One Quick Told-Ya-So, a Tip and a Story…

I saw today that Groupon came out with their earnings and the stock cratered by 27%.  In fact, the stock has gone from $31 to $5 in about eight months.  I guess other businesses are finally catching onto what salon owners have known for some time.  It’s a terrible way to grow a business.

And sure…there are some salon owners who won’t “give up the ghost” and feel it’s a good way to build up a junior stylist.  But that only lasts so long.  At the end of the day, the only one benefiting is Groupon.  And that type of win-lose proposition has a very short shelf life.

Speaking of discounting, I read an interesting fact the other day from Jay Siff…

Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management recently found that consumers would rather get something free than receive a discount. The main reason… people aren’t good at doing the math! A 50% increase in quantity seems like a better deal than a 33% discount… even though they’re the same. The researchers found you could increase sales by as much as 73%, simply by positioning the same discount differently!

I guess this is why “Free Gift with purchase” discounting works so well in places like Macy’s (just some food for thought).  Here is how it could apply for your salon.  Maybe you could offer a free bottle of nail polish for new clients getting a manicure.  Or even a free bottle of shampoo or conditioner for new clients getting a cut & style service.

I also think that $20 off your first service (with a minimum purchase of $40 worth of services) also works better than a 50% off your first service when trying to attract new clients from a website.

Remember, I only advocate discounting to get first-time clients in the door or to get  “existing” clients to try services that they’ve never had before.  I like “reversing the risk” so that the salon takes on some of the risk in a new encounter.  I’ll talk more (in my next blog) about how most salon owners are thinking in reverse when it comes to “buying” great clients.

Anyway, now for the story…

I got this just the other day from a very successful salon owner in upstate New York.  Now, I have to admit he was an early “skeptic” in whether our online appointment book could work in his very large salon and spa.  I will let him tell his own story…

Hi Steve,

So today the salon is closed for the summer hours. Appointments are coming in more and more each day. I took several screen shots to share great results with you being that we had our best day so far. I see 11 appointment confirmations, making it our highest total since we launched the campaign.

We have had the on line appointment book for 2 weeks and to date there are 69 confirmed.  My goal is to get that figure up to 200 per month.

I used Constant Contact twice over a 2-week period with almost 800 opens this last time with 30% clicking the uappointment link.  I utilized social sharing to LinkedIn, Twitter and FB.  I then posted the link onto 400 individual Facebook friend’s and staff’s walls between Friday and Saturday.

Next week I plan to create cards to place in every retail bag that leaves our salon in addition to signs and shelf talkers that are already up.

Thank you for this wonderful tool. It gives us an edge over our competition and in today’s age we need to make our accessibility for our clients as easy as possible.

Richard S. Mason
Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa, 15-17 S. Moger Ave, Mt. Kisco NY 10549

Thanks Ricky…I could not have said it better myself.

Look, the HairMax Online Appointment book is a way for you to empower your clients to do more of your salon’s work…namely booking their own appointments.  If you’re a non-believer…see link below.

Anyway…remember the discounting thing…and forget the Groupon thing.

P.S.  Enjoy the last 3 weeks of summer…

As always, aim high…and dream even higher…

Steve Sampson


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