Marketing Between Hair Appointments – coaching from the salon chair

The other day my 30-something hair dresser told me she had a dilemma. “I am a big user of Facebook and it is almost the only way I communicate,” she said. “But my younger clients like texting and my older clients want email or phone calls. How do I let all of them know if I have a special promotion going on?” Then the dilemma: “I don’t want to have to do all those things to tell my customers what I am doing.”As her customer most willing to give marketing advice (and the one currently sitting in her chair) I told her this is a part of her job she may learn to love. Even as simple as a hairdresser promoting a discount haircut takes a little more thought. After all we are talking about increasing her business.

Her current solution was a misspelled and not very enthusiastic note taped to her mirror; black type on white paper and one strip of scotch tape. Aaargh. I asked her if that was how she wanted people to feel about her services? It screamed a lack of attention and boring, neither of which she is! She responded that she had told the young receptionist that she needed a sign and this is what she got.

Really? This woman is smart, professional and has quite a list of clientele. Why would she be so stymied by communicating with existing customers? I have no idea why, but I can tell you WHAT she needs to do. My goal is to show her how enjoyable marketing can be and gives her one more way to connect with her customers.

First she needed to decide what she wanted to achieve. What is your end goal I asked my hairdresser … she said more business and to give my clients a price break once or twice a year.

Did she want new customers too? Not necessarily she told me, but she was hoping for referrals. OK now we had the mission.

Did she have the email addresses or mobile phone numbers of all her clients? Not really she said; only if they give it to me. I knew she only had my office number so this answer seemed correct.

So how was she going to get those I asked? She didn’t know. My suggestion was a simple notebook at her station with a cover that might say: “Tell me how to send you news about my latest discounts and promotions” And while her customers were in the chair, ask them to fill in the information. And if they wanted to add friends, daughters, co-workers etc. that would be fine too. Wow she said, so simple and cheap too.

I asked her what she wanted to tell her customers. Her response was that the last salon she worked at did promotions 2 or 4 times a year and she would like to do the same, when she was traditionally slow. Great I said, let’s pick those dates and you can set up a Facebook page for your services and put those specials in right now! This is about a 10 minute process and she promised to do it that evening.

We went on to discuss the best way to link emails, texts, YouTube and Facebook together and why the time is worth the effort.

My hairdresser is no different than a lot of smart business people – she knew she needed to communicate, just didn’t know where to start. Here’s my guidance – start with determining “Z” what you want to happen and then get a list together. After that just start communicating and with focus, practice and effort, it will all come together.

And yes, when I got back to my office I redid a sign for her mirror and dropped it off for her the next day. After all she had skills I needed and I had skills that could benefit her too.

I can’t wait to hear how all this goes for her, but for that I’ll have to wait 6 weeks for my next hair appointment. A lot can happen for a business in just 6 weeks – but you have to do something!

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