It’s not always the case, but more times than not, the beginning of the week for salons is slower than say, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Not sure why this happens, but it does.
One thing’s for sure. We’re always looking for ways to fill in the white space on our books, especially during the beginning of the week.
The first thing most salon owners do to lure in clients on slow days is offer a promotion, like half off a haircut with a color service or a free deep conditioner add-on if you book on Monday. Yes, these offers do work, but at what cost? In particular, I am referring to the reputation you might establish by becoming the “discount salon”. It’s a delicate balance we must manage.
What if we switched it up? Instead of offering a discount or offer on services, why not offer a free gift with purchase? It could be a travel size shampoo and conditioner or even a full size when booking on a Monday or Tuesday? It’s up to you! We mixed it up and gifted full size shampoo and conditioners formulated for everyday just some weeks and travel sizes for other weeks.
As with most sales strategies, you should treat this like a marathon, not a sprint. The idea is to encourage guests to shift their behavior. Focus on the busy days and target clients coming in on those days. Offer a free gift when they pre-book their next appointment on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
In our case, we offered free shampoo and conditioner that they would receive when they came in on their next visit. We just kept a notepad handy and wrote down the guests’ name when they took us up on the offer. If a client moved or canceled their appointment, they became ineligible for the free shampoo and conditioner.
It’s a very simple strategy but it works. Here’s why:
- In most cases, the cost of the discount offered in the form of free product is usually less than the cost of discounting a service.
- Clients will always see more value in a free gift with service than just merely discounting services.
- It helps preserve your branded reputation by adding value with a gift instead of cheapening it by discounting services.
- We know that Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are always going to be in demand, so by moving clients from those days makes room for more which, over time, increases productivity for every day of the week.
- It gives guests the opportunity to try new products while helping you increase productivity on slower days at the same time.
- Offering a free gift with purchase makes it easier for staff to have the “come see me on my slower days” conversation.
The good news is that after a few weeks when you start to see more consistency in the day to day productivity, you can focus on your pre-booking and maintain your client flow without having to offer a free gift.
What have you implemented to get your slower days busier? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know.