What does your ideal client look like? When I ask beauty salon owners, they invariably
tell me that the best ones are those “who will happily spend money”. Sounds simple. But
how do you find those willing-to-pay clients, let alone attract and keep them coming
back? My theory is simple too: start by looking at your facial services clients – that’s
where you’ll find the true gems.
Clients who have facial services are interested in ongoing, long-term care of their skin. They value having good skin and are more likely to enter into packages and that give them lasting results.
Years ago when I had a hair salon, I entered into a partnership with a like-minded entrepreneur owner of a nearby beauty salon. We agreed that each of us would choose 30 of our best clients and gift them a complimentary treatment at the other salon. I would give her clients a complimentary blow wave and she would give my clients a complimentary facial.
I don’t care to look young, but I do care to look good. I believe that the foundation to looking good is healthy hair and glowing skin.
We agreed that, to be fully comfortable about the referral, we both should first experience the other’s service ourselves. An added bonus – by doing so as a mystery shopper, we could also provide constructive feedback.
I phoned immediately and made my appointment. When the day arrived, we were down a team member and I had 204 things I should be doing other than having a facial. I loathe letting people down, so I honoured the appointment, even though the whole way there my head buzzed with all the other things on my plate.
What a brilliant decision! At the beauty salon, a lovely Irish girl greeted me with a comfy chair and a glass of iced water. She explained a little about the salon’s approach to skin and beauty in general. There was I thinking all beauty salons and spas were the same: they apply a series of creams to your face, remove them, leaving the last one on; you go home feeling relaxed and a tad greasy.
This gorgeous girl debunked that myth almost instantly. She was beautifully trained and didn’t sell me a thing. Instead she gave me options around how I could preserve my skin so that in my 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s I’d be complimented for having a healthy glow.
We connected immediately and I felt she understood me. I don’t care to look young, but I do care to look good. I believe that the foundation to looking good is healthy hair and glowing skin.
She went on to deliver a glorious facial and then asked if I was interested in testing out something new called microdermabrasion. That was the beginning of me understanding the difference between one beauty therapist and another.
Since, I have migrated to many other beauty services including peels, dermal needling, fillers and, my favourite, Botox. There’s no reason for any woman to not look and feel her best today. You just need to find the right therapist to help you choose what is best for you and your skin.
My beauty therapist explained that having one facial every now and again was of little value. Granted, one was better than none at all, but perhaps I should consider a skin plan. Who even knew such a thing existed?
She offered me a package of five visits that I could pay off over three easy instalments. All I had to do was show up, laydown and she would do the rest. From memory, my skin plan cost around $900, which included all the products. As she carefully explained, it was important that I support what she was doing in the salon at home.
My beauty therapist hadn’t rolled her eyes or made me feel that what I was doing now wasn’t good enough. Instead, she praised me for my good habits, like never going to bed without removing my make-up. She understood that I really “just didn’t know what I didn’t know”. She knew that clients get overwhelmed and confused and, to avoid being judged by the therapist, will sometimes give up rather than be honest about their needs.
Why do people resort to picking up an inferior skin care product from a substandard supermarket or pharmacy range? Because, not all therapists do their jobs. Your professional role is to fish for problems to solve and build a trusted rapport that lets you discuss what options are possible. Give advice, give options, give samples. Give freely of your time and your spirit. Take notes. Follow-up. Show you really care about outcomes for your clients. That’s how you’ll unearth the genuine gold – the facial services clients who not only keep coming back but rave about your salon to their network.
It’s almost a decade since I first met my lovely beauty therapist and I still recall exactly how she made me feel. Your facial clients are in your beauty rooms seeking that same feeling. They want skin that glows. They want to feel great about themselves.
Before you judge them for what they don’t know, think about the value you can give them with your undivided attention packaged up with genuine, down-to-earth advice.
Nurture their loyalty by doing your job well and your appointment book will be brimming with the treasures of people who believe in you and what you do. People who don’t take professional skin care at face value, they’re the real gold – and they’re worth unearthing.
For more tips on lifting your salon from good to great, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit my website, find my video tips on YouTube or read my book The Naked Salon, an essential guide to time, team and money. www.zingcoach.com.au