Dear Shari: How can I get people to get regular pedicures and try nail art?

July 01, 2008

How can I get people to get regular pedicures and try nail art? Sincerely, No Regularity


Dear No Regularity:

This is the perfect time of year to get clients in the habit of regular pedicures. Let me share a couple of tricks to get your customer to book a pedicure every month.

1. Give a discount when a customer rebooks a pedicure within 30 days.

2. Offer a package deal. How about a Super Summer Pedicure Package that promotes purchasing three or four pedicures at a time?

3. Sell coupons that clients can purchase and use to pay for their pedicures. Sell each coupon for a discounted price and let customers purchase as many as they like. Sell them quarterly with an expiration date of about three months.

4. Change your pedicures seasonally. Keep them interesting and fun.

5. Give the world’s best massage. No one will ever stray from your appointment book if you give them an incredible massage. Take classes, perfect your technique, and find special ways to pamper your clients.

Depending on your location and the average age of your clientele, it can be a challenge to get customers to wear nail art. When marketing your work, it is essential that you have all types of nail art from simple to downright gaudy. Keep in mind everyone’s taste is different and you need to cater to all.

Displays sell nail art. It’s all about the visual presentation that makes the customer either want it or ignore it. Be clever when displaying your artwork and change it often to keep customers’ interest. I personally love to do nail art, and when I have a little extra time in my schedule I often find myself doing free art for fun (at least that is what my client thinks). But I really have more than fun on my mind:

1. Once I give them a little they usually enjoy it so much that they want more, often returning to their next appointment with their own nail art ideas.

2. Nail art acts as a walking billboard. I know for every freebie I do I am getting free advertising.

3. Other clients in the salon stop to look at the art and either book an appointment or tell a couple of girlfriends about it.

4. It motivates other salon staff by keeping the atmosphere fun and creative.

Nail art hit its peak in popularity in the ’90s but recently I have noted renewed interest. If you can’t get regular nail art customers, start off by getting customers’ feet wet by concentrating on holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas.

Veteran nail tech Shari Finger — owner of Finger’s Nail Studio in W. Dundee, Ill. — fields reader questions in the areas of salon management and workplace politics.

How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?

As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?

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What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?

Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.

Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits? 

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