Use Contests to Spur Pre-Booking

Over the past few weeks we have talked about how important it is to pre-book your client’s next appointment. I’ve shown you the math and hopefully you’ve seen the light and realized what it means to your income. My hope is that during this pre-booking series you are really putting this into action.


We’ve planned out our words, shown poise, and told clients why they need to reserve their next appointment. We’ve practiced our pre-book script, made the suggestion and gotten our delivery down to a science. We’re full of confidence and yet with some clients, we just can’t get them to commit to pre-booking.


At first, getting our clients to pre-book can be challenging. Some of our clients are used to calling last minute and being able to get in. We all think we pre-book majority of our clients, but have we ever really figured it out? Look at our last 10 clients, if eight to 10 pre-booked we have a high pre-book percentage rate. If six to seven pre-book we’re average at it, but there is room for improvement. We want to get our pre-books up so we can guarantee more of our money. If we pre-booked less than five, that’s 50% or less and that could be a lot of money the we’re missing out on. Looking at the last 10 clients will give us a rough idea about our pre-book abilities.                                                                                                                                                                    

Tracking our last 100 clients will take some time, but it will give us a better and more accurate pre-book percentage. Take the time, do the math, and figure out your pre-book percentage. The math is easy. If we pre-booked 57 of the 100, our pre-book percentage rate is 57%. If we pre-booked 70 of the last 100 clients, our pre-book percentage rate is 70%. It’s that simple. What is your pre-book percentage? Be brave and post it in the comment section of this blog post. Were you surprised or were your numbers right where you thought they would be? It’s not good or bad, it’s just an indicator of where we can improve.


While consulting salons, most techs say “I pre-book everyone.” only to find out that the average is about 27%-30%. It’s astonishing how much we think we pre-book. To actually see how much we pre-book, can be surprising. It’s an eye opener. Take the time to figure it out, it’s worth it.


With a few clients it’s not all about what we say, but it may be about what we can offer. Some clients need that little incentive to get them to commit. If we’re trying to get our pre-book rate up here are some suggestions. This can work for the entire salon or for nail techs who are working on this alone.


Enter the client’s name into a drawing to win a prize — a basket of retail products perhaps. Explain “Every time you pre-book your next appointment, you’ll get your name entered into a drawing to win this bag/basket of products. This bag/basket has products valued at $XX. “Seeing the prize, combined with the thought of winning will get clients who usually say no to pre-booking to give it a shot.


Assemble a clear gift bag or basket filled with products. Neatly display the bag at your station if you are working on this solo. Place it at the front desk if the entire salon is involved. Combine and display lotions, treatments, polishes, polish remover, or a foot file, etc. You can make one for hands and one for feet or one of general nail products. If the entire salon is involved it can feature skin or hair care products too. Make the basket pop with color so it’s noticeable. Use tissue paper or colored paper shreds to display. Shrink-wrapped baskets are eye catching too. Hold the contest for two months, then draw a name.


Now is a great time to start this contest. Start the contest November 1 and do it through the end of the year. You only have a week to prepare so get going!


This week, I shared just one idea. Next week, I will post more ideas to get you pre-booking through the holiday season. Incentives to pre-book — one more way to make you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!


— Jill


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