What’s one of the best incentives to try a new service? Many agree it’s some type of introductory offer. A discount for the first three months of a new gym membership or the first in a series of training classes for your dog gives you the opportunity to try with reduced financial risk. Introductory offers are also a way to bring new clients into your salon with the goal of converting them into regulars. Here are five tips for creating effective introductory programs.
1. Serve with Retention in Mind. The key goal of an introductory offer is to create an exceptionally memorable experience so that the new client will be ready and willing to return again and again. Of course you give your all to every client who sits in your chair, but this is the time to deliver your very best from the moment she walks in to the moment she leaves, and even after the service with a follow-up thank you text or email.
2. Rebook on the Spot. Because your introductory offer is meant to develop a long-term relationship, it’s important to keep the momentum going. So be sure to rebook your new client before she leaves the salon. Rebooking is most successful when it’s client-centered. For example, you may say something like, “In order to keep this haircut shaped properly, I’d like to see you in six weeks. That would be August 15 and I have some openings. Would morning or afternoon be better?”
3. Create an Introductory Package to Build a New Service. If you want to build your blow-out business, for example, create a package of four weekly blowouts at a special introductory price. Be sure to include an expiration date—for example, five weeks for four blowouts—to maximize the offer.
4. Price Properly and Simply. Pricing an introductory offer can make or break the proposition. Price it too low and the client may hesitate to move into a full-price scenario. Price it too high and you erase the value of the incentive. It’s best to find a sweet spot in the middle, around 50 percent off the full-priced service.
5. Keep it Simple to Implement and Track. The last thing you need is a complicated promotion that can’t be measured, so create an offer that can be easily integrated into your salon software program. If you don’t use software, be sure to keep organized records on the clients taking advantage of the offer and the frequency of their returns so you can measure the results accurately.
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