How to Generate Business Without a Promotion Every Time the Books are Quiet
What business are you in? I assume you’re in the business of providing, young skin, clear skin, firm skin, healthy skin; great skin. Great skin has a beginning, but it doesn’t have an end and not fully appreciating the importance of this is why so many salons and skin clinics often find the books unfilled.
Well-thought-out promotions are one way to generate business. Sometimes they’re called for, but many times they are not. It’s important to know when to use this strategy and when not to use it.
DON’T USE IT WHEN YOUR CLIENTS ARE NOT FULLY ENGAGING IN THE BUSINESS THAT YOU’RE IN.
Let me explain.
You’re in the ‘service’ business not in a ‘sales’ business. Even your retailing isn’t selling a product as such, it’s a ‘service, requiring recommendation and follow-up. The results you achieve for your clients is done over quite a period. You know it’s not going to be achieved in the first appointment or product sale and your clients should never have the impression that it’s finite. Looking after skin never ends. It’s ongoing.
To skin therapists
The most important thing you need to communicate to your clients and understand yourself is that skincare (the caring of skin) is a lifelong commitment. To truly achieve and maintain great skin, your client needs
• One or two targeted courses of treatments a year
• Monthly maintenance treatments
• Ongoing homecare regime
• Rinse and repeat
"Skincare (the caring of skin) is a lifelong commitment..."
If your books are quiet, your clients are not ‘engaging’ in what it takes to have the skin they want. You need to find out WHO, you need to find out WHAT and then you need to find out WHY.
The ‘who’ can be found in your point-of-sale system
Eg. Shortcuts, Timely etc. You can bring up a report that tells you who visited the business in the month of two months ago and hasn’t been back since. So for example if it’s May 28, who visited the business between January 28th and February 28th and haven’t been back since?
The ‘what’ can be found in each individual’s history
You or someone on your team needs to go into the purchase history and history notes of every client listed. What was the treatment for?
- Was it a maintenance treatment or part of a recommendation in a prescription?
- Were they a first-time client having their first treatment with your business?
The ‘why’ is what you need to find out
Think about why they haven’t come back for the recommendation. Could it be that you didn’t communicate well enough how the recommendation would best address the skin concern? Examples:
- If they’re on maintenance monthly treatments, did you make it clear that because of the monthly cycle the skin goes through, it’s ideal to boost the effectiveness of homecare with an in-salon professional-only skin treatment, every month?
- If they were a new client and you wrote a prescription recommending a course or programme of skin treatments, again, you need to find out why the client didn’t uptake the recommendation. Was it because you didn’t sufficiently provide enough argument (proof) of what the course or programme would achieve for them? Or was it an affordability thing? The same would apply if they were an existing client where a course/programme recommendation was made but the client didn’t take it up.
Then you need to act
- Do you have a blog that beautifully covers the need for monthly maintenance treatments? One that talks about the importance of collagen and elastin production and how your professional-only treatments work well to stimulate collagen and elastin, something they cannot do at home. One that talks about the need for stronger exfoliation treatments such as chemical peels and enzyme treatments, again, something that home care can’t achieve at home as the ingredients in the treatments is for professional use only.
- If you do have a blog, email the client saying something like “Hi Natasha, I noticed it’s been two months since your last skin treatment, and I wanted to reiterate the effectiveness of monthly in-salon treatments to maintain your results and boost your homecare results. Click here for a detailed blog post. If you would like to talk further, I would be happy to schedule a complimentary conversation either in-salon or via Zoom. Simply click reply with your best times or call the salon and Mary will book you in.”
- If you don’t have a blog, consider writing one or you can simply email the client with the reasons in the email. If the client doesn’t respond, text them something like “Hi Natasha, just wanted to make sure you received my email” BTW, a link to your blog in your email is better for two reasons (a) People don’t like long emails but expect blogs to be longer and (b) It’s a great strategy to send people to your website so that they can look around PLUS are brilliant for SEO.
- If they’re a new client (or even an existing client), email or text to invite them to a complimentary follow up in-salon call or via zoom to further discuss the recommendations or an alternative if they prefer (this is good if the investment is too much for the client. You have the opportunity to recommend a smaller treatment and product recommendation. Make sure to either add some great case studies of clients with similar skin concerns or a link to your case studies page on your website.
- If they’re an existing client who purchased a course or programme, and they’ve fallen out of the ideal time interval of the treatments, contact them and explain that results are so much better when the treatments are done in 2-week intervals and not less.
Other things you can do
- You can bring up a report that brings up all the clients that have purchased a product, let’s say the Vitamin A serum in the month of three or four months ago and hasn’t repurchased ie. if it’s May 28th, the clients who purchased the Vitamin A Serum in January and February. These clients should have run out by now. Contact and then let them know. “Hi Lisa, it’s hard to tell when you run out of products with the packaging [name of brand] uses and so I thought I would let you know that you should be running out of your Vitamin A Serum pretty soon. Would you like for me to send one out to you? Don’t hesitate to call us on ________ and we’ll have it out to you in a jiffy.”
- What product packs do you have going? Let’s say you have a product pack with the Vitamin A Serum and the Vitamin A Eye Cream for a savings of $62, contact the client and say something like “Hi Lisa, it’s hard to tell when you run out of products with the packaging [name of brand] uses. You should be running out of your Vitamin A Serum very soon and I wanted to let you know about a new product pack that’s just arrived. It contains the Vitamin A Serum and the Vitamin A Eye Cream which is a brilliant anti-ageing eye cream you can use at night. It not only treats existing lines but it’s an effective means of preventing new ones. The eye cream is normally $98 but, in this pack, you’ll only be paying $36 for it as the pack is only $166. I can send you one out if you like or you can come in. If you can’t come in for a few days, call us and we’ll put one aside for you as there’s only 5 left and I’d hate for you to miss out.” [And of course, when the client calls, you’ll let her know that to secure the product to be put aside, the client will need to pay over the phone]
- Downtime is the PERFECT time to schedule training. If your team aren’t treating, rebooking, upselling, retailing as they should, you would be far better off providing additional training so that the cycle of no returns stops. Maybe even book yourself in to have a treatment with one of your therapists and ask them to treat you like a client, not just for the treatment but for the recommendations (ie. write a full prescription of treatments and homecare). This is the best way to find out what’s going on and not going on in the treatment room. If clients aren’t coming back, there’s a reason and you want to address this reason before you try to bring them back in.
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