Attracting Salon Customers: How to Bring in New Clients & Keep Them
Attracting salon customers, whether you do hair, hands and feet, or makeup is the goal of any salon owner. Of course, you want your salon to be successful and as a business owner, you are invested in doing whatever it takes to make that happen.
One of the busiest and the most lucrative times of the year is coming: January, a time when the New Year’s resolution to take better care of oneself and kick off the year with a new look and a new attitude, is almost here.
So, in response to this rich sales period, salon owners and their employees ought to be ready for the influx of new customers who might soon flood their salons. However, beyond getting those potential new customers to walk-in and use your services, it is also important to know and do what it takes to attract new salon customers and keep them.
Do you know what it really takes to attract and keep customers at your salon? Keep reading to find out…
1. Know your customer and target them.
What you have to know is this: not everyone is your customer. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking they have to be everything for everybody. As is the case with restaurants — where some people want Indian food and some people want Italian — different people want different services or treatments. If you make the mistake of trying to do everything, you will lose the opportunity to meet the needs of a client base who would be loyal to you.
As is the case with restaurants — where some people want Indian food and some people want Italian — different people want different services or treatments.
If you were to open a salon offering every single kind hair service out there, nobody would know what you specialize in. The draw of going to a hair salon with a well-known name is that the salon is known for having a hairdresser who broke the mold on whatever type of hair treatment or service they specialize in. Don’t be afraid to go out on your own and have an area expertise, and to really sell that speciality. The world of business is so big that you have to branch out and try something new and exciting just to make it.
People want to know what to expect and what kind of salon you are before they walk in the door. It is so important to know your customer so that they can know you. Before you even went into business, you likely studied the demographics of the area and you gained an understanding of what people can afford to spend on personal grooming and upkeep. You probably picked a location that would be conducive to making money for your business and you have to tap into that further by making sure that the services you offer are in line with the community. You can’t exactly offer a $500 blow out or a diamond manicure in a middle-class neighborhood; you’d need to be in a more affluent area to offer that kind of a service.
Don’t be afraid to go out on your own and have an area expertise, and to really sell that speciality. The world of business is so big that you have to branch out and try something new and exciting just to make it.
So ask around: don’t be afraid to walk around the neighborhood and get a better understanding of the people who live, work, and spend time in the area. This is your opportunity to reach out to people in coffee shops, grocery stores, bars, and in recreational hang-outs to ask them what they’re into and what kind of service they would benefit from. It’s essential to get a general sense for how much people actually want to spend on themselves and what they really need and want from a salon in their neighborhood.
2. Prepare your staff.
Your staff may be able to do hair or nails or makeup like nobody’s business, but can they engage with your customers? Do they have an amiable personality? Would they go above and beyond for your customers? Set aside time, after they have been hired and on an ongoing basis, to learn the ins and outs of customer services (whether it’s through you or through an agency). Providing frequent opportunities to attend training and development classes will allow them to grow as salespeople, which will better your business overall. It’s so important to invest in your staff because they are in the frontlines, so to speak, and they are the ones that your regulars and your potential clients engage with the most.
Set aside time, after your staff have been hired, and on an ongoing basis, to learn the ins and outs of customer services.
Another significant thing to do is to let your staff know what sales and promotions are coming ahead of time so that they can be ready to push those promotions when customers come in. In fact, take it one step further: knowing that each staff member is unique, ask them how they want to help promote your salon’s current offers and deals. Getting your staff involved in the production process of a promotion is immensely valuable to you and your staff because both parties are an important part of the process. Your staff obviously have a starring role, so it’s vital that they are truly a part of promotions.
3. Share Your Story
Part of what makes clients choose your services over any other salon is a personal connection: beyond knowing your clients’ names and the services they make use of, know how to sell the prospective client to your salon before they even make the trip there. Having a presence online that is personal and gives the potential client access to who you are as a brand and as a team builds a human connection that drives traffic into your salon.
Potential clients love getting an inside look at what their prospective hair place is like. People would love to read about your staff’s exploits on social media, and they would love to see your staff come together for fun or for a good cause. If you’re passionate about providing beauty services to seniors or people who are struggling, then spotlight that – you never know who might be want to support a salon who gives back to other people. And if you’re a salon who likes to have fun with your staff than show that off too: maybe your manager pulled a prank on your assistant manager, and it’s too good to keep to yourselves. Or maybe, everyone on your team gave each other a complete makeover and you want to showcase all of your looks online. Whatever it is, share it!
People would love to read about your staff’s exploits on social media, and they would love to see your staff come together for fun or for a good cause.
For the most part, people like going to salons where the staff is personable and friendly to each other and to them. They enjoy a salon where there is a genuine atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support among colleagues.
So, start a blog: offer advice about starting a business and share how that process was like for you. Try giving an inside look at what it takes to run a successful business and how to keep it thriving. Give the public a glimpse at your company culture. Over time, you will establish yourself as a leader in your field, and that kind of reputation really does have a lot of clout attached to it.
4. Promote yourself online.
Social media is an invaluable and inexpensive tool that allows you to connect with clients, offer promotions, and share your work with a larger audience of potential clients who might have never heard of you if wasn’t for social media. So, ask yourself, How can my salon engage with users online? Well, here’s your answer.
- Respond to questions.
- Reach out and ask what they’re looking for in a salon — and have the right answer ready and waiting for them.
- Run contests. Yes, online contests are a great way to up your influence online and increase the traffic in your salon: contests create hype about your salon and put your salon on multiple radars. Social media is an essential modern marketing tool that puts the power of influence in your hands.
5. Promote yourself in person.
Despite how digital the world has become, there is still nothing quite like networking to get new clients into your salon. With various networking websites out there, you can actually gain a whole new client base and give people a greater understanding of what you offer through flyers and business cards that you bring with you to any networking event that you attend.
People still like face-to-face engagement: why not go around to your local recreational center and see if you can find anyone who is interested in your salon? There are a lot of mom’s who hang out at recreational centers, and perhaps that’s your client base. If not, then check out your local library, or bar and see if you can find some potential clients there. Never miss an opportunity to sell yourself: unless your salon is in the middle of nowhere (and even if it is), you can find people if you know how to look.
Remember that there are a lot of beauty industry events that group hair, makeup, hands and feet together, so you can absolutely reach out and get clients from non-competing salons to use your services. Remember to keep your local general business groups in mind: local business chapters are always interested in knowing who is in the neighborhood and how they can use their services. So get out and promote yourself (and have your business cards ready)!
6. Make a deal.
Your potential new clients will have given their wallets the biggest workout of the year come late November to early January, and even though they want to look and feel their best with the start of a new year, they don’t want their wallets to bear witness to it. Kind of an oxymoron? I know. But it’s important to remember that everything in the service industry is fluid — the ebb and flow of sales is exactly why you have to offer a promotion when spending is high and a sale when spending is low.
Running promotions when spending his high means that you promote higher-priced treatments and services because that’s when people are spending their money. Think of the holidays: most people have numerous events to go to – from Christmas birthday parties to housewarmings, to a Christmas party and everything in between and they want to look their best. That means they might be calling you to get their hair, hands and feet, or makeup done, and it also means that you have an opportunity to make a big profit. When spending low, generally just after the new year, you drive traffic into your salon with the promise of a good-looking discount that everyone in the neighborhood finds themselves checking-in on.
So run a January promotion: offer a BOGO (a buy one get one) promotion at your salon. You would be surprised at how many clients would be excited to pay you now and come in again later (especially when they are clearly informed of how often they should come to your salon to get the best results). For example, if you ’re color correcting a client’s hair, it’s going to take more than one appointment to get it right. So offering one free appointment and telling them what it’s going to take to get the dye out and restore their hair to health makes all the difference in your sales and in the eyes of your new client.
You would be surprised at how many clients would be excited to pay you now and come in again later, especially when they know that they should come for a return appointment to get the best results.
Your new client might be so happy about the treatment, and your promotion, that they end up telling all of their friends about it. The result? Before you know it you will have more customers who want to take advantage of your promotion and your salon! You might also consider selling products at your salon, by using them on your clients and showing them how effective they would be to use at home between visits. Selling products in your salon, while selling the service of a haircut and color or a pedicure helps cover the costs of offering a promotion in the first place.
When planning your promotion, ensure that you run offers on slower days, such as Tuesday or Wednesday, when people typically don’t come into salons as frequently. This balance allows you to offer an attractive discount without giving away more free treatments than you can afford. You want more clients and you want them coming in whenever is convenient to them. So, when you run your promotions on slower days, make sure that your run promotions that are unique to your salon and your neighborhood.
The whole point of running a promotion is to get people interested in your salon, but if everyone is doing a sale it’s important to do something to make your salon stand out ahead and above the rest. So do something: consider an action promotion — run a promotion that creates so much buzz that the walk-in potential client just has to book an appointment with you! Maybe offer a free service to the first 50 people who walk into your salon on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, or offer a free treatment to a new client who successfully refers a friend. The possibilities are endless!
You want more clients and you want them coming in whenever is convenient to them. So, when you run your promotions on slower days, make sure that your run promotions that are unique to your salon and your neighborhood.
Another important point to remember when running your January promotion is timing: don’t wait till the day of the deal to promote your services. Instead, promote your offerings as soon as you can in order to run ahead of the competition and get some of their clients in your door! Not every client you get during the time your run your New Year resolution promotions is going to stick, but you might attract clientele who have just moved into your area and clientele who will become committed to looking and feeling their best throughout the year. Remember: getting in early shows that you’re a progressive salon who is actively staying in touch with people’s needs in the present and in the future.
6. Use the right software:
In order to see the increase in traffic that you need and want to see, it’s important to put yourself in a position where you have all the tools that you need to be successful. So, if you’re looking for a management system that will help you market your business, acquire new customers through marketing, and win back old customers, then you should look no further than WellnessLiving’s all-in-one-management solution. With WellnessLiving’s software, there is so much available to you:
- Incentivize your staff: with WellnessLiving, you can incentivize your staff members to book more clients and monitor which staff members are bringing in and retaining clients the best (and you can reward them accordingly).
- Track automated email campaigns: do you want to know how many people and who exactly opened up your email campaigns? WellnessLiving has that feature available to you. Once an email is sent, WellnessLiving tracks the performance of your campaign, by telling you details such as who didn’t open the email, and you are in a position where you can send another email to that person with one click.
- Get new local customers through WellnessLivingLocal: WellnessLiving offers incentives to customers who frequent local, non-competitive businesses in your neighborhood and that means more traffic coming through your door!
- Incentivize your clients: through WellnessLiving’s rewards program, you can boost customer loyalty and sales, as well as incentivize clients to review your salon or post about your services on social media
- Generate and share customer reviews: we all know that a lot of shoppers check online reviews before they step into a salon, so it’s important to have a reputation that is positive and highly visible. With WellnessLiving’s all-in-one management software, verified reviews will appear directly in Google Search results and can also be automatically showcased on your website and Facebook page.
As you now know, bringing in new customers means thinking smart and acting smarter. Customers can go anywhere to get their beauty needs met, but if you want them to come to you, and keep coming back, then you have to think about what they need from a salon and work to meet that need.
Knowing your customers and targeting them, rather than trying to appeal to everybody, is what makes the difference in your salon. Preparing your staff also makes an impact on the success of your brand: your staff is the backbone of your salon. Without their support, and without informing them of how to excel at your salon, you won’t bring in those all-important new clients. With WellnessLiving’s all-in-one-management software, you could have, in your hands, the power to change your business for the better.