Business Management

The Coaching Chronicles: Installment #2, Add-on Services and Referrals

In this occasional series, we follow along as Adrienne, a mother of two who just moved with her husband to North Carolina, works to rebuild her nail business from scratch. She’s working with Heather, a certified salon success coach, to help her succeed. If you missed the first installment, see NAILS February issue or visit The Coaching Chronicles blog (updated twice weekly) at http://blogs.nailsmag.com/coach.

Looking back at all of the numbers for the last few months shows the drastic upturn my business has truly taken. With Heather, I’d decided on a daily goal of $250, and I was thrilled when I surpassed it for the first time since I reopened my business. Now I’m working on ensuring the other days consistently catch up! I’ve been tracking my numbers daily (including service dollars, number of rebooking clients, retail sales, and client referrals), a task that will be kept up for a while until I get where I need to be with all of my goals.

Networking has been huge for me when it comes to bringing in new clients. I was part of a networking group in Florida and have joined a group here in Apex, N.C. They graciously let me do a presentation with a question-and-answer session. Although I was so nervous to speak in front of about 60 people, it went very well! I did a demo of a PerfectSense Paraffin Treatment. I wanted to inform all the networkers that coming into the spa isn’t just about French nails or acrylics. The response from people I’ve never met before was extremely positive, and I was approached by a golf pro and a jewelry designer to come to their businesses for their next workshops to do another demo. Yay! I also participated in an “I didn’t get what I wanted for Valentine’s Day!” event, where a Hair, Body & Sole esthetician and I handed out more than 75 samples, fliers, and packages with a first time visit coupon and salon promotion material. Plus, the entire salon was the official salon backstage for “The Vagina Monologues” here at the local community center. It’s been a great whirlwind of activity, and the salon and my name are everywhere at the moment.

As my services were increasing, Heather and I discussed how little retail left with each of those new clients. We brainstormed about what was missing in the retail area and how to keep it fresh and intriguing. After visiting some of the other gift shops downtown to see what’s hot and to make sure we didn’t duplicate any items, I decided to add a line of candles — L’Ocean Candles, made right here in North Carolina — to my retail offering. They’ve been doing really well. I also added some jewelry and expanded the products I carry in the Footlogix line. Before I started focusing on retail, my retail sales were about $50 a week; now the weekly sales are around $125. Wow!

The other thing that’s been huge is that the entire salon has climbed aboard with open minds to coaching, scripts for the front desk, and tracking numbers. This has made the most immediate impact, not only in my business, but in everyone’s book. The turnaround has made some of the other staff members realize that, with time, having these systems in place will make us a force to be reckoned with. Instead of negative vibes, grouchy service providers, and everyone wanting to do their own thing, there’s consistency as a team, and excitement buzzing through the salon. The clients see the difference and are impressed.

All in all, business is booming, but I’m also now starting to turn some people away. The salon owner and I discussed bringing in another nail tech for the hours I’m not available, plus Saturdays, which is when we get the most last minute calls for nails. So the challenge will be giving up some space (I’ve taken over both tables and most of the storage), and finding someone who has a like-minded career path. Wish us luck!

FROM THE COACH: Heather Goodwin, Inspiring Champions, Palm Harbor, Fla.

When we began our process several months ago, I had Adrienne answer a number of different questions. They were based on future goals, 30-day goals, primary focuses, and what needs to improve. The purpose was not only to provide me with this information, but also to have Adrienne see where she truly is in her business and where it’s headed. Without this clarity, we can’t track results (which is crucial to success). What showed up for Adrienne was that an approach that worked in a high-traffic salon in Florida has produced very different results in North Carolina. So how does one adjust? In a land where the French manicure is king, how do you entice skeptical spectators to try glitter gel toenails? We found that meeting clients in their comfort zones first builds trust. Adrienne took the tactic of first providing clients what they’re used to in order to gain their loyalty, then easing them into less conservative looks. Within a few months, Adrienne is already making a name for her unique services. In a land that had never heard of “gel toes” she broke down the barriers by providing services to the people she knew would share the news, and they did!

We also talked about add-on services; these can make or break your day financially. To recommend one, first you must know all the features and benefits. Adrienne’s added a foot detox machine that, in a state that really cares about healthy living, has really paid off! It’s an easy add-on to any service; one great idea is to tack it onto a pedicure or add it while a client’s color is processing on her hair. The real pay off is in the packages; in other words, “6 Sessions for the Price of 5” to be completed weekly for six weeks. There’s no point in having a client complete a session and come back in three months for the next one. You lose the opportunity for effectiveness in the service as well as the chance for them to purchase another package.

Adrienne has also been getting some great client referrals; a personal trainer she gave a service to has become a tremendous referral source. I’m always asking myself, “Who could become a great new referral source for me?” Sometimes referrals can come from someone you’d never expect. Think of everyone you know, make a list, try it out for 30 days, and most of all, track your results. We all know that traditional advertising is costly. It takes seven to 15 times the advertising dollars to bring in new business than to keep the clients you have. By using your existing clients to pass the word, the costs are at the minimum, with all to gain.

Looking ahead, Adrienne is fully booked some days three weeks out. That’s great from just two months ago having huge holes in her schedule. Her rebooking grew from under 50% when we started to a whopping 89%. Whew, my head is spinning. When you combine great desire and tracking on a regular basis, you see BIG results, and Adrienne is on fire. Bookmark http://blogs.nailsmag.com/coach to see where we’re headed next!

Keywords:   add-on services     blogs     building your clientele     marketing/promotions     networking     retailing  

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