We make time in our salons for so many things I call engine room stuff: ordering stock, changing light globes and menial tasks like backing up the computer.
But what about the fun stuff? The special touches your clients react to the minute they walk in your salon. I call it window dressing even though it’s about much more than your salon window.
Beyond the cleanliness and strong sense of order in your salon, what are you doing to trigger a “feeling” in your clients? Emotional connection reaffirms that this is their salon, that they belong and that you are a professional who cares enough to create an experience.
When you walk into Zara (the women’s clothing store from Spain) you can’t help but feel that colour is big and that platform shoes are on-trend. You feel assured that if it’s displayed so expertly in this store, it must be fashionable. You have a sense of confidence about shopping here. Right now. Today.
I’m sure you’ve experienced a similar feeling in a store you love. Your decision to purchase is made easier.
Walking through David Jones a year back, I was stunned by all the white shoes, every shape and style: white, off white, stark white and creamy white. I hadn’t noticed them in the street yet, after I left the store, I noted more than three women wearing white shoes on my way home.
This visual recollection is how, once brought to your attention, something remains front-of-mind. So I ask you … what is it that you want to bring to your client’s attention so that it remains front-of-mind? How do you create the “feeling” that makes it stick?
Planning where to start is the trick. Planning is the secret to success in everything we do, in our business and in our personal lives.
It’s the same feeling when you return later from having dinner out and find your bed turned down and a chocolate on your pillow.
It triggers an emotion in you. That’s what I’m talking about.
A few years back, I worked with a lovely salon owner, let’s call him George. When I arrived for our first meeting, George was painting every wall in his salon black. Yes, black, black and more black. It wasn’t a great way to see his physical business, draped in drop sheets.
George explained that he wanted to have a divine salon, to create a beautiful experience. More than that, he wanted to spoil his clients with a five-star feeling.
George asked me to follow him to the toilet, where he showed me the toilet roll folded in the V shape. Each of his team of six was vigilant about folding it that way. “We’ve got that right,” he said. “The rest is where we need help.”
I felt immediately that this would be a great salon to work with and that making this good salon into a great one was just a matter of time, as George understood how to deliver a feeling. It’s not that difficult. Planning where to start is the trick. Planning is the secret to success in everything we do, in our business and in our personal lives.
Christmas is a great place to start. I love it when I see a Christmas display that isn’t your standard garden variety. So do clients. I saw an amazing Christmas tree made from books simply piled up into the shape of a tree. In a wine store window, I saw one created from empty clean skin long neck bottles.
Last Christmas, I created a tree using an Ikea box. I cut it into 30cm squares and stuck them to the wall in the shape of a tree. Inevitably, people smiled when they saw it and told me how clever and creative I am.
I suggest you leave your displays for two months so most of your clients will see them. That way you have just five displays a year, plus Christmas, to plan.
For Valentine’s Day, you might run your display for a shorter time, maybe three weeks.
Winter is full of display potential. Try arranging bare branches in a huge vase and hang little vials of salon-strength basin conditioner all over.
I once saw a salon filled with autumn leaves scattered all around the reception area. It was awesome and created a sense of the changing seasons and a trigger to rethink your hair colour. You could include colour swatches of autumn shades and images of famous redheads, like Debra Messenger, Nicole Kidman and Lucile Ball.
Think about grabbing the attention of passersby by decorating your window or sandwich board with a theme.
Try having a quote or a saying on your sandwich board to show the spirit of your business to the world.
I saw one that said: “What you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful.”
It made me smile and think that I’d connect with the people in that salon.
We are in the business of improving not only somebody’s appearance, but also their emotional state, right?
No matter how you dress it up, never forget why you have promotions … to make it easy for your customers to purchase from you; you steer them to the preferred service you want them to buy. Promotions are an opportunity to add in extras you wouldn’t normally include. It’s a chance to really “do your thing” and “wow” them. Next time, they might happily pay for that extra.
To be authentic, the feeling you create with your window dressing must go salon deep. It’s a window to the soul of your business.
So, under promise and over deliver with passion. Leave them knowing that, today, they made the right choice to do business with you.
Interested in learning more about this topic or my thoughts on how to run a salon that has you jumping for joy? 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