There is no doubt that we are in a different place than we were in February 2020, with many of us having to close our business doors due to health concerns. We want to remain our clients’ first choice when we resume our normal services, and being proactive is the best way to stay ‘top of mind’. Many of us are thinking about what we can do to serve our clients from a distance, and keep some positive cash flow.
Our customers, like most of us, are starting to crave interaction from people outside of their own home and will be happy for the opportunity to have a consultation by FaceTime, Zoom, text, or email. You want to offer your services so that you can continue your relationship with your clients. The goal is to encourage patrons to return to you quickly once regular services resume, thus reducing the financial impact on your business.
Staying top of mind & stimulating salon income
One of the best ways to keep our business in our customers’ awareness, without seeming desperate, is with retail. Product sales are an easy way for us to continue our high touch service approach while generating some income during this period of social distancing protocols.
We can offer to deliver products from home, spa, or salon, to our clients efficiently while they are unable to come through our doors, without the expense and time required to set up an online store. We have what it takes to stimulate a bit of income back into our businesses using the resources that we already have on hand (client emails, phone numbers, and leftover packing materials from our vendors).
Quick steps to remote product sales
Thankfully, it is not terribly expensive to ship products, but there is still a cost to it. It is essential to know the profit margins of your products before you decide to pitch your offer to potential buyers. The wholesale cost of products, credit card fees, postage, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and labor, all have to be factored in.
Calculating shipping costs (unless you decide to offer free shipping)
Once you know what your approximate profit margins are, you can decide for what fee, if any, you will offer for shipping (keep in mind; it has been shown that offering free shipping can boost sales by 20% or more). Be sure that you are not selling products with margins so small that offering customers free or reduced shipping costs is higher than your total profit.
Invoicing clients for their purchases
To sell remotely, it is crucial to make sure that you are able to invoice clients using your preferred credit card processor so that they can pay securely online. Avoid using apps such as Venmo or PayPal unless you have a business account, as the terms of service for these companies prohibit their use for business transactions. Make sure you continue to charge the correct sales tax and to report retail sales income to the government. If you’re selling online, this can all be done from the backend to automatically charge clients correctly.
Contacting your clients
Once you have your products, method of payment, boxes, and shipping methods, it’s time to start contacting your clients. When you reach out, do so in the spirit of assistance, not purely in sales. Our clients are just as concerned about their financial stability as we are. It is important to remember that it is OK if our clients don’t buy at this time. Your primary reason for contacting them is to continue that provider-client relationship throughout the duration of this downturn.
If you can offer your customers the ability to communicate directly with their technicians for advice, product changes or use recommendations, you can deepen the relationship to your establishment. I believe that if you can properly take care of your customers during this time that you can create lifelong raving fans and come out of this trying period stronger than ever.
Email marketing & scripts
In the last couple of years, I have developed several successful scripts to remind people to shake their bottles and see if they need more before they run out of a product. When using a script or template, always make your marketing emails as personal as possible. Adding insider tips for how the pros use the products is always appreciated.
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow