Guest Article by Simon Lotinga, Belief Change Specialist
When you decide to focus your attention on your existing clients, most times it’s for two main reasons: get them to visit more often and spend more when they do. To achieve this goal, you’ll have to educate your clients better, communicate with them better, and focus on delivering what you promise more consistently as well. This is fine in theory, but I know from experience you’d like some practical steps to follow to help you achieve higher average bills and increase the frequency of client visits to your salon… so today as the title suggests, we’re going to look at 7 simple ways to help your clients spend more, but also, more often!
Helping Clients Spend More: Concrete Strategies
1. Prepare The Team
To create a successful shift in client buying habits you have to create a successful shift in the thinking and behaviour of your team. The reason for this is summed up beautifully by my favourite saying: “If you (and your team) keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got!“
You want your clients’ behaviour to change … You have to change first!
If you thought you could avoid this first critical step, you’d be making a huge mistake. Although you could implement everything else I’m about to suggest you’d soon discover that if your team and the culture of your salon don’t change to support it, you simply won’t see consistent growth in your average bill. So how do you shift the thinking and behaviour of your team?
First of all, organise a team meeting, Sit down with your staff and paint the big picture. Tell them about your change of focus from finding new clients onto your improving the performance of existing clients and why you’ll be measuring average bill and client visit numbers closely in future. Then, I’d do a brainstorming session to encourage them to come up with good ideas for increasing average bill and the frequency of client visits. Take their ideas, work with your team to test and polish them, and you’ll be amazed at the results you see.
In other words: show them that following your plan is the easiest, most effective, most fun way to secure their future pay rises and increase job satisfaction!
2. Add A Silent Sales Team
Once your team and their ideas are ready, you can introduce their secret helpers… Your silent sales team.
I bet you didn’t know you could have one, but you can! Your silent sales team members come in many disguises. They can be disguised as mirror stickers, flyers, posters, window displays, newsletter articles, blog posts, pages on your website, videos posted on YouTube, Instagram, etc.
As you’ve probably realised, your silent sales team is the marketing collateral created to generate interest in the added value you’re offering clients. Most salons don’t do enough work on their silent sales team. If they do, many hit pitfalls and that’s an expensive mistake.
3. Make Impulse Buying Easy
Garages, chemists and supermarkets are past masters at this, but there’s no reason why your salon can’t take advantage of the same principles. What are we talking about?
We’re talking about the impulse buy items they put within easy reach of their customers as they stand at the till waiting to pay. They put them there because they know that their customers are more likely to choose something extra at the time of paying than any other time during their visit. We’re talking about tapping into basic human instincts here … so what could you stock?
Here are a few ideas to get you started: Tangleteezer brushes, professional combs, invisibobble bands, hair accessories, umbrella’s or rain hats, headache tablets, hand wipes and tissues, makeup and nail varnish remover… the list goes on! As I said, those simple ideas were just to get you started. I’m sure a brainstorming session with your team could come up with loads more. You could even ask your clients what they’d like you to stock! Just make sure that whatever you choose is well displayed and within easy reach!
4. Add Premium Versions Of Existing Services
This one is simple and effective! Create a tiered price structure for your services, by adding premium or luxury levels at a higher price. Give them added value with extra time, higher quality ingredients, attractive extras, etc. The final touch is to brand your premium or luxury services, and charge more for them!
By the way, the secret to getting this right is to make the added value of the more expensive options look really obvious. In other words, give them what looks like loads extra for not a lot of money. You’ll be amazed by the increase in your customers’ average bills!
5. Introduce New Non-Competing Services
This is an obvious strategy, but you need to think it through properly. If you want to help clients spend more, you’ve got to give them more to spend their money on. So far so good!
If they’re already buying shampoo or moisturiser from you and you simply give them a new brand or variant to buy instead, it’s not going to make a massive difference. However, if you give them a totally new product or service to buy that doesn’t compete with or replace anything they’re currently using, then it’s a win-win for you and your client.
The important thing to remember here is that if you want someone to buy something totally new, you have to sell it in a different way.
You have to talk about the problem your new product or service solves and the price your clients are currently paying in lost time, lost money, living with stress or feelings of insecurity because of not having an answer to that problem. In other words, sell the pain of the problem and they’ll happily buy your new solution to their pain. Try and sell the solution without building the pain of the problem first and your results will probably be disappointing!
The Power Of Product Samples (see video below)
6. Create ‘Price/Time’ Menus
If you’ve read ‘The Salon Owners Guide To Beating The Recession’ you’ll know I’m a big fan of pricing services by the minute using the ‘Pence Per Minute’ formula. Some salon owners, mainly beauty salon owners because of the wider range of services they offer, have recently been having a lot of success creating what I call price/minute menu for their clients. And of course, they’ve seen their average bill figures soar because of it.
First, they create versions of services deliverable in 20 minutes. Then, they create a menu of 6-8 of those services and have clients pick any 3 treatments for a set price of ‘x’. Clients love choice and being in control and the real beauty of this offer’s format is its flexibility. The added value of an offer like this gives them that.
Clients can choose different combinations to suit their needs and every few weeks you can change the items on the menu, change the number of items on the menu, change the price you charge for the hour. Remember, every time you change something, you just give your menu a different name and clients feel like it’s new! Even when it’s not!
7. Create ‘Improved Result’ Packages Helps Clients Spend More
This is another simple one to implement. The results of nearly every service will work better if your client follows the right aftercare regime.
Now, this would normally involve your clients buying aftercare products to take home. Unfortunately, we all know that only a percentage of our clients will take us up on our aftercare recommendations. We can increase that percentage substantially if we include the aftercare products in the service price. Obviously, we can’t afford to give the products away, but we can create a ‘full service’ package! Then, it’s about branding that package and promoting it!
Finally, I want you to remember that clients have a habit of going where the added value is. If you want to help clients spend more, you have to create added value propositions and promote them!
One final tip: keep things simple. If your offers are too complicated or you have too many on at once you’re going to confuse your clients. And remember: confused clients don’t buy!
Thanks for reading,