There is often a myth in our industry that discounting is a way to lure new clients through your door, and also a way to get lapsed clients back in to fill our appointment books to overflowing.
I am sure if you have tried discounting that you know that it simply isn’t that easy and can backfire in so many ways.
I have witnessed some great salons fall from grace and ruin their reputation by trying to grow their client base with deep discounting.
Discounts, inadvertently show your client that you can afford to do their treatment for a far lesser price, or else how could you be doing it?
I see treatment offers slashing up to 50% off. That treatment will never have the same worth to a client at full price ever again, and more often than not, it kills sales of that treatment forever and causes cash flow issues for the long term.
The deal site model is sold to businesses as a popular route to gain new clients but please, please be extremely careful!
A lot of these new clients will constantly be chasing the next latest offer, with little chance of ever becoming loyal to any one business.
During periods of deep discounting, you will often see your loyal regular clientele running for the hills. The change in how the business has to run to cope with demand, can totally change the salon ambience and team dynamics…
I have seen lovely salons literally turned into conveyor belts for little or no gain whilst trying to accommodate deal site or discount offers.
So what can you do instead…
- Address the underlying issues
- Always have a reason
- Plan Ahead
- Use Add-ons
- Get Help from Suppliers
Look firstly at why you think you need to give discounts. Rather than chasing new clients, look in depth at why you aren’t retaining existing clients, ask for honest feedback and act fast to fix any issues. It is far easier to make past clients raving fans again with a little TLC, rather than constantly chasing new business.
Any offer needs an explanation or reason behind it. This way a client can understand the discount. The offer could be a new treatment launch, salon anniversary, client birthday, refer a friend scheme or rebooking incentive.
Be proactive rather than reactive. Plan your marketing calendar well ahead so all offers are structured throughout the year. This way you can create a constant salon buzz, and excite and delight your clients with upcoming special treatments and events. This also gives clients a great reason to talk about your salon and to recommend your services to friends.
A common mistake is to run a promotion on an unpopular treatment thinking it will draw clients in, but a far better idea is to run a promotion on a busier treatment linking it to an add-on, upsell offer including the less appealing treatment.
Doing this will give your existing clients a real sense of value by allowing them to try a taster of the less popular treatment and also it will generate extra business to an already established and popular treatment.
Suppliers can be a great resource of free gifts, sample products or discounted products to add value to your treatments. Also ask your suppliers to help you to promote with events, workshops etc too
Here’s to your great business success
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