up your loyal client base for the year ahead. One reliable way of building revenue is to enhance the quality of the salon appointment.
“Elevate the client experience and create a festive feeling in your salon this season,” counsels Poulos. “We offer espresso and popular wines. We stock only name-brand products for retail sale and we explain how to use each product. Make her feel special and she’ll come back.”
Holiday and everyday retail tips: As a leader in salon retailing, the experts at P&G Salon Professional offer these important pointers for boosting year-end sales.
- Promote gift and impulse purchases by packaging products in go-together sets. Sebastian offers holiday gift-with-purchase pre-packs that can be displayed prominently in the salon.
- Merchandise promotions separately from regular stock, and place in high-traffic areas.
- Position impulse items at the reception desk, such as Nioxin travel-sized products.
- Announce the specifics of your promotion with signage on or near the product display.
- Display every product a minimum of 3-deep on the shelves. Now is not the time to run out!
- Keep your display area neat, clean and clutter free. Have junior stylists straighten and re-stock the retail display every evening.
- Use shelf-talkers and other manufacturer-provided signs within your display to speak directly to the client.