In the blink of an eye, the festive season will be upon us. Here’s how to put together your best game plan this year.
“The holidays tend to take care of themselves, but it’s really the months before and after when the salon needs a push,” says Oscar Valencia Jr., senior trainer and coach at Inspiring Champions. Before the last leaf falls, be proactive and plan for steady success into 2013.
Before the holidays: Get your salon team on board.
Imagine, as a salon owner, walking into the staff meeting ready to present the holiday promotion to your team. Will they be on board? “Let’s bring it back to show-and- tell at school. If you have signs, posters and some displays of what the promotion will look like, then the answer is yes!” says Kristi Valenzuela, founder of Crystal Focus Coaching. “Salon owners need to do the pre-work and provide vision when they want to drive a new promotion. Then, involve your team to do some goal-setting and brainstorming on the execution.”
And what kind of promotions are holiday appropriate? “One possibility is for the salon team to create an in-house hair collection, for example, with three or four updos,”suggests Valencia. “Create some fun and excitement around it by giving the looks names that are specific to the holidays, such as ‘The Silent Night Updo’ or ‘Wave 2012 Goodbye.’ For multi-service salons, this is also a great way to cross-promote the makeup and nail departments with related services, such as ‘Mistle Toe’ pedicures and ‘Angel Eye, Candycane Lip’ makeup.” Creating a unique in-house collection will also differentiate a salon’s service, which clients can ask for by name. “What’s also great about an in-house collection is that it gets the salon into the mood to be a creative team, and this can be done seasonally for spring and summer again”, says Valencia.
During the Holidays: Promote pre-booking.
“Business-wise, we are going to see the most traffic from existing as well as new clients during November and December. Since you hit the biggest numbers during these months, it’s the perfect time to focus on pre- booking, which guarantees clients, carrying the salon into January as well,” says Valenzuela. “If a salon doesn’t already have a pre-book campaign, one idea we use is the pre-book and win. When a customer pre-books her next appointment, her name is entered into a draw to win a big prize.”
Another idea is to think about the client’s social calendar during this busy season. “Ask existing clients in early November what events they will be attending, and plant the seed that you would love to be their hairstylist for those events,” says Valencia. “One idea is to have a ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ package with 12 services that clients can redeem over a series of visits,” suggests Valencia. “Give new clients a welcome gift that includes four offers for their next visit and encourage them to try one today,” says Valenzuela. Not only will clients feel taken care of by the salon, but these ideas also show exceptional customer service and will likely fill the books during the lull in January and February.
On The Front Line: Sell from the start.
“One of the most under-utilized elements of the business is the front desk, and yet it is here that clients receive their first and last impressions of the salon,”says Lauren Gartland, founder of Inspiring Champions. When clients come in for a haircut only, the front desk can be trained to come up with questions to anticipate their other beauty needs, such as offering a manicure, colour or updo. ”You won’t miss the magic, and salons can schedule enough time for additional services, versus a client saying, ‘Oh, since I’m here I’d love to get my nails done,’ but there’s no one available,” says Gartland.
Kristi Valenzuela, whose company specializes in phone scripting, suggests,”The front desk can offer a retail product or a special service. Having phone scripts that end with a sales seed will help drive clients to whatever goal the salon is trying to increase. Then, when they walk in and see the supporting signage for the promotion, they’ve already been introduced to it and are ready to start shopping,” says Valenzuela.