Recently, The NAILS File introduced its own Top 10 lists and the trend seems to be catching on (okay, so maybe we didn’t start it). In any case, this month, The NAILS File is proud to feature a guest top 10 list. From the home office in North Hollywood, Calif., Susan Weiss-Fischmann, artistic director of OPI’s international design team, gives you her Top 10 List of low-to no-cost ways to entice your hair care clients to try their first manicure.

  1. Give Us a Hand. Do a survey to find out more about your clients understanding of hand and foot care services. While a client is waiting for her hairstylist, have your receptionist or nail technician ask the client for her help in designing a hand and foot care program that she would like. Have her fill out a short survey and offer her a free gift for her time- say, a gift certificate for a free (or 50% off) manicure. The clients’ survey responses will help you tailor your nail service options to your clients’ self-described needs.
  2. Nail Fair and Extravaganza. Have your distributor bring in educators and do free manicures and product demonstrations on the spot for a week. Promote your Nail Fair with posters, shelf talkers, and by word-of-mouth for at least a full turn of your clientele-six to eight weeks- beforehand. Also, make sure your receptionist invites any clients who will call in for a hair appointment to spend a little extra time to enjoy a complimentary manicure.
  3. Pass It On. One of the most effective ways to get clients to try a new service is by a personal recommendation of the stylist they already know and trust. To get an in-salon referral network going, offer stylists a month long incentive for every client they refer who actually books and has a manicure in the following two months. Give significant monetary or prize rewards to the top three referral generators. Hold a party or luncheon for everyone who makes at least one referral a week during the month to show your appreciation.

 7.Hair Care Tie-in. Offer customers a gift certificate for a free manicure with the purchase of a special hair care package of favorite products-shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray; detangler, gel, and hair spray; or let your client custom-design her own three-product package.

  1. Nail Care Contest. Put a fishbowl on your reception desk and ask clients to drop in their business cards or an entry form for a free hand and foot care product gift basket. Create a basket with a retail value of $50-$100 or have three to five baskets of staggered value. (Your distributor may be willing to help you cover the costs of a promotion.) Then, send a gift certificate for 50% off the price of your regular manicure to everyone who enters the drawing. Make the offer good for appointments booked during your slow hours.
  2. Apply Reverse Telemarketing. When a client calls you to book a hair appointment, have your receptionist ask the client if she’d like to try a manicure at the same time. Offer her 50% off the regular price of the manicure if she books it right then, and let her know the service will take just an extra half-hour.
  3. Gift with Purchase. Take the opposite approach to this tried-and-true client favorite and offer a free service with a product purchase. Put together a nail care starter kit. Then, with the purchase of the kit, offer a free manicure, provided that it is booked that day.
  4. Color Your Neighborhood. To promote two services for the price of one, have gift certificates printed for a free manicure with the purchase of a hair color service or touch-up, for example, and flood neighboring businesses with them during your down-time. Personally invite the employees of local banks, dry cleaners, stores, etc. in to try your salon’s services.
  5. Men Get Totally Buff. Don’t forget that manicures are for men, too. With male clients, seeing is believing, so have your nail technicians offer a complimentary nail buff and hand massage while they’re having their scalp massaged during the shampoo.
  6. And the Winner Is…! Give clients an incentive to purchase nail services by running a raffle-like contest. Clients get one entry ticket for each nail service they purchase during a given period of time. They can also purchase gift certificates for future services and earn additional chances at winning. Offer top prizes such as a weekend for two at a local resort or hotel, two airline tickets, a small television, etc. (Many times you can get these prizes at a huge discount or even free by bartering services with local businesses or working with a local travel agent.) If your salon is too small for those prizes, it’s okay to start smaller. It’s not the value of the prize as much as the idea of winning that will turn on most clients.



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