Money Matters

Cultivating Ideal Clients

Is it really possible to have your ideal client sitting in your chair consistently? The answer is a resounding yes. You can choose your own clients, while turning your existing clients into your ideal.     

Inspiring Champions Lauren Gartland says you can fill your book with ideal clients once you learn to recognize them.
<p>Inspiring Champions Lauren Gartland says you can fill your book with ideal clients once you learn to recognize them.</p>

It makes no sense to begin searching for new clients until you have vivid clarity about what it is that you want, instead of settling for any warm body that comes into your salon. In addition, you can create ideal nail care clients from your existing regulars. Lauren Gartland, the founder of Inspiring Champions, a business and coaching company specializing in the beauty industry, regularly advises beauty professionals on how to create their ideal client base for business success and growth. “The type of client you choose will determine if you have a fantastic or mediocre day, how much money you make, and whether you work harder or you work smarter. Take action by actively prospecting for new nail care clients on a regular basis as well as taking a fresh look at people you already know,” says Gartland.

 

Step 1: Create a Vision Statement

The story “Acres of Diamonds” shows how important it is to recognize potential. A man once bought a house on land that was reputedly full of diamonds. He went out every day digging for diamonds, yet he never found any. He eventually went broke, gave up, and sold the house, convinced there were no diamonds on the property. Years later, he returned and was shocked to find a huge mansion where his farmhouse once stood. The new owner showed the man an ugly rock — just like many rocks the man used to find all over the property. The owner rubbed the outer layer of the rock until a brilliant diamond was revealed underneath. Gartland says, “The man realized he had in fact owned acres of diamonds, yet never recognized what they really were. Think of yourself as a treasure hunter and your clients as diamonds. If you’re going to go treasure hunting for diamonds, you’d better know what they look like!”

The first step to recognizing that potential and gaining new and ideal clients is to write a vision statement. A vision statement is a detailed description of what you truly want and desire. In other words, it is your ideal client manifested on paper. Before you can see it in your life, you must first see it in your mind — and then create it vividly on paper. This is the starting point of success. “Next, put yourself in a position to receive. Remember that asking is the starting point of receiving. Write down in vivid detail what you would like your ideal nail care client to be like, what services she receives and what products she uses. “Create your vision statement, a description of your ideal clients, so that you will actually recognize them when you meet them,” Gartland says.

To create your vision statement, consider your current clients and which of these you really look forward to seeing. Perhaps your ideal client is a business woman who is always punctual, rebooks before leaving, receives not one but two or more services you offer, and is committed to the homecare regimen you have recommended to her. Or perhaps your ideal client is creative, edgy, and fashion forward. She will always be ready to try the newest nail trends and is someone who loves products, while investing in lots of your accessories. Write down their characteristics until you have a clear vision. “Once you clearly define who your ideal nail care clients are, you will start recognizing them all over town,” says Gartland. “Make sure that when you do, you have your ‘wow’ business cards on hand and are proactive about approaching them. Always look polished and professional and dress in a way that will impress your ideal clients. Always display your beautiful craftsmanship on your own nails, so everyone you meet will ask where you got them done. Any place you are going presents opportunities to find new clients.”

 

Step 2: Plant the Seeds for Ideal Clients

“Think of your business like a farmer,” says Gartland. “A farmer knows that if he never plants any seeds, he will never get a harvest. He also knows that if he just plants a few seeds, he will only receive a small harvest. To attain a large harvest, he needs to plant lots of seeds.” What is one action step you can take in the next 24 hours to support you in attracting more new clients? What action step can you take in the next week to support your goal? What steps can you take in the next month?

“Perhaps in the next day you can start looking into a professional networking group you can join to meet new people. In the next week, you could get new business cards made up that really grab people’s attention. In the next month, you could start attending some functions and pass out those cards,” Gartland says. Always have your “wow” business cards on hand and regularly give them out. Based on a 10% return rate, giving out two cards per day, five days a week over a 50-week period would get you 50 new clients. If you want more clients, then simply give out more cards.

Continually prospect for new clients and become vividly aware of when you are out in the world and have opportunities to connect with others. Where in your community can you connect with potential clients? Perhaps at PTA meetings, the bank, the post office, the grocery store, your favorite coffee shop or restaurant, your gym, at parties, or anywhere you find yourself. “Prospecting refers to sifting through large numbers of people to find those gold nuggets who want to do business with you,” says Gartland. “Gold miners have to go out into the world to mine for gold. They may not find it at first, yet they persist until they do find it — and so will you.” Commit to actively, consistently, and powerfully prospecting for new clients today.

 

Step 3: Turn Current Clients Into Ideal Clients

Now, consider your existing clients who are already your ideal. “Invite people in to help with your success. Ask the type of clients you want to have more of for their advice. Tell them you value their input and ask if they have ideas on how to grow your business. This will give your clients ownership and partnership in helping you succeed,” Gartland says. Say to your current ideal clients: “I’m expanding my nail care business and I want more people like you as clients. Would you help me? How many business cards do you need?” You can reward them with bonus points for new referrals that can be used for products or discounts on services.

To turn existing nail care clients with potential into your ideal, start conducting thorough client consultations that will present new opportunities for additional services and product purchases. Your ideal client should have a higher service ticket, with spa manicure and pedicure services, add-on treatments, and retail. “By educating your existing clients and showing them the possibilities you can provide for their looks and style, you will start to create your own ideal clients,” says Gartland. “Remember that you already own acres of diamonds — you just need to find them and polish them.”

 

Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring ­services, webinars, audio tapes, and educational resources. For more information, call (800) 496-9305 or visit www.InspiringChampions.com. Jenny Hogan is the media director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, ­advertising, and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty and spa businesses. For more information, contact (703) 359-6000, visit www.MktgSols.com, or send an e-mail to MktgSols@MktgSols.com.

 

Keywords:   building your clientele     client relationships  

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