The Coaching Chronicles

Get Better at Asking for Referrals

by NAILS Magazine | February 15, 2013 | Bookmark +

Wow! Thank you for your kind words and comments Sandy, Samaima, and AthenA. My faith, my friends, and family have all helped me through these tough times. 2012 was a tough year. I am, however, excited and glad that 2013 is here! I know whatever is dealt to me I will persevere and make it through. I am strong  just knowing that all of you are thinking about me and wishing me well. Thanks, that keeps me going each day!

I did have some great things happened in 2012 — not all of it was bad. Writing for NAILS has been an honor and a creative outlet. In fact, Sandy and I just celebrated two years writing the Coaching Chronicles. Thank you for being our loyal readers and for your comments. We hope in 2013 that many more of you get the urge, confidence, and have the time to leave a comment. We love hearing what you have to say! Please take a minute and write some of your thoughts and ideas; you never know who it may help!

It’s 2013 and it’s time to tackle the subjects you care the most about. What do you need help with? What can Sandy and I do to help you to build and grow your business? We want to help you we’re here for you and want you to give us some direction. Please write down the subjects you need help with in the comment section. We’d appreciate it!

I want to touch on referrals. My salon is in a referral campaign right now. Here are some of the things that are working for us.

> Design and print out a referral card. Have cards readily available for you to pass out. We have found that a referral card with “50% off any one service” is really getting people in the door. You may also do the referral cards for a dollar amount but we have found 50% speaks volumes.

> Have two lines on the front of the referral card to write:

Current Guest________________________________________

Referred Guest_______________________________________

When I hand these out, I have my client’s name already written on the card where it says Current Guest. Explain to your client that she will get 50% off her next service when this referral card is redeemed by her friend.

> Add an expiration date to create a call to action — a reason to use the referral card soon. If you put an expiration date six months from now, there is no urgency. They wait and eventually lose it. I would recommend the expiration date of a month.

> Listen for hints on who to give referrals cards to. Most nail technicians simply hand out the card to clients and say, “Please hand these out to your friends and family.” Try to be more specific and listen for hints. Ask your clients what they did over the weekend or what they have going on for the upcoming week. If they mention bible study, moms groups, girls’ weekend, book club etc., ask them to hand out the referral cards to their activity.

> Take it to the next level by making referral bags. If your salon doesn’t provide bags for you, you can find them cheap. Head to the dollar store. They have small cellophane treat bags with snowflakes, hearts, flowers, etc. They are anywhere from 12-20 bags for $1. I also purchase some curling ribbon there. I tie off the top of the bags with a little coordinating ribbon. It dresses up the bags more than the little twisty tie it comes with. Fill the bags with your salon menu, referral card, a few samples, some candy or chocolates, and your business card. Ask your client how many they will need for their event. You can make up the bags ahead of time and ask how many your client will need. You can drop them off or have them stop back and pick the bags up.

We have to get better at asking for referrals. Give your clients specific ideas of who they can give the referral cards to. Typically, clients think they don’t know anyone they can give it to.  They will have a better idea with a little help from you. We’re not getting the kind of return on referrals we want by just asking our clients, “Can you hand these out?” Make referral cards and be sure to include your address, phone number and website. Don’t forget to add your name. Print the cards up, hand out two to each client, and start looking for ways to get new referrals through your clients. Try it for a week and be diligent about it — you’ll be amazed at what happens. Let me know how it goes. Helping our clients to help us with referrals, one more way to help you stand out from the rest and become the BEST!

— Jill

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