What salon owner doesn’t long for more easy-to-love clients? You know the ones I mean – they bring you joy and remind you why you do what you do. You know them by their first names. I know them by where they sit in the alphabet.
Let me explain. When you look at your clients without emotion, you can pop them into one of four categories: A, B, C or D. The A clients are the best of the best – they’re the reason you became a hairdresser in the first place and they’re why you keep on learning. They get your energy and passion. They appreciate everything you do for them, they’re fun and they make your job feel not like a job at all. Why not invite them to your salon’s very first plus-one party and surround yourself with more potential A-grade clients?
Here’s how. You arrange a plus-one party and ask your favourite clients to bring along a plus-one. Tell them you’re growing your business and looking for more awesome people (just like them) to come along and enjoy a night of fun. Chances are they’ll choose carefully and bring along great prospects for you.
Why are plus-one parties so enjoyable? Because you get to choose who’s invited. Let’s face it: some of your salon clients are more fun to be around than your immediate family. And, it’s cool to introduce your clients to one another.
The sort of fun you arrange depends on your clientele’s interests. It could be celebrating a fabulous art show with a stylish wine and cheese tasting. It could be a fashion parade of the latest winter jackets or summer swimwear. You could partner with a catering company looking to showcase food for private parties. Or it could be as simple as makeup tips and tricks, or how to use styling tools at home. Who knows? You know what interests your top 20 clients better than I do!
Having a plus-one party creates a sparkle in your business. It gives your already happy clients something to talk about. It helps you stand out from your competitors. It puts some sweet icing on your business cake.
Don’t overthink it or you’ll never get started. Just go ahead and arrange your first plus-one party, enjoy it and then arrange an even better one to follow.
I remember my salon’s first plus-one party. I completely over catered – we could have fed the crowd three times over. A handful of people settled in and stayed too long because I hadn’t stipulated a finish time on the flyer. Lesson learnt: when you offer some people free alcohol they forget when to go home.
“What’s better than an A client? An AA client whose super-satisfied friend introduced her to your amazing salon at an exclusive, impressive plus-one party.”
Your plus-one party doesn’t have to be a late night. Two hours is perfect. My mum used to say: a fast visitor is a good visitor. You’re better to have four short and sweet events a year, rather than one epic night.
Opt for weeknights. Mid-week, most people will have to work the next day and will enjoy just one or two wines. A 6 to 8 PM time slot with finger food is very appealing and doesn’t bite such a big chunk from their time. Your aim is to add value, so make your plus-one event so exciting that the whole town gets talking about you.
Another tip: there are always last minute no-shows. If you want 40 people to be there, you need to aim for 50 confirmed. And you need to share the invitation load across your team. For example, if you’re aiming to entice 40 guests, ask your four senior stylists to each invite their five favourite A-grade clients. Get excited… these people will each bring along a like-minded friend who’ll potentially be interested in both your salon and the entertainment you’re providing. On the night, have an offer available that applies only to those who’ve come along. Perhaps get product reps on board and put together a goodies bag brimming with product samples and a special offer.
The plus-ones will be evaluating the way your team and your salon present on the night. Remember: your aim is to lift awareness about your business, your brand and your team. You’re looking to create a positive buzz about what you do.
Provide nametags (first names only) to help spread the love. And, if one of your team members isn’t keen, simply leave them out. If you force them, they’re not likely to represent your salon at its best. It’s not mandatory, it’s optional.
Not all your clients will be up for learning how to apply makeup or braid hair. Broaden your topics to tempt a broader cross-section of your favourites over the year.
After your plus-one party, keep the magic happening. Taking happy snaps of your clients having fun, wine glass in hand, will give you engaging content to share with your social media followers. (If I see another photo of the back of someone’s head, I’ll scream.) Watch the word-of-mouth do its thing. When girlfriends are talking and comparing one salon to the next yours will come up in conversation for its infectious energy and offering much more than imply a cut and colour. Expect a boost in referrals and a lift in positive energy around your salon.
What are you waiting for? Get planning, jot down a list of you’re A-grade invitees, think about how you’ll spoil your clients and their guests… then make it happen. Because, what’s better than an A client? An AA client whose super-satisfied friend introduced her to your amazing salon at an exclusive, impressive plus-one party.
For more salon wisdom, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit my website at www.thezingproject.com.au, find my video tips on YouTube or read my book The Naked Salon, an essential guide to time, team and money.