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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Don't Neglect the Basics

          Tonights tip is from my friend Michael Colosi with Hair Salon Marketing. No matter how awesome your skill level or amazing your personality or perfect your location, a certain percentage of clients will leave. Some will move away, some pass away, some will choose another technician or stop getting services altogether for a variety of reasons, many out of your control. It's called attrition and it happens in every business. So the bottom line. You must market for new clients all the time. This presents a few challenges. One you are already busy servicing the clients you have and don't have time to get new clients. Two you don't have marketing skills. Three marketing yourself and your services costs money, money you don't have. There are ways you can get more clients than you can possibly handle for a minimal amount of money. Take the path of least resistance, the easiest and the cheapest ways first. There are 3 categories of clients that money flows to you from. Current, past and future. First, you must retain current clients. Look at your business and shore up your strategies to make sure you are not loosing clients before you add new clients. It's throwing money down the well for new clients if you cannot keep your current clients. Understand the LTV of a client or the Life Time Value. You can figure this amount by multiplying the number of visits per year by the amount they spend by the number of years they come to you. So as an example, a client in my chair comes every two weeks so that's 26 visits times $40 on average so that's about 1000 dollars times 10 years that's $10,400.00.

     Try and figure out an average from your current clients. So didn't your clients just become a whole lot more valuable to you? It's actually pretty interesting, the example I followed was from a hair client but guess what? A nail client is just as valuable if not more valuable than a hair client so no more whining. Understanding how valuable clients are over the long haul makes spending a few dollars on marketing a bit easier to swallow. So what's the best way to retain clients? Colosi recommends a monthly newsletter to keep your name top of mind. So when clients are speaking with family, friends or business associates and the subject of nails comes up you want them to talk about you, resulting in referrals. Referred clients are the best clients, they come from trust. Keep your newsletter timely and topical and not just about nails. You can have a hard copy at your station, a downloadable copy on your website, or send it email. You can also have an opt in box on your website where they can get it delivered to their email. So keeping in mind the LTV of each client you can afford to spend some money to keep them over the years. We've all heard the saying cheaper to keep her? I think you know what I mean. Next category to focus on is past clients. These clients trusted you at one time, so it stands to reason it will be easier and less expensive to get them back than a brand new client. Colosi uses what he calls his client reactivation letter.

      They most likely have stopped coming to us for a random reason not necessarily tied to our performance. First identify these clients then simply send a letter saying you miss them and would love to have them back offering them a special incentive. Some people would love to come back but maybe are embarrassed and they would welcome your invite. When done right 31% will come back. Next figure out your ideal new client. Age, occupation, income, gender location etc. Next locate these clients that have recently moved into the area. Mail them an invitation type letter offering them the opportunity to visit your salon. These clients are ideal because they are looking for you, not the other way around. Being brand new to the area they haven't developed a loyalty to a salon yet. Because you are reaching out to your target market in a personal way your response should be pretty high. Implementing these strategies will help you continue to have a full book now and in the future. A lot of these strategies are covered in my ebook plus you can check out Colosi's Facebook page Hair Salon Marketing.

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