I’ve found the best results come from a prepaid voucher-style offer, such as a “Corporate Beauty Pass” or “Salon Experience Pass”. Two reasons why prepaid works better: it guarantees cash up front, and people will use it; and it allows customers to buy these as gifts. But what offer should you provide?
Find the right balance of something you think will wow people while being worth it for you. I’ve found that packages where clients can choose from several treatments create the widest appeal. So, list five of your most popular, cheaper treatments and allow new clients at these businesses to choose any three for a fixed price.
Even though this deal is exclusively for staff at local organisations, let people at these companies also buy these vouchers as gifts for loved ones as it’ll increase the number of new faces coming into your salon.
However, include buyer terms and conditions such as “not valid in December” (if booked up); a set expiry date; “only valid with selected therapists”; and “not valid on Saturdays”.
Insisting people use a package over at least two appointments can increase your chances of rebooking them too. To further increase that chance, try adding an “extra bonus”. For example, many salons will give a small next appointment discount, while others will give new clients up to 50% off treatment courses. Once your voucher is ready, you can use LinkedIn to target those local offices.
Step 2: target new clients using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator
LinkedIn requires you to firstly connect with people, but the platform’s Sales Navigator is brilliant for finding and contacting better leads – and it’s free for the first month. Provided you have a LinkedIn profile, upgrade to a Premium account via a 30-day free trial, which includes the Sales Navigator Professional function. Cancel within those 30 days and you won’t be charged a penny.
Making connections that lead to good contacts on LinkedIn is a numbers game, so try to invest any spare time connecting with people within big local offices near you.
Here’s how you can do it :
1. In the Sales Navigator, hit “all filters” at the top right
2. In “geography” enter your town, or five miles around your postcode
3. Scroll down, click on “company”, and it will list the largest local organisations and employees on LinkedIn. This should include local council, NHS Trust (hospitals) and universities – all of which you should target
4. You can then search for leads
5. Before you start trying to connect with people, hit the “Posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days” filter at the top, so you’re connecting with people who actually use the platform
6. The “function” field allows you to connect with people in certain roles. You’re looking for HR, communications and administrative, but if you have no luck there, then try to connect with others who might be able to assist.
Remember, this is free for 30 days, so make the most of it. Always add a message to your connection requests too. This simple message gets a good connection rate as it creates intrigue: “Hi (name), it would be great to connect as I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction at (company)”.
Look for message replies and newly accepted connections in your “My Network” area. Then, tell each new connection the good news: you have an exclusive offer for their staff and you’re looking for the right person to email this information across to.
Step 3: how to distribute vouchers and receive payments
Once you have a lead, include in your email who you spoke to on LinkedIn (name dropping helps), how people can buy the voucher, and explain that you’re letting their staff buy these as gifts for friends and family too. If you can provide an online buying link in the email that’s perfect. Otherwise, PayPal or phone payments are fine. If your tone is polite and respectful then most people will respond positively.
Now, this is the fun part – seeing people buy your corporate offer. It’s unlikely you’ll get buyers from every organisation you email, but if you get just two or three companies enthused then you could have 20 new clients from each. If it’s a raging success, you now have some great large company contacts to send future special offers to.
Scott Dance is founder of Salon Revenue Growth, a digital marketing agency that specialises in the hair and beauty industry.