Do You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is?

ideal clientMany business owners haven’t taken time to define who their ideal client is, and this can lead to problems. Identifying who your ideal client is can make doing business so much easier, far more profitable and way more enjoyable! I speak to so many frustrated owners who are trying to accommodate clients from every age, gender and lifestyle. In my experience, this approach means they will never succeed at building a strong business identity.

When you are trying to accommodate everyone you usually end up with overstocked shelves with slow selling lines, equipment that sits gathering dust ,and far too much money wasted on the ‘next best solution’ in an attempt to fill the appointment book. It’s simply not possible to appeal to everyone, no matter how hard you try.

Building a loyal, strong client base is a bit like building an exclusive club. You need to know who you want in your club and what their likes and dislikes are. If you’re just starting out in business, then you have a great opportunity to get this correct right from the beginning by simply imagining who your ideal client would be, and marketing directly to that one person.

You could model your ideal client on a person you already know, or a combination of all of the elements of their lifestyle such as workplace, preferred restaurants and shops, income and other personal information. The more detail you go into when you’re compiling your ideal client, the more certainty you have to build your treatment menu and branding to accommodate this ideal client.

If you have an established business, then you really need to drill into your statistics around your clients to find the main client type you are naturally attracting, then establish why they chose you over and above your competition. You’ll find that the majority of your clients will have clear similarities and have been attracted to your business from the message you are sending out, even if you are oblivious to this. The message you are sending out is based on how your business looks and conducts itself, along with your price point.

If you examine any one treatment in the marketplace, you will find it with at least 3 different price points, different marketing, quality expectations and branding around it. Each seller of that item knows exactly who they are marketing to, and also how the treatment should be priced and presented to their target market.

Businesses spend thousands of pounds getting their message just right for their intended customer, because they know it will save them far more money, time and effort giving them a long term successful business. We must send the same consistent message to the right audience we have identified.

Your loyal clients feel part of your business, so the easiest way to build and expand your client base is to collect as much data as possible on them so we can attract more of these people. You can then easily direct your marketing to your ideal client, which in turn will attract similar like-minded new clients to you.

You will also keep your existing clients happy, resulting in natural recommendations to their like-minded friends, family and associates for long-term business growth and stress free stability.

Susan Routledge works with salons, spas and clinics to help them to get the most out of their businesses. You can contact Susan here>>

Build Client Loyalty with the Power of 4

Building loyalty for your salonWe must wake up to the fact that going the extra mile for our clients may simply not be enough to keep them loyal over the long-term.  Business strategy research has shown that you need a 4 pronged approach to help you to achieve this.

Did you know that if you have a client who you only ever offer one service to, that statistically you only have a 50% chance of them remaining loyal to your business? The client may have attended your business for years, and it’s so easy to be complacent thinking the client is yours for life, but in todays climate where choice and variety is in abundance, if you don’t introduce them to other services then you have a very good chance of losing them, and perhaps sooner than you think.

It’s time to take action.

1.  Change a client’s perception and get them to try an additional service, or to buy a retail product they love, and the loyalty likelihood changes to 70%.  Introducing yet another service increases that figure to 85%, before optimising at a 95% chance of clientele loyalty if they have interacted in 4 different ways with your business.  This doesn’t just apply to our industry. Notice when you go shopping, just how many services the larger businesses are now providing including banks, supermarkets and high street stores.

Long gone are the days when the Post Office only sold stamps. They now offer so many options to build loyalty and interact with you. Post office services now include credit cards, home and life insurance, stationary, passport photo booths, lottery tickets, foreign exchange; cash withdrawal… the list just goes on and on!  We need to follow the lead of big businesses and make sure we’re keeping our existing clients loyal to us, then we won’t need to be constantly chasing new ones. This strategy is so simple, yet effective!

It’s so easy to presume that a client only wants the service or product they’ve booked and/or purchased, but WE are the experts, and it’s our duty to keep our clients up to date with our new, as well as existing services and products that would be of benefit to them.

Here’s how you can do this easily: 

Breakdown the time you spend with a client into segments. Make the conversation with your client more about them than about you by encouraging them to talk about themselves. Use this as your valuable listening time, and from this, you need to assess and retrieve information on what the client needs and wants. Approximately 10% of your time with them should be used to advise on suitable products and treatments, events and special offers you know would help them.

2.  You should never need to sell to a client. Instead make sure you are so knowledgeable that the client will trust you implicitly to try new things encouraged by your enthusiasm and professionalism.

3.  List all of the ways you can get a client to engage with your business. Do you encourage clients to buy gift vouchers? Can you offer online booking? Do you blog and send out newsletters? How about competitions and prize draws?

4.  Instead of discounting, add value by combining treatments and products into special price packages. If a client normally only has a nail service then try to include a treatment which involves lying on a treatment couch, or utilising a different treatment area of your premises to widen the client’s perspective of your business and ensuring you utilize their loyalty in the Power of 4.

Susan Routledge works with salons, spas and clinics to help them to get the most out of their businesses. You can contact Susan here>>

Tips to Make Your Salon Stand Out

salon stand out

With many towns boasting as many as 10 beauty salons within a 2 mile radius, you really do need to stand out in the marketplace, but how do you do it ?

Firstly, YOU must know what sets you apart. Many fail by claiming to be something they are very clearly not. A whole lot of salons follow the lead of another and never find their true identity or discover their true potential – avoid being one of them and make your salon stand out!

Sit with a big sheet of paper and pen, identifying your businesses strengths and what you feel you do head and shoulders above your competitors and why your clients love what you do. Don’t forget to ask your clients too…they love being involved. Your uniqueness can come from price point, quality level, treatment or product choices, etc, etc.

You need to be exceptionally clear on where you excel and also who your ideal client is. This all creates your brand and strong business ethos. You cannot build a strong brand by trying to be something to everyone. I always recommend to write a Philosophy statement stating exactly what you want your business to be projecting to your clientele and never ever stray from those values.

Once you have established what makes your business so unique and your services invaluable to your clients then you need to make sure it reflects in every single angle of your business. Use your strengths and differences to make your salon stand out so much that everyone knows exactly what makes you special from the sea of similar salons.

Susan Routledge works with salons, spas and clinics to help them to get the most out of their businesses. You can contact Susan here>>