Building a business is no easy task, but a salon owner who sticks to tried and true marketing principles will get and keep more high quality, long-term clients.
Marketing principles are based on a foundation of human behavior.
As humans we either move
towards something that triggers a want or aspiration for us and away from those things triggering fear and frustration. (For more details I recommend Joe Sugarman’s book Triggers:30 Sales Tools You Can Use To Control the Mind of Your Prospect to Influence, Motivate and Persuade
Whether you’re marketing to lure first time guests into your salon or targeting people who have visited you before, your job is to get them to take action and do business with you.
To get people to take action, communicate with them using these five simple psychological triggers.
Trigger #1: People are naturally curious. They’ll go to great lengths to know information that other people don’t know.
Trigger #2: People are natural consumers. They like to buy. So if you take the risk away from their taking action, they’ll be much more apt to respond to your offer.
Trigger #3: People are turned off by traditional sales-based ads. They don’t want another sales pitch coming their way. They want information that is useful and will benefit them as consumers (in their quest to get a great deal). The facts are
that people are 7 times more likely to read a traditional news oriented editorial than they are an ad.
Trigger #4: People will pay attention to things that directly affect them. If they’re tuned into the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) channel, make sure you broadcast on their frequency. For example, if someone is concerned about thinning hair, they’ll read everything they can get their hands on about it. If they’re not, they won’t read it at all.
Trigger #5: People can’t resist a free offer. It’s the oldest thing in the books – they have no risk in responding to something for free. The highest response rates are from free offers and it doesn’t look as if it’s about to change.
Each of these five triggers compels an average person to take action. Try using them to create an “advertorial” (this is a cross between editorial and advertising) that will bring in the
type of potential long-term clients you are looking for.
The short definition of marketing is the profitable getting and keeping of good customers. So let’s be frank with one another and not pull any punches—there are a lot of salons/day spas struggling to keep the doors open.
Why? There’s a ton of reasons—but cutting through it all the single overriding reason for this struggle is their customer count is anemic…and when that happens the entire business slows down.
Look, with today’s challenging economy your salon/day spa could be, if it isn’t already, losing customer count. But all is not lost—you can reverse the trend and fortify your business.
How do you do that? By adding some Special K® into your Marketing
Just ask any nutritional expert what is the most important meal of the day and they’re bound to tell you breakfast. Why breakfast? Because eating a good breakfast provides you with the energy you need to start the day off right.
That’s why the folks at Kellogg’s created the Special K® breakfast cereal. To help you get a healthy start to the day.
Well, what does a breakfast have to do with day spa marketing? Just as a good breakfast gets you going, a good marketing plan sets the stage for your business’ success. A good plan starts with whom you do business with, which is your target market.
Let’s make that word target extra special and add a “K” to her. Let’s call her your “TARKET” a name one of my marketing mentors, Red-Hot copywriter, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, coined. She combined the words “target” and “market” together and presto, out popped the new word—“TARKET.”
So why call a target a TARKET? Simply because by using this word TARKET you’ll think and talk about your target market differently than you would by just calling her your target.
How so? While both represent your ideal or core client, the one you want to fill your chairs/rooms with, and for whom you buy products and create new services, there’s a subtle but important difference.
What’s the difference? When salon/day spa owners/managers think and describe a target market, they usually use demographic terms—age range, sex, income, marital status, children, education, etc., or geographic terms—where the core client lives or works.
While it’s important to know the demographics and geographics, two essential ingredients for your core client, there’s still another ingredient without which your marketing is guaranteed to fall flat.
That ingredient is the soul of marketing. It’s the psychographic component. It’s what the core client thinks and feels. The psychographic component brings the core client to life so to speak.
Technically both target market and a TARKET combine the three aspects of the core client—demographic, geographic, and psychographic. But only the TARKET feels like a person, while the target seems inert.
Why would it matter if an owner refers to core clients as a targets or TARKETS? Simply put, it does matter because how we think and talk about a person shapes the actions we take toward that person.
How do you create a TARKET? You take the demographic and geographic profile and then create an imaginary friend, just as you may have done when you were a kid. Then write down your description of that imaginary friend, what she thinks about, how she responds to what you’re saying, doing, etc. That imaginary friend is your TARKET.
Key to all of this is remembering that people like to be treated as people, not as numbers. They like to be talked to as people, by people, not as some faceless number by some faceless corporation. While TARKETS are the personification of people, targets tend not to be.
By using the TARKET concept, you’ve given your marketing and marketing plan the necessary first ingredient, that Special K® that’ll bring in more clients to your day spa.
Here’s a quick tip for owners/managers who know how important it is to have an Action Plan, especially now in the rough seas of the recession.
number of Action Plans you work on to one or two per quarter. What’s an Action Plan? An Action Plan is the part of your overall One Page Marketing Plan. An Action Plan answers the question, “What is the work we have
to do to achieve the objective we want to reach?” So why limit your Action Plans? Limiting your Action Plans helps you to:
- Select more carefully, where you choose to put your resources, the benefit of which is you have your assets working harder for you.
- Have more focus. Focus is what you need to ensure you and your people keep your eyes on the prize, especially in turbulent times when your thoughts can wander all over the place. Focus grounds you on what’s really important and allows you to release the stuff that’s not.
- Increase the odds of success. My gosh, you don’t have to do all that much to be successful. It’s just choosing what to do and then doing it.
So you probably have a laundry list of things you want to put in place, so you can achieve your 2009 objectives. Imagine what would happen if you got eight of them done this year! How about four! Don’t know about you, but even four is a lot. BYW, if you haven’t put a plan in place and want to use a simple planning template, you can find out more here.
You know that whether in a good economy or a bad one, every owner/manager wants to increase sales.
But how do you do increase sales when fewer clients may be coming in the doors, or visiting less often? One way is by implementing an “Ucentric” consultation system and then ensuring every client has one. So what makes a consultation an Ucentric consultation? Simply this, an Ucentric consultation is rooted from the client’s perspective. It’s how she sees herself and her world. It’s all about that particular client,
her hair, skin, nail, and body care challenges and the professional’s suggested solutions to those problems. A professional only gives a genuine Ucentric consultation if she asks a series of questions, listens intently, and knowing her stuff, offers solutions. Why are Ucentric consultations different from the so-called normal consultations? When you conduct an Ucentric consultation, you follow a scripted procedure (first this, then that, no skipping of steps—no shortcuts). Ucentric consulting only occurs when your ego takes a back seat, when you’re so well versed in what to do and how to do it that the little voice in your head shuts up, allowing you to be fully present with the client, allowing you to really serve her. Every client wants to be “heard” as well as to hear what the professional suggests, whether or not she’ll take action upon those recommendations during that particular visit is another matter altogether. Why don’t clients buy products or services that day, even when they’ve had a Ucentric consultation? Frankly, clients will only buy a product or have a service when they’re ready to. Consulting Ucentrically gives her the freedom to tell you exactly when she’ll be ready. What you have to do next is keep your follow-up marketing system going.
It’s 2:30 am and your phone rings. You pick it up and the caller tells you your teenager has been in an accident and is in the hospital’s emergency room.
Without thinking, you throw on some clothes, go to the garage and jump into your car. Although you’re in a twilight zone, you instinctively glance down at the instrument panel. The gauge indicates that there is more than enough gas to get you to the hospital. Just as a car has a dash board panel with various key indicators, (fuel, oil, brakes), that tells you if everything is running properly, so does your salon/spa. What are key indicators? Key indicators are measurements (quantifications) of various aspects of your salon/spa; they tell you about the health of your business and it’s various parts. Generally key indicators are broken down into three major categories: strategic indicators, business indicators (financial and operational) and systems indicators. Let’s first take a look at the key strategic indicators. They are measurements showing you the progress your salon/spa is making towards its vision. For example, if you want your business to grow into a $2,000,000 salon/spa group with 2 locations and a 15% profit margin, then sales, profits, and number of locations are key indicators. Next are your key business indicators. The are the various measurements that tell the integrated story of your salon/spa (a point that too many salon, spa owners, and managers loose sight of). Your salon/spa’s operational indicators give you an objective view of what is happening in your business and how well or poorly it is being done. They include indicators of activity, productivity, efficiency, quality, and even subjective evaluations of intangible elements of your business. The top six salon/spa operational indicators are as follows: 1. Average Ticket The amount of
money a client spends on average during every visit. 2. New Clients per Month The number of new clients on average that come to your business every month. 3. Average Visits per Year The number of times on average that your customers visit your business each year. 4. New Client Retention The percentage of customers who return after their first visit. 5. Base Client Retention The ability to keep customers returning to your business from their second visit onward. 6. Gross Margin The amount of every sales dollar that is left over after direct expenses. The financial indicators tell you about the financial condition of the salon/spa. They are taken from your financial statements (your income statement [or p&l], your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.) Finally,
your system indicators are measurements showing you the details of what is right and wrong with every system. So get into the habit of quantifying every aspect of your business and using the indicators to run your business. Why? Because the next time your banker calls, she will be telling you all about your business loan, the one that’s been approved.
8 key ingredients to work through any challenging environment
Are you set for competing in an a challenging small business environment that’s filled with new, tough, smart competition, and is
becoming increasingly complex due to rules and regulations? Can you and your salon/spa hold up to the demands of today’s clients and employees? Here are eight key tactics that will help you prosper!
- Define your strategic objective Create the vision of your business, as it must be for you to live the way you want to live and fulfill your personal mission. Remember, your business must serve you in the fulfillment of that mission. This strategic objective will help keep you and your team focused in 2006.
- Define the results you want When things are tough, the tough get going. The fundamental questions don’t change; however, your intensity of focus must increase. You need to clearly define your expected results to keep you on track.
- Engage in strategic work There’s no getting around it, you must get results through others. In a tough business environment it’s critical you do strategic work.
- Systems and more systems Establish systems for every area of your business. Especially important are your financial systems. They’ll enable you to make intelligent decisions about cash flow and avoid stupid expenditures.
- Measure everything Make sure you know the exact quantified impact of every system, process, innovation, and marketing plan. How many clients do you need to get to cover the cost of this marketing initiative? Is every product or service contributing to the income of the company?
- Marketing, Marketing, and more Marketing Make sure you know who your clients are. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and ask yourself how they see your salon/spa. How can you
effectively communicate with your clients on a daily basis? How can you effectively reach more of your target?
- Operations Remove or find ways to get around any barriers that prevent your clients from getting what they need. Always keep your promises to your clients in the most cost effective way you can.
- Leadership As the owner your leadership is critical. Consider what you can do as an owner to amplify the vision of your company in the eyes of your employees. Hold frequent, well-structured, regularly-scheduled salon/spa meetings for creating a stable, consistent work environment.
You are in a very challenging business environment, so keep you eyes wide open and always seek the truth. Think with clarity and purpose and make the adjustments you have to make.