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Old 11-27-2013, 07:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Enticing - and CAPTURING new customers - is a KEY to your success!!


WORST SPECIAL you can offer, hands down:

One free tan


Why?

Because you "get them there" - and give yourself the worst opportunity to "convert" and keep them there!


With a single free tan offered to a new customer, you have to:

-Get them in the door

-Fill out all the paperwork

-Tour them around your place (hopefully you DO this!)

-Try to talk to them about lotion

-Try to explain your salon pricing setup/structure

-Come up with the unit they will be using (and the WORST of the WORST is a single free tan where their ONLY option is your lowest level bed!)

-Skin type them to set safe tan time

-Show them to the unit, let them tan

AND THEN .....

Either let them walk out the door - and HOPE they come back!


OR - try to ALSO talk them into some sort of package/membership - when they still haven't really "experienced" your salon (or just finished tanning, but with all the prework have already been there for 30 minutes and are ready to get the heck out, not now consider a package purchase!)

Last edited by sunsally; 11-27-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS???


Anything that includes:

1. Multiple visits

2. An opportunity to use your best equipment



SOME salons give it ALL for free - any level. I don't think you have to, although that works too.


Alternatively:

1. "Tour of the salon"


Some sort of program, at a drastically discounted price, where they have the opportunity to try ALL (or a substantial portion) of your equipment.

I like to price this at approx the cost of a walk-in on your best unit.


So if you have 3 levels of tanning - $7, $10, $15 -- for $14.95 they get to buy the New Customer Tour - and get one tan in each of them.


If you have 5 levels of tanning - from base bed to full High Pressure - ranging from $9 to $40 --- then maybe $39.95 to, again - get one in every unit. A $86 value (or whatever the walk-in pricing would add up to)


Make it a name that "fits" your salon -- an "Island Tour", "Map of the City", "Beach Pass", "Travel Triptique" or whatever....
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Other options that are similar?


- 7 tans for $7

- 3 Free Tans

- Free Tan Week

etc.

However, with these, if you entice with the low price for the entry level beds -- MAKE SURE you have your "pitch" down to let them "trade" their free or $1 tan to a BETTER unit for a good discount instead.


So it might be 7 tans for $7 in Level 1 beds -- but you can upgrade on any visit to a Level 2 for just $1-2 extra that day. Or maybe a VHR bed for just $5. Or a HP for $15.


YOUR GOAL IS TO GET THEM TO EXPERIENCE YOUR SALON MULTIPLE TIMES - AND EXPERIENCE YOUR BEST EQUIPMENT
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

What have you used - or a competitor - that you think has worked WELL?
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

I've done the "tour" but found a lot of people would just time their visits appropriate to their vacation, and just purchase it only prior to leaving. If you have decent equipment they get their base in just the few sessions offered. But some renew...some come back after vacation. Maybe the tour shouldn't be offered in season, just the off season.

My goal was a special to bring in the higher end clientele. They don't nessesarilly need a "special" to bring them in. Just the word of mouth, that you are the best salon in town. Any of these gimmicky specials I believe to bring in mostly bottom feeders. If all local salons run these ridiculously cheap promos to bring in these cabbu's, well, the cheapest typically draws the cheapest clients as well.

McDonald's has the dollar menu...but I like to compare my salon to our nicer higher end restaurants...what specials do they run? Nothing cheap! Usually they just feature an entree. Or add something new to the menu, but nothing discounted or reduced in price.

I'll leave the ridiculous promos to the cheaper lower end salons in my town. Seems there's a market for both low end and high end, but trying to mix the 2 together? Well, I think your higher end clients prefer the nicer accommodations while some of the bottom feeders are'nt comfortable in a nicer environment anyhow. Sort of like, how many nicer looking people do you see in Walmart as compared to the magnitude of lower end looking folks?

However I would admit, in this tough economy the lower end salons with their cheap pricing and decor tend to do more volume...but then again, me having one client (one car) in a HP unit, compares to my competition having at least 6 clients (6 cars) in entry levels beds. Where parking is of concern...higher end salons win.

How to draw in higher end clientele?
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

I hear your points - however, let me be clear, these are NEW CUSTOMER SPECIALS ONLY.

ONE TIME things.

You can only be a NEW CUSTOMER - ONE time. After that - you are existing.

A NEW CUSTOMER SPECIAL is designed ONLY to:
1. Get them in the door
2. Give you sufficient opportunity to "close" them into a repeat/retained customer.


So - even if ONE time they are able to "time it up" for a vacation - the NEXT vacation - that won't be possible. And, of course, while they ARE in there tanning for their vacation - the goal of your salon is to turn them into CLIENTS. Figure out a way for them to KEEP the tan they get on vacation. Keep a base going for the spring. Keep their Vit D levels up in the Winter. Etc etc
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrisetan View Post
I've done the "tour" but found a lot of people would just time their visits appropriate to their vacation, and just purchase it only prior to leaving. If you have decent equipment they get their base in just the few sessions offered. But some renew...some come back after vacation. Maybe the tour shouldn't be offered in season, just the off season.

Note - can offer a "tour of the salon" type package in ADDITION to the one you offer for new customers - but it won't be as cheap as the new customer deal. New customer is "crazy good" to get them in and retain them. A tour package is just like a 10 visit package or anything else - good, fair but nothing nuts.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrisetan View Post
My goal was a special to bring in the higher end clientele. They don't nessesarilly need a "special" to bring them in. Just the word of mouth, that you are the best salon in town. Any of these gimmicky specials I believe to bring in mostly bottom feeders. If all local salons run these ridiculously cheap promos to bring in these cabbu's, well, the cheapest typically draws the cheapest clients as well.

McDonald's has the dollar menu...but I like to compare my salon to our nicer higher end restaurants...what specials do they run? Nothing cheap! Usually they just feature an entree. Or add something new to the menu, but nothing discounted or reduced in price.

I'll leave the ridiculous promos to the cheaper lower end salons in my town. Seems there's a market for both low end and high end, but trying to mix the 2 together? Well, I think your higher end clients prefer the nicer accommodations while some of the bottom feeders are'nt comfortable in a nicer environment anyhow. Sort of like, how many nicer looking people do you see in Walmart as compared to the magnitude of lower end looking folks?

However I would admit, in this tough economy the lower end salons with their cheap pricing and decor tend to do more volume...but then again, me having one client (one car) in a HP unit, compares to my competition having at least 6 clients (6 cars) in entry levels beds. Where parking is of concern...higher end salons win.

How to draw in higher end clientele?

McDonalds has the dollar menu - but also Angus Beef burgers. That said, they are looking for and set up for volume. 100 customers/day buying an Angus burger doesn't do nearly as much for their bottom line as 1000+ customers/day - some buying a dollar burger, some a Frappe, some an Angus Burger, etc. It all adds up.

In a salon - not EVERY prospective client is a $40 walk-in 360 HP tanner every day. Those are great - but if you JUST saw those customers, your counts would be pretty low and probably not sustainable.


So the GOAL is to attract the BULK of those INTERESTED in tanning - and get them to meet their needs at YOUR salon.

Some will use high end beds and lotions exclusively.

Some will sign up for recurring memberships.

Some will come one month/year leading into a vacation

Some will spray tan for special events only

Some will be open to the SALES INFLUENCE of your staff!!



The "Special" gets a new customer to try your place. You and your staff - your equipment, pricing strategy, environment of your salon, etc etc -- retain them and turn them into the "type" of customers you desire.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsally View Post
Other options that are similar?


- 7 tans for $7

- 3 Free Tans

- Free Tan Week

etc.

However, with these, if you entice with the low price for the entry level beds -- MAKE SURE you have your "pitch" down to let them "trade" their free or $1 tan to a BETTER unit for a good discount instead.


So it might be 7 tans for $7 in Level 1 beds -- but you can upgrade on any visit to a Level 2 for just $1-2 extra that day. Or maybe a VHR bed for just $5. Or a HP for $15.



YOUR GOAL IS TO GET THEM TO EXPERIENCE YOUR SALON MULTIPLE TIMES - AND EXPERIENCE YOUR BEST EQUIPMENT
I like the 7 for $7
How do you determine how much to discount your upgrades , and do you offer your normal clients to take advantage of the same discounted rates those days ?
Also when is a good time to run this ?

I have a comp who is running bogo on packages and lotions every other month and is spending a fortune on radio ads
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: New Customer Specials - why "FREE TAN" is the WORST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkalka View Post
I like the 7 for $7
How do you determine how much to discount your upgrades , and do you offer your normal clients to take advantage of the same discounted rates those days ?
Also when is a good time to run this ?

I have a comp who is running bogo on packages and lotions every other month and is spending a fortune on radio ads

In THIS case - this is a NEW CUSTOMER ONLY special, so no - I would not let normal clients take advantage of the same rates. In theory, they got some "new customer special" opportunity when THEY came in. One time, one per customer.

Now - if you do that as a FREE TAN WEEK or something similar - then yes - THOSE are open to everyone - current or otherwise.


In terms of the new customer specials like 7 tans for $7 - you want to price it as cheaply as you can so that MOST customers choose to UPGRADE - NOT stay on the base bed. The goals of a NEW CUSTOMER special are:

1. Get them in the door
2. Get them to try the BEST you have to offer
3. Get them back for multiple visits, to help build comfort and "seal the deal"
4. Sell them a membership/package and retain them as a customer.


In my salon - a visit on my 360HP that is NORMALLY $35 walk-in -- is $15 to "try" as a new customer. My top VHR bed, normally $16 walk-in --- is $5 to try. My level 2 beds and standup -- normally $10 -- are $1 to try.

At those prices - makes no sense to stay in the base bed. Such a good "value" to step up and try the better beds that most do/should.


Staff have to be TRAINED in this process. They are the ones to explain the "deal" to customers and make sure they step up.
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