By Kristi Valenzuela, Crystal Focus Coaching (www.crystalfocus.com).
If business is slow, it’s time to crank up your “brave meter.” Pass out your business cards every chance you get! A very small investment in business cards (Vistaprint.com is my favorite) is priceless and will produce profitable results. Be sure to include an aggressive first-visit voucher printed on the back of the card, and come up with a clever way to introduce yourself. Create a plan of action to pass out at least 20 business cards each week to people you meet throughout your week. Here’s what to do:
Example of Do’s (Super Smart, Savvy, and Successful Nail Techs Do This)
1. DO drop off your child at day care. Make sure all the day care employees have your card.
2. DO go to parent/teacher conferences. Make sure all the teachers have your card.
3. DO go out to eat. Make sure you give your waitress your card — and meet two more waitresses.
4. DO go to the dry cleaner and give the person a card. And while you’re there, walk into the business next door and give them your card too.
5. DO go get your oil changed. Use these 10 minutes to walk around the strip mall giving out your card.
6. DO create an aggressive new client campaign — for example, 20% off your first visit and free nail polish.
7. DO create a referral reward program — send a friend and get 20% off your next visit and free polish.
8. DO walk around the salon giving free hand massages, polish changes, and paraffin dips.
9. DO give all new clients in other departments a salon tour and complimentary service.
10. DO offer a “pre-book and win” contest — pre-book your next appointment and go into a drawing for a mani/pedi.
11. DO create a great “elevator speech” to market yourself. This is a 30-second pitch describing who you are, what you do, what makes you different, and why someone would want to come see you. It ends with giving that person your business card/promotion.
12. DO create a “point of difference,” such as a signature consultation, signature themed services, special VIP treatment, special nail table set-ups, etc. Ask yourself, am I one in a million or am I just one of many?
13. DO make sure the front desk person always has her nails done. Make sure YOU do them — free as a gift for her hard work at the desk.
14. DO teach the front desk personnel how to talk about your services. Make sure the front desk professionals have all experienced your work and have a few key clever words to make your services sound irresistible.
Example of Don’ts (Self Sabotaging, Sour, Starving Nail Techs Do This)
1. DON’T complain you are slow and not be willing to get up and pass your business cards out like bread crumbs.
2. DON’T go to your dentist (or other business) and ask to leave 20 cards behind and expect other businesses to open the flood gates to new clients.
3. DON’T expect your employer to market you and keep you busy. If you are serious about growing, then get yourself going!
4. DON’T say “I’m just a nail tech” when someone asks you what you do.
5. DON’T do services and customer service like all the other salons in your area. Are you boring or are you brilliant?
6. DON’T say, I live too far away from the salon to market to the places where I do my errands. Either chose a salon closer to where you work, or plan an hour or two twice a week to walk in and out of businesses in your salon’s area.
7. DON’T expect the front desk to know how to talk about your services if they have never experienced them.