Challenge #5: Go From Boring to Brilliant — Expand Your Menu, Expand Your Money

By Kristi Valenzuela, Crystal Focus


So, what makes you so special? There is a lot of competition in the nail industry, and unless you can “earn the right” in the first impression — from the first inquiring phone call and throughout the guest’s experience — you could lose business and struggle in 2010.


Today’s client is customer-service savvy and conscious of their checkbook. They want a unique experience with a talented professional. They want to be treated like a V-I-P, given T-L-C, and lots of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Most of all they want value. Value is the perception that you got more than you paid for.” If you accomplish this, your retention rates will skyrocket, you will have a full book, and are guaranteed not to sing the “back room blues.”


Ask yourself, are you “one in a million” or are you just “one of many.” If you can walk into competing salons and see many similarities, it’s time to change! Here are some hot tips on how to expand your menu and analyze your business:


1. Analyze your menu: Does it sizzle or does it snooze? You know what they say, if you snooze, you lose! Add interesting descriptions to your services and sell the sizzle with the steak! Come up with “signature services” and rename the ordinary and make your services sound extraordinary.


Don’t just write: “Full Set - Acrylics - $55.” Have some fun with your service names and descriptions, in keeping with your style, your theme, and your brand. Some examples:


“Fake It Till You Make It” - Full Set – Natural-Looking Nail Enhancements - Full Set $55


“Uptown Nails” - Full Set – Natural-Looking Nail Enhancements- Full Set $55


2. Expand your menu. Offer unique services such as Elbow Exfoliation, Pampering Paraffin, French Twist (classic French with alternative colors), or Man’s Man Manicure (use a shop towel from Home Depot instead of a fluffy towel). Add value with promotions such as:


• a full hand and arm/elbow massage with every service.


• choice of a paraffin dip or French Twist for no extra charge.


• complimentary mini-size cuticle oil with every full set.


• printed home-care instructions for natural nails and enhancements.


There is so much more; you are only limited by your own imagination.


3. Analyze your front desk. Do they know how to professionally and accurately offer your services with authenticity and excitement? If not, you have some training to do. Start by pampering the front desk and teaching them to use million-dollar words that work.


4. Analyze your greeting. The top two things that determine a great first impression are energy and enthusiasm. What do you look like when you meet your guests? Are you stylish, smiling, and professional? Do you have a spring in your step and zip in your words when you first meet your clients or greet your repeat guests?


5. Analyze your consultation. Do you have a focused list of unique questions to discover your client’s wishes, expectations, past history, and current home care? Or are you skipping over a very important part of a professional service? Does your consultation sound the same as your competition’s, or are you new, better, bigger, different?


6. Analyze your education. Are you educating your guests on how to take care of their hands, skin, nails, and feet? They want to know!


7. Lastly, analyze your closing. Are you completing the end of the service with an effective recommendation on what your client needs to do at home to maintain her nails, and are you telling her that you appreciate her business?


Hope this helps! Come visit us at and sign up for our newsletter. Also, check out our audio CD “It’s a Jungle Out There: Secrets to Survival and Salon Success for Nail Technicians.”

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