by Mindy Johnson
As a member of the ProDesign team, it is my pleasure to share the first article of a series of three focusing on how you can make more money! I have had the joy of being a part of this industry for the past ten years, while exploring many avenues of this industry. My background as a manager, instructor and eventually salon owner at the age of 23 has led me to success with my own team as well as being an educator for ProDesign. I thrive on sharing with others the positive outcomes of the experiences that I have had; learning what has worked, has not worked and ways to improve in the industry. My journey to complete a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration has helped me exponentially as a leader and I love to share the successes that I have had as a result.
Please enjoy the series of three in “Making More Money”: Prebooking, Marketing and Customer Service. I challenge you to take at least one idea from each article, implement it and reap the rewards!
Article One: Pre-booking
You can increase your sales 25% easily by simply pre-booking your guests appointments! It is much easier to do more with your current guests than it is to try and obtain more guests to increase your sales. Not only does pre-booking keep your guests on a routine for their beauty regimen to keep them looking their best at all times, but it also ensures stability for you as a stylist. Pre-booking maintains a steady schedule for you, increases your sales and creates demand for you as a stylist. The law of supply and demand simply put…the higher the demand, the higher the price.
The biggest challenge you will face with pre-booking as a stylist is arranging all of your guests to do just that, prebook their appointments. The most common response you will hear is, “I just don’t know what my schedule is”. While this may be true, through perseverance and professionalism you can overcome this obstacle with many of your guests. Some guests will request to set up their next appointment without being asked because they arrange their time in such a fashion. For those who do not, you must arm yourself with the proper tools to overcome the resistance.
The absolute best tactic we have approached in our salon is a pre-booking incentive. People are much more likely to do something they normally would not, if there is an incentive for them to do so. Creativity can certainly be used to vary what each salon or stylists incentive would be. At our salon we enter every guests name that prebooks their next appointment into a drawing. At the end of the month we draw one name. Whichever guest’s name we draw receives all of their services they had booked complimentary along with a flower and a thank you card. When they arrive for their service, we verify which services are being done prior to informing them of the exciting news. We then tell them they have won our drawing and receive their services complimentary. We take a picture of them with their flower and use it in our E-Newsletter to share with all of our guests.
As a team we have increased our prebooking by 52% over the course of 22 months by doing just that. From a business perspective, one might be apprehensive to offer such an incentive due to the cost. If you compare the cost of the services provided free to the amount of extra revenue generated from the increase in service sales, you would clearly see the benefit outweighs the cost.
Along with offering the incentive, employees must be prepared to ask for the prebook along with a response if rejected. Customers do not want to feel pressured into a “sale”, so having the right tone of voice along with choice of words is crucial in this situation. Below are some suggested scripts to follow:
The most common situation that I have confronted is guests who have mentioned how long they have to wait to get in for an appointment with me. A great way to approach this topic is by saying, “I understand it was difficult for you to get in for an appointment when you would have liked to. I definitely do my best to accommodate all of my guests in a timely manner; however, the only way I can assure you an appointment in a timely manner is to prebook your appointment. Out of respect for my time, if you prebook your appointment and there is a conflict, I am willing to be more flexible on making your appointment work best for you.”
“Jane, you stated you were about two weeks overdue for haircut this time and weren’t able to get in for another week. I would like to reserve your next appointment for four weeks. Do Thursday’s work best for you?”
If Jane is apprehensive inform her of the prebooking incentive you have going on. I also like to tell my guests that we do confirmation calls two days prior to their scheduled appointment. I can go ahead and schedule the appointment for 4 weeks and should something conflict with that, I would be more than happy to accommodate a better time. Anytime a guest has a challenge or a complaint, they have opened the door for you to offer a solution. This is the absolute best opportunity to make a sale!
We don’t sell services or products; we sell solutions to problems.
In a situation where there has not been challenges with appointments, stylists can simply approach the prebook as follows, “Jane, in order to maintain your look, I would like to reserve your next appointment in 6 weeks. If you scheduled your next appointment now, your name will be entered into our prebook drawing so that you will have the possibility to receive your services complimentary.”
Now that we have explored the reasons why we want to prebook and ways to approach it, lets look at some numbers. If a guest normally comes in every 6 weeks for a haircut at $15 and increases their appointments to every 4 weeks, see how this affects your service sales:
$20 x 8.67(52 weeks in the year/6weeks) = $173.40 /year
$20 x 13 (52 weeks in the year/4 weeks) = $260.00/year
Increase = $86.60/year
At an increase of $86.60/year for one guest imagine the impact that would have if you increasedmore guests visits to 4 weeks instead of 6 weeks. This is a small example of what the “Power of One” class in which ProDesign offers consists of. As a stylist or salon manager you can insert your own pricing and number of guests to get a more realistic estimate of what YOU can increase your service sales by if you just increase your prebooking! I challenge you to approach every guest for one week about prebooking, so that you become aware of how easy it is to change this habit and make it second nature to prebook your guests and become more successful. Work smarter, not harder!