Thought Process: Take your best strategies - improve them - and grow!
We've talked about leveraging your reputation ONLINE, but there is another way to use your established reputation that doesn't involve the web.
Leveraging your reputation can also mean... GETTING REFERRALS
If you see a good movie and tell a friend, that friend is a lot more likely to go see it.
If you tell them the food is great at a particular restaurant, they are more likely to try it out.
Obviously, a recommendation from someone you trust matters.
You know it without me saying it - the best way for you to build its client base is to...
Leverage Your Reputation with Referrals.
Yet if you are like most salons, you don’t have a referral program that consistently works to bring in new business. You may get a few referrals from time to time… and are THANKFUL for that!
But think of how many of your clients “forget” to refer you. And, honestly, how many times do you hesitate to ask?
That’s a lot of business that goes untapped.
The 5 reasons why salon referral program do little to leverage your reputation... and what you can do to TRIPLE the referrals YOU receive:
1. You hesitate or forget to ask
2. You don’t have a well-thought out referral plan
3. You haven’t given your clients a reminder to bring with them
4. You don’t have an easy, reliable system for tracking referrals and giving credit where credit is due
5. Your reward is too small
Let’s look at the last one more closely - a reward that’s too small.
The problem, quite simply, is that your clients will not feel motivated to promote your salon unless a worthwhile reward is offered. For instance, lets say you offered a client a 10% discount after 5 referrals. If your haircut price is $50, this would mean a reward of only $5, or a dollar per referral!
Your clients lead busy and active lives and may not consider a savings of $5 a worthwhile incentive. A referral program like this will never help you to grow.
To get the most out of a referral program, you must create an incentive that will motivate your clients to recruit new customers for you. What if you gave the referring client a free service after 3 referrals? Is this wise – or too generous? If you hesitant to offer such a steep reward, let’s look at the numbers.
Let’s say you charge $50 for a haircut. If you reward a client with a free cut after three referrals will get $150 in additional sales – plus repeat business when the referral comes back.
What happens next?
Clients who participate in your referral program will continue to want to refer new clients. These new clients may also want to get a free haircut for referring 3 new customers! That could really begin to snowball. If your service is great and you connect well with your new clients, you can only come out ahead.
Once you reach a point where you have enough regular clients, you could stop promoting your system or scale down the reward; however, for a new salon, the most important thing is to build a clientele. The best way to do this is by offering rewards large enough to make a difference for your clients!