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.
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“Dear Andrew ~ I continue to be so happy that I am on your subscribers’ list! I just love your thoughts, and how you express them! This pricing lesson is the most perfectly pitched wisdom on the subject I’ve read in a really long time. I’m planning on forwarding it to many of my clients and just telling them to substitute “salon” for “fitness studio/kitchen remodeling/fire safety contractor/chiropractor/ or lingerie shop”. Brilliant!”–Larry Heiman, E-Myth Coach
Four Salon Pricing Myths (That Destroy Profits)
When business is flat or down, the knee-jerk reaction of most salon owners is to run a special or drop prices – and what happens is they dig
themselves a deeper hole to crawl out of – a hole that can both pummel profits as well as permanently damage a salon’s reputation.
Busy Salon owners know that pricing salon services is an integral part of a salon’s business strategy. Pricing, along with a host of variables – the decor, the look of your team, your selection of retail products, as well as your online presence, helps you define not only who you are but the type of clients you both want to attract.
And when it comes to pricing the question is “what prices should we be charging to create the type of business I want to own?” For sure, the ultimate objective is to maximize the amount of profit your salon makes. It’s on the way to profitability that you can use pricing as a strategy.
However, before making pricing decisions it’s important to wipe your mind clean of these four big pricing myths – because if you hang onto them, you’ll dilute any advantage that a pricing strategy will bring to your salon.
So what are these four pricing myths?
Myth #1 – Price is the client’s most important buying criteria. Ok we know that price is important; however it’s not number #1 on consumer shopping surveys about what’s important to them – for that matter it usually comes up at #4.
Of course there are people who buy based strictly on price. The question you’ll want to answer is do you want them in your salon?
Myth #2 – You have to match or even
slightly under-price your services in a competitive market. With so many different ways of differentiating your salon I’m astounded that salon owners are even thinking this way.
Instead of just competing on price you could:
- Specialize in a particular niche within the salon niche – check out how the Quidad salons specialize in curly hair.
- Tout your experience or credentials (an education at the Sassoon Academy is the industry’s equivalent of getting an MBA from Harvard)
- Partnering with top of the line product manufacturers (carrying a line like Kerastase, with its premium price, it serves as a perfect launchpad for a premium priced haircuts and color).
- Limiting your accessibility – (the best doctors in the world have waiting lists a mile long — why not salon owners who work behind the chair?)
Myth #3–Pricing just involves taking the cost of your services and marking it up by your desired profit margin. Unfortunately too many salons don’t have a handle on their true costs – so even if they wanted to do what is called “cost-plus” pricing, they couldn’t.
Myth #4–If your sales are down just drop the price – and the sales will increase. Remember that people put a high value on quality as well as on price. In the salon business, perception is reality – so by lowering the price you’re chipping away at the perception of your quality.
Yes, there are ways salon owners can justify lowering prices – but only if you can retain the clients once you have them in the door – and introduce them to other services and products.
However by lowering your prices to increase sales you could very well be accelerating your losses.
Don’t forget to sign up for my bi-monthly ezine “The Finkelstein Report”
Whether you’re an iPhone lover or not you’ve got to be impressed with Apple’s having sold over FOUR MILLION 4s’s in the first weekend of its launch.
So what does this new iPhone have to do with your salon/spa business?
A lot – condensed into one word one – Siri.
Siri is Apple’s voice recognition program -technically speaking.
But it’s more than that. Siri is for the four million+ iPhone
4s’s owners an intelligent personal assistant – efficient,knowledgeable, professional, compliant, uncomplaining, and witty with a slight attitude.
She’s a “do-engine”. A “do-engine” who on command dials your office, schedules a meeting, or reminds you of an appointment. She can manage travels plans and reservations,coordinate local services,
find and plan entertainment, purchase e-commerce goods and serve as gateway to 3000 e-commerce service APIs on the Web.
Beyond that, Siri can learn your preferences and transactional information, so that she can automate any of these transactions without user involvement
So what impact could Siri (or Iris on the Android) have on your business?
Think of it like this. Now instead of having to use your smart phone to access Google or Yahoo (search engines) when you want to find a place to get a manicure, message, haircut, facial or more – millions of people will simply ask their “do-engine”Siri “where can I get a manicure”?
And Siri will say “I’ve found a number of salons near you and give them a list of salons complete with star reviews, distance,and the ability to get map and directions.
Now wouldn’t you want your salon/spa to be at the tip of Sari’s tongue? Of course you would.
How do you do that? Stephanie Hobbs has a great article on Search Engine Land called: 3 Simple StepsTo Get Siri & Her Friends To Talk Up Your Local Business.
In her article,she recommends three steps to help you rank better with Siri recommendations:
1. Makesure your Google Places Page is accurate and complete
2. Generate positive reviews and content like photos and videos
3. Make sure your Yelp profile is accurate and complete (Yelp is one of the data sources Siri uses).
The bottom line for any salon/spa owner is to make sure you have a solid local presence – it’ll help you with your mobile efforts – which by the way is growing by leaps and bounds.
And as impressive as Siri is– it’s only the beginning.
Does your salon website is generate more bills from internet service providers than names of potential clients?
If it does you’ve probably committed one or more of these 5 deadly salon website sins.
Your salon website is a marketing tool and marketing the science of finding prospects and turning them into profitable clients for your business.
So it goes without saying that your website must help build your business.
But if your salon website is, like most salon websites, just another pretty billboard sitting on the side of a lightly trafficked road, it simply won’t put a dime in your pocket.
So what are the 5 deadly salon website sins?
- No headline to attract a visitor’s attention. Instead most salon websites just use the name of the salon and some sort of tag line. This is hardly of interest to the prospect, but a strong headline, directly aimed at the website visitor, will get their attention. Headlines that enter the conversation going on in your prospects mind will encourage her to want to learn more about your salon.
- No compelling offer or presentation of information they’d be interested in. Having a benefit- rich compelling offer increases your chance of obtaining their name/address in exchange for your offer.
- No testimonials or endorsements. You alone talking about your salon’s professionalism and the wonderful customer service, holds far less weight with website visitors than clients or third party endorsers such as the press talking about you.
- No multiple ways to respond. Many salon websites do not invite the prospect wanting more information to call, fax or email. A call from a
prospect may be a better way to move them into your chair more quickly than simply putting them into a prospective client email
- No understanding that you’re not going to make a sale on the first visit. The sale comes in time, after the relationship is built and after a continual stream of information and offers (delivered by auto responders) are designed with your particular prospect’s needs in mind.
So if you’re interested in turning your website from a line item expense to a money maker, review your site today, see if it’s making any or all of these 5 deadly sins and amend your ways.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE ezine, for the newest trends and tips for Busy Salons. Click http://wwwbusysalons.com
Facebook is here to stay as a business tool for salons/spas. But this social media site only works when you’ve got Fans – and you get them by using a seven step systematic acquisition strategy.
The Big Myth
Sure you can get your nephew to put up your Profile Page. But it takes more than a kid to build our Pages to help us increase our fan base (the number of people who “like” us).
The big myth is that once you create your Salon/Spa’s Page the first thing you should do is invite all your friends from your personal profile.
Be careful – although FB’s guidelines (http://www.facebook/promotions.guidelines.php) say that you can import your data base, mass invites can be tricky because users can “like” up to 500 pages and they may want to be picky about it. Check out your own experience to see how many Fan Page Suggestions you have … they build up like a stealth bomber …
So don’t bomb your friends with suggestions to join your fan page – “just because” – without an apparent incentive.
What follows is a way to fill your Page with a big crowd – the kind of crowd who’ll also pack your salon/spa’s chairs and rooms.
The 7 Steps to Building Your Facebook Salon/Spa Fanbase
Step 1 – Make your plan – do this first thing! Don’t even think about moving to the next step before you finish your plan.
Think about it this way – if you were giving a party you wouldn’t invite people to show up at your door only to find you had no drinks, food or entertainment.
With Facebook your drinks, food and entertainment are called content.
- Photos and videos from your salon/spa
- Events you hold either in your salon/spa or with other companies/charities
- “Exclusive” offers for your Facebook fans only – they can be salon/spa offers or offers you arrange for with 3rd parties.
Step 2 – Create Compelling Content to Lure Fans
- Have photos/videos from the salon/spa
- Events (live or virtual) where you encourage people to invite their friends
- Make your content exclusive – they can only get it on Facebook.
Step 3 – Promote Your Page Directly
- Suggest it to your personal friends
- Ask your staff to promote it to their friends
Step 4 – Put it on your salon/spas marketing materials
- Business cards & other printed materials
- Website – header, navigation bar, contact page
- Your personal email signature
Step 5 – Run Contests
- Alternate promotions with coupons
- Create other content to get them to stay
Step 6 – Use Guerilla Marketing Tactics
- SEO your page for listings in Google
- Swap promotions with other local businesses
- Comment on other relevant profiles and include a link
Step 7 – Integrate Your Page
- Link to other social media including Twitter
- Use Facebook Social Plugin
With nearly every salon/day spa having a website, you’d have to wonder if a website is working for these salons/day spas, helping them develop business, or if the salon/day spa is working for the website.
So how would you measure if your website is working for you or not? Since word working covers a lot of ground, let’s focus on exactly what a website has to do for you and your business, so you can say, “Hey, my website is helping me improve my business. It’s just not sitting there like a lump of coal in cyber-space, taking up my time, money, and other resources.” Imagine you wanted to make a home improvement by redoing your driveway and replacing the asphalt with pebbles. What would be the first thing you’d do? (After planning the project out of course!) That’s right, the first thing is you’ll have to take up the old asphalt. But to take it up you have to break it up. To do that you have a choice of tools, either a handpick or a hydraulic jackhammer. Either tool will do the job; however, each requires a different mix of resources—time, training, cost to operate, maintenance, etc. Naturally, your choice of tools will depend on how you want to allocate your resources. You may want to use both. It depends on field conditions. So what does in the world does this have to do with your website or your salon? When you strip away all the bells and whistles, and all that flash and jazz; isn’t your website just
another tool in your marketing toolkit? Okay, so it seems a bit more complicated than other marketing tools you have at your disposal, what with all that HTML code and other techie stuff. However, it’s really not all that complicated. It’s just is more dressed-up than some other tools you use. The good news is you don’t have to become a programmer to get great results. Lord knows, you have enough to do already. You just want to get deeper into marketing, to understand how you can harness your website’s horsepower. You see, your website can be a power tool, one you can use to leverage your marketing. Like the hydraulic jackhammer, it can get you the same result as other tools can. Maybe at a faster rate; however, once again, it requires a different mix of resources. At the end of the day, your website is just like every other marketing tool you use. You simply want it to give you results, so you can say, “My website is working for me—not the other way around!” So what exact results do you want to get from your website? Results you can measure. Let’s concentrate on having your website attract new clients. Not just any old client, attract your ideal client, your target market—those folks you’d like to fill your chairs. Bottom line: when it comes to your website and whether it’s working for you, you’ll want to measure the number of people visiting your site and then measure the number of those who opt into your list. A list you’ll then work.