To every beauty business owner's detriment many clients extend time between scheduled appointments due to busy schedules and desire to stretch the dollar. By implementing a pre-booking strategy you can maximize the return rate and visit frequency of your clients. The key is to reward clients for returning to the salon before they even leave it. January is the perfect time to focus on pre-booking strategies that contribute to busier days, fuller books and bigger profits.
Consider this calculation:
400 clients booked every 8 weeks = $50 spend per visit or $120,000 a year.
400 pre-booked clients every 5 weeks = $200,000 a year, an $80,000 difference!
Prepare to pre-book
How does your staff go about pre-booking clients? Do you even know?
If you are a salon owner trying to get your pre-book rate up here are some suggestions that can be implemented by your entire salon team.
Schedule a team meeting to share the hard facts about why pre-booking is so important and how it can positively affect each stylists’ income and success of the salon as a whole.
Preparing for pre-booking can change your business. Practicing pre-booking scripts can make your team feel more comfortable. It’s not about what is said, but what is offered. Most clients need a little extra incentive to get them to commit.
Idea 1: Pre-booking Contests
Communicate the Offer:
Create a drawing to win a prize. Explain to clients every time they pre-book their next appointment their name will be entered into a drawing to win basket of products valued at $XX. The prize, combined with the chance of winning, will get a clients to give it a shot.
How To: Assemble a stunning looking basket or bag filled with top-selling products and accessories. Create a noticeable display front and center with a combination of signage and color; use tissue paper and colored pretty fabric ribbon to display. Shrink-wrapped baskets are great too. Hold the contest for two months, then draw a name.
When: January is a great time to start a pre-booking contest. Start contest January 1 or February 1 and run for two months.
Idea 2: Pre-booking Cards
Pre-book Cards are simply appointment cards engineered to maximize the return rate and frequency of your client's visits.
How To: When client returns Pre-Book Card on their next pre-booked appointment they receive a free gift. Determine free gift that will build your business; such as a retail product, a complimentary add-on service or dollars off their next service.
*Changing it up every few months keeps clients interested.
Calculate the number of Pre-Book Cards you will need; 100 minimum per team member is a good start. Have team members fill out their own Pre-Book Cards with their names and the free gift decided. Place your Pre-Book Cards at each station and the front desk.
Idea 3: Pre-Book To Win a Prize
Give away something big, a big dollar service. Some clients will pre-book for a free paraffin dip, but the bigger the prize the bigger the incentive to pre-book. A gift card for a nice dollar amount that may be used towards service or retail is a wonderful prize. By running the contest for two months you are only giving away a free service every two months.
Idea 4: Front Desk
Offer a larger product gift basket or gift certificate drawing to every client who pre-books and place the gift basket prominently at the front desk. Coach your front desk staff to engage each guest to enter the drawing for a chance to win this basket/gift certificate by pre-booking your next appointment. You’ll be surprised how your salon’s pre-book percentage will increase.
Idea 5: Seasonal Holiday Drawing Entry
Create a drawing around a seasonal holiday such as Valentine's Day (Easter, Mother's Day, etc). Have every client fill out an entry form with name, phone number, and e-mail address; this helps you keep your salon contact list fresh.
How To: Begin the drawing 4 - 6 weeks beforehand, hold the actual drawing for winner on Valentine's Day (or the seasonal holiday of your choice).
Idea 6: Email Promo
Use drawing entry information as a marketing tool. Send each entry an email campaign for $10 off or a complimentary upgrade with a service. These target guests are engaged and will likely take you up on the promotion.