Where Most Salons Are Really Missing Out…

Ok, I know…it’s been a while since you last heard from me.  For the past six months, I have been holed up in my bunker trying to develop the “next big thing” for the salon industry. 

I figure that I have been at this now for almost 26 years.  A lot has changed.  I remember when perms were 20-30% of the salon business.  I remember when putting a client’s face on a computer screen with new hairstyles was all the rage.  I remember when every salon owner with an extra room in their salon suddenly became a “day spa”.

The industry has come a long way…no doubt…but one thing has never really changed. 

High value clients are the difference between eating steak and eating hamburger in this business.

So, in my journey of discovering “the next big thing”, I decided to really focus on what makes some salons grow every year while many struggle just to stay even after the first 3 years of business.

And by growing…I’m talking about profit…not just sales.  Because at the end of the day, profit is all that really matters. 

Here’s one thing that I spotted along the way…

Profit is truly maximized when you can do more sales with roughly the same amount of clients.

Which of course makes sense…right?  I mean if we can get our clients to spend more money with us over time…our profits should go up.  Your fixed expenses are going to stay the same regardless if you do $8,000 per week in sales or $10,000 per week.  So, more sales equal more profits.

Here are two great ways that you can get more sales out of the same amount of clients.

  1. You can increase your prices
  2. You can move clients down the “service continuum”

Now, increasing your prices is pretty easy to understand but hard to implement for many salon owners.  However, that is the subject of my next email coming in a few days…so let’s focus today on number two.

What do I mean by “moving clients down the service continuum”?

Well, when most clients go to your salon the first time…they’re just trying your salon out.  In fact, most clients will book a simple service to see if your staff “knows what they’re doing” and to see if your salon is any better than where they’re going now.

I mean, why else would they be leaving their existing salon…right?  There must be some dissatisfaction with the existing salon or stylist.  And by the way, that dissatisfaction is more often than not…simple indifference.

In other words, the client is not getting any “buzz” from going to the stylist they have now…so why not go for a change.  Complacency has set in…because the stylist has failed to move the client down the “service continuum”.  Let me ask you this…

What makes your salon “fresh” in the eyes of your client? 

More importantly…what makes their “look” fresh to them?

How many times do you hear your stylists say “What do you want to do today?” to a client…instead of recommending a new look to them?

The “service continuum” can be best described as “the stages of a typical high value client”. 

Here is an example…

Visit #1: Shampoo & Cut

Visit #2: Single Process Color & Cut

Visit #3: Double Process Color or Foiling

Visit #4: Keratin straightening or Multi-Dimensional Color

In other words, each visit is incrementally more expensive (and impactful) than the prior visit.

Now, there are often visits in between.  In other words, visit 1, 2 and 3 might all be cuts before they get to the Single Process Color stage…but I think you get the picture. 

High value clients get to be high value clients because of higher value services.

And the more “high value” clients your salon has…the higher the sales…and consequently the higher the profit.

Do yourself a favor this week and listen to see how many of your stylists say something similar to…“What are we doing today?” to their clients.  It will be “eye-opening”…I’m sure.

Soon, I will tell you the exact method to bring clients down the “service continuum” quicker and more consistently…every time. 

P.S.  I’m officially out of the bunker…so expect to hear a lot more from me over the next few months.  I’m also putting the finishing touches on the next big thing for the salon industry and I will be letting you know before anyone else.  So, keep an eye out!

As always, aim high…and dream even higher…

Steve Sampson


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