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The Coaching Chronicles

Put On Your Event Planner’s Hat

by NAILS Magazine | May 16, 2012 | Bookmark +

I hope you have been enjoying our focus on loyalty programs and how to reward our clients. We have covered loyalty cards — a way to reward our clients for purchases, referrals, and pre-booking, etc. Last week we talked about a Top 100 program that honors our Top 100 clients with perks only for them. Today, we're going to talk about client events. This week we will start with a few of the ideas that had to come together to make this work. Over the next few weeks, we'll finish the article making it a series.

I never realized how important it was to have client events until my business partner and Summit Salon consultant MaLissa Young shared the benefits with me. Her idea was to have a client event at least two to three times a year. Her passion behind doing this event? To get our clients to bring their friends to see our spa/salon, meet our staff, and see what wonderful services we have to offer. Sounds simple right?

Well the concept is, but MaLissa did a lot of work to make this event a success. Her list was long: get the staff to buy in, send out invites, think of services to offer, make signs and entry blanks, gather gift bags, provide food and beverages, and a whole lot more.

First of all, we had to pick a date. We decided a Friday night would work best. Lots of our clients work and this way they could stop by on their way home. This open house would feel like happy hour. Our salon closes at six o'clock on Fridays, so 6:30 seemed like enough time to get the food out and get it all organized. Our event was from 6:30 to 9 p.m. We provided sub sandwiches and a sparkling non-alcoholic beverage. (Minnesota prohibits alcoholic beverages in a salon.) We talked with the sub shop in our mall. We said we would put a sign by the subs that read, "Enjoy a sub sandwich compliments of _____” and, just like that they agreed to provide the sandwiches for our event. That was awesome; the sub shop gets seen by tons of people at our event and that cut out costs too.

We decided this would be a Top 100 event, exclusively for our Top 100 clients. We sent out invitations to our Top 100 announcing the event. The invitations were sent out a few weeks in advance to give our clients time to mark their calendars. They could bring a friend, and we asked that they RSVP. We also called our clients a week before to remind them of the event. This also allowed us to get a more accurate head count for food, gift bags, etc. The front desk took care of addressing the invitations, mailing them, getting RSVPs, and making the confirmation phone calls. They were very helpful in this process and allowed us to take care of other things for the event.

We talked to our staff and had to get them to buy in. If you have a younger staff, it's hard for them to give up their Friday night for work. We talked about the importance of being there to greet your clients and about the referral rewards. If your client is coming in and she is bringing her friend, you get to meet that friend. Nail techs, you get to provide a complimentary Shellac application and tell them about our fabulous pedicure room and pedi parties. Stylists, you get to provide your clients and their guests with a complimentary consultation and brow wax service. There were other services available, I was just giving you examples.

Whenever you get the chance to touch a client and get her in your chair, the chances of getting her to come back to you more than double. We had a signup sheet in the back room asking for our staff to commit. The staff was excited at the chance to meet new clients and just come to have fun. They understood the importance of being there as an opportunity. We provided complimentary services all night and boy was the staff busy! They had fun, the night flew by, and all of them got to pre-book some new clients. In fact, the staff that wasn't there was jealous when they heard about how fun the event was.

Check back next week for more about client events. Rewarding your clients the fun way — with a party! One more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!

— Jill

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