The same holds true in running a successful salon.
And top-tier salon owners know it.
They realize that the journey is more than their stylists’ giving a great cut or color – it’s each and every “moment of truth” where the client is impacted (from the greeting to the check-out and follow-up) that makes up a client’s experience of the salon.
And it’s the client’s “memory” of the salon (the good as well as the bad) that determines whether or not she comes back again – and what story she tells – to herself and to others.
Your salon story is in your client’s brain.
In the recesses of our brain there’s a region called the medial temporal lobe – an area crucial for our memory formation.
It’s been assumed that our five senses (taste, sight, smell, sound and touch) were responsible for creating our picture of the world – for creating our memory.
However recently, when Caltech scientists, conducted an experiment using very precise electrodes to record the firing patterns of individual neurons that assumption has been turned on its head.
Why? Because in that experiment, where participants were shown hundreds of pictures of people, animals and buildings – certain neurons were consistently fired in response to a certain person.
Certain neurons were fired in response to pictures of Bill Clinton, Michael Jordon and Jennifer Aniston.
You could hear only crickets from pictures of Julia Roberts
The so-call Jennifer Aniston neuron fired in response to lots of different photographs of her – yet were silent in response to shots of other personalities like Julia Roberts.
So we now know that our brains neurons not only acquire information through the five senses but also can find patterns, make judgments and contemplate decisions.
Recently researchers conducted a similar experiment with other celebrities.
In one trial, volunteers were exposed to the concept of “Luke Skywalker” – using completely different representations (pictures of Mark Hamill, the written words “Luke Skywalker” and even the character’s spoken name) – representations that are dependent on separate brain pathways.
The result? The same set of neurons was exclusively activated by all three representations – yet Leonardo DeCaprio and other celebrities couldn’t activate the “Luke Skywalker” Neuron.
Not surprisingly Yoda’s picture fired the “Luke Skywalker” Neuron too!
And those memories had people rushing to see Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens – to the tune of $2 billion+ in worldwide box-office sales.
How our Brains are Wired
While our brains compile an immeasurable amount of information (they’re wired to analyze five simultaneous sensory streams – each with a different circuit) – at the end of the day, as scientists have discovered – there’s a system to construct concepts and build meaning from all that onslaught of information.
Leave the right salon story in your clients’ minds
You can positively impact your salon’s story – the one you want your client to have in her mind.
How do you do that?
First by mapping out her journey as it presently exists, (warts and all) and then mapping out the journey, as you’d want it to be.
The difference between the two journeys is called “the gap”. And once you see the gap you can start to fill it step by step – so you can fire off your salon’s neuron in your client’s brain.
Every time I hear the phrase “hairdresser’s can’t sell retail” I have the same reaction.
No matter if those words come out of the mouth of a manufacturer, a distributor, a salon owner or a hairstylist. I want to say the same thing.
Ever meet a salon owner (at least one who’s not out of her mind) who doesn’t want to get more new clients in her salon? In my over 30 years in the business – I haven’t. Have you?
All Clients are Not the Same
And it’s not just any old client she wants, she wants long-term, high quality clients. An “ideal client “ who’ll spend money on her hair, comes in frequently, takes you up on your recommendations and sends her friends too!
And to get them she has to market her business – otherwise instead of the buzz of blow dryers, you’ll hear the sound of crickets.
But to market your salon your salon successfully your first job is to embrace the idea that you’ve got to wear the “hat” of a “marketer” as well as a hairdresser and business owner.
Here’s the rub – as a salon owner your “to do” list is a mile long.
And on top of your to do list is probably working “behind the chair”…with a busy book.
So naturally if you’re slammed with clients you probably have little time to work on marketing your business – because after-all there’s supplies to order, client and staff issues, bills to pay … the list goes on and on.
It’s only natural to conclude “I don’t have time for marketing”
With so much to do, it’s only natural that you’d come to the conclusion “I don’t have time to market my salon”.
And since the actions we take are a result of our “point of view” (or mindset) – believing “I don’t have time to market my salon” now becomes your big obstacle from actually marketing – so that you can fill your chairs. The question then becomes one of busting the beliefs that are holding you (and your salon) back.
So how do you do you break on through to the other side?
The BIG Question to Ask Yourself: Is it Really True??
The big question to ask about all these beliefs, thoughts and assumptions is: Are they really true? Or are they just ideas you’ve bought into and taken on as an inflexible marketing mindset?
What if they weren’t true but you were operating as if they were? Wouldn’t that be operating as if there was a big snake on the floor of your salon, when it was really only a coil of thick rope?
The way to change your marketing mindset is to first tell the truth about your current mindset.
In my experience, the following four questions and turnarounds, developed by Byron Katie (www.thework.com) are the most effective way to do this.
Working on Your Negative Thoughts or Intentions
First choose a thought or belief that is opposing your intention to be a successful marketer of your services.
This might be: “I don’t have the time to market my business.”
Now ask yourself this first question:
Is this thought true? – Answer with yes or no. Then answer the second question if you answered “Yes”.
Can you absolutely know it’s true? – Answer with yes or no. Then answer the third question.
How do you react when you believe that thought? – List all of the things that you do (or not do), other thoughts and feelings you have when you think the thought you are working on. Then answer the fourth question:
Who would you be without that thought? – If that thought was impossible for you to think, how would things be different?
Now turn the thought around to its opposite. – A turnaround to this thought would be: “I do have time to market myself.” And then ask if the turnaround is as true or more true than the original thought. (C) Copyright 2008 Byron Katie – www.thework.com
That’s it. Now you are looking at your original thought in a whole new way. You will find you are less attached or identified with this thought and have new options. This thought lessens its grip. The thought is no longer “thinking you.”
You have the choice of what thought would serve you better to achieve your goal.
Post regularly: and don’t forget to sure you have than one person on your team who can take photos – after-all you’ll be posting six (or even seven) day a week plus people may be busy with clients.
Engage with your audience: respond when someone leaves a comment as it shows your Instagram site is a place where clients can interact with you and your salon Add Instagram to emails: Add your Instagram handle or link your Instagram to any emails you send to your clients. Also include a link to the site in every employees email signature
Advertise your Instagram on other channels: Add the icon to your website, put the address on your business cards, ask Facebook and Pinterest followers (as well as followers on other social media sites) to follow you on Instagram
Use your daily huddle let the team members know exactly what you’re looking to post that day (and for the rest of the week).
How could a successful salon/spa owner jeopardize her business’s future – with just one slip of the lip? Easier than you think – especially in today’s world where social media rules the day.
Being a salon owner (or an owner of any small business) tests our patience (and customer service skills) – even on the best of days. But it’s particularly stressful when a client’s kid is crying right in the middle of your salon – and it’s a busy Saturday (of a holiday weekend). In the service business there simply is never a good time to lose your cool – Because if you lose it, the heat could be turned on so high you could lose your business.
So how is this possible?
With Facebook and other social media outlets putting power in the hands of your clients – they can make you or break you.
which this Facebook Fan Fury became a virtual Tsunami – she ran for cover and took down the Salon’s Facebook Page, failed to offer a response for more than two days after the original post, used her lawyer as a spokesperson, and had the lawyer defend her actions – rather than offering an apology (which finally came on Thursday).
So as a salon owner stay as cool as you possibly can – and if your salon is caught somehow in a social media tsunami – try to stay cool, calm and composed as best you can– and respond quickly and positively.
And for heaven’s sake don’t get your attorney involved on the web.
Getting a testimonial for your salon website can be tricky business. Especially one that will help fill your salon’s chairs. Why? Because ordinary salon website testimonials turn out to be all sugar and spice. And they won’t help turn your salon’s website visitors clients – especially clients who pays full-price for your salon’s services.
Why most Testimonials Don’t Convert Salon Website Visitors
Sugar and spice testimonials are too sweet – and testimonials that are too sweet leave a false impression. A false impression created by not telling the whole story of why a client came to you initially – why she’s decided to stay – and promote you.
Frankly website visitors love to see “Before” and “After” makeover pictures illustrating what your talented team can do when they have a client in their capable hands -potential clients like to hear the entire story.
Why “Before And After” Salon Website Testimonials
So that’s where a “B&A” Testimonial comes in. It’s just like a makeover – with the “B” showing the problem and the “A” giving the solution. The beauty of a “B&A” Testimonial is that it reduces the risk a salon website visitor has in her mind – the risk of giving your salon a try.
And with “B&A” salon website testimonials you’re not singing your own praises – the clients are – in a believable way.
That’s not to say ordinary testimonials don’t have power – they do. It’s just that they don’t have the supercharged power of a “B&A” Salon Website Testimonial – a testimonial that plunges right into the doubts and concerns a potential salon client has about about switching salons ( most website visitors are going to another salon) before telling her about how everything turned out not just OK but great – at your salon.
How to Construct a “B&A” Salon Website Testimonial
How do you construct a “B&A” Testimonial for your salon website? By using the “Problem-Solution” formula – with the key being to always keep the problem upfront.
Why do you have to keep the problem upfront? Because people are coming to you because of a problem they have with their hair (for example curly hair that’s unmanageable or straight hair that won’t hold a wave – you get the point).
Use the problem to create drama in the testimonial – remember a testimonial is like a mini-story – and to hold the reader’s attention – every story needs to have drama in it. And then use your solution to unwind the drama.
And make sure you have testimonials that cover different aspects of your salon – from the friendliness of the front desk, to the speed of the service – to the magic of the work itself.
Why? Because potential clients are looking for different things in a salon – not just beautiful work.
How To Get Clients To Give You Testimonials
So how do you get a “B&A” Testimonial? Simple – just ASK. Ask lots of your clients.
The best way to collect a testimonial is by audio. Why? It’s easier to be more fluent in speech than it is on paper.
So get a voice recorder or use a service on the phone (Call Burner is the one that I recommend in combination with Skype). If audio is not possible then use email.
The 6 Questions for a Great “B&A” Testimonial
And what questions do you want to ask in your salon website’s “B&A” Testimonial? You’ll want to cover the following and in the specific order listed.
What did you like most about our salon?
What were your perceptions before you came to our salon?
How has that perception changed?
What are the three biggest benefits?
Would you recommend our salon?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
So if you want your salon website’s testimonials to drive more website visitors into your salon’s chairs then follow the”B&A” Testimonial formula.