Tips to Grow Your Business, Through Your Current Clients
Did you know that the greatest form of advertising is word of mouth?
That means the power of your clients talking to other potential clients about your services is more influential than any form of paid advertising, because the recommendation comes from someone they trust.
Salon referrals from trusted friends, neighbors, and colleagues are worth more than any ad or sales pitch could ever produce, and because of the nature of the beauty industry, referrals hold a great deal of weight.
Growing your salon referral clientele is one of the most cost-effective ways to drive new business, and 78% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations as a way of vetting beauty professionals and their level of skill – that’s a lot!
Potential clients won’t trust just anyone, and getting a salon referral from someone they do trust is money in the bank if you capitalize on it.
Here are a few ways you can begin to cultivate your clientele through referrals:
Create a solid client referral system.
Don’t just depend on clients to refer people to you, set up a system they can follow and know what to expect when they send you a new client. Salon referral systems can be as simple, or as elaborate as you’d like, just make sure your clients understand how your referral system works and implement a way to track who’s referring who so you will know which clients to reward.
Use social media.
Ask your clients to refer online. Social media is one of the best ways for your clients to sing your praises. Ask them to post pictures of their nails, hair, or makeup and refer you to their friends on social sites in exchange for a reward.
If a current client writes you a testimonial with a photo of their makeover, then direct that potential referral to your Facebook page, showcasing all your beautiful work– that’s money!
Ask specific clients for salon referrals in exchange for exclusive rewards.
Every cosmetologist, nail technician, or esthetician has some MVC’s – Most Valuable Customers. These are the socialites, the executives and the ladies who are well connected.
They likely share similar characteristics with their friends, and you want more of them as part of your clientele. Invite a select few to your VIP salon referral program where you offer them exclusive rewards for referring their circle of friends.
Additionally, offer them perks like hosting a private spa party at your salon for their friends. This will give you access and the ability to showcase your skills to that group.
Form a networking group of other professionals, and refer each other. Don’t forget to thank them too, by offering them free services or a little thank you gift.
Practice the law of reciprocity.
This is where you’ll just have to trust that others will do the right thing by sending salon referrals back to you. Refer your clients to salons and spas in your area that offer something you do not or cater to a different type of clientele (i.e. blonde specialists etc.)
During slow times this could work in your favor, if you pay it forward. Sending referrals with no strings attached to other salons and spas is an act of good faith, but make sure you tell your clients to alert them that you referred so they can reciprocate if they choose. You can also call and let them know you are sending a client to their salon.
It feels good to do good!
Partner with other salons/spas that offer services that you don’t.
This is slightly different from simply sending referrals to other salons. Here, you actually have an agreement to refer and cross-promote one another. That could include you passing along business cards or flyers for the other salon or actually setting up appointments for them with your clients.
It’s always a good idea to partner with like businesses, not only to generate salon referrals but also to build relationships. You never know what life may bring, it's always good to network and stay connected within a larger pool of beauty professionals.
No matter how you see it, people like free stuff and discounts and as long as you do great work and have good customer service, people will refer you. It’s nothing to give away gifts, dollars off or services if your referral rate doubles or triples.
The ends truly do justify the means, so ask your clients to refer you and give them a little something in exchange.