The real outcome of not being able to fill the salon appointment book

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Richard McCabe

The number one sticking point for salon growth is attracting new fresh clients into your salon at the right time…

Being a salon owner in today’s world is scary, with lots of you struggling to cover bills and pay your staff correctly. Then, there’s the added pressure of your cash flow being so tight. It makes you desperate to get clients in your salon fast, so you react to empty spaces and throw out specials and discounts, but to no avail.

Resorting to heavily discounting your prices to try and fill your staff up quickly isn’t the smartest plan.

This is the start of your demise and takes you further and further into the War Zone.
I call it a War Zone because we have hundreds and thousands of salons trying to attract the same clients, in the same way, with the same discounts

And guess what …. they’re all having the same problems.

Every week seems to be a battle to juggle the bills and keep your team motivated.
They cannot find clients to fill their staff and the staff are sitting around bored.
This will result in consequences……

You need a steady flow of clients – too few or too many at once can be a problem

Here’s the problem…

If the flow of new clients is inconsistent in your salon and you stop and think about your attraction strategy for getting new clients to your salon……..is it working? Does it attract the right or wrong type of people? Is it non-existent, maybe you don’t even have a strategy? Or it could only be bringing in one or two clients each week? Is your phone not ringing at all with new enquires? Do you wish it was ringing off the hook, new clients desperately trying to book an appointment and you have to turn people away?

Here’s what is happening.

Do you wing it every time you post something?

There are not enough new clients because either you don’t have time to do marketing properly. You just jump on the computer and push the issue, sending out any old posts. And if the new prospects get an inkling that you are pushing they will pull away, and you just end up working harder and harder for no results….

So what does that mean?

What you end up with is annoying gaps in the appointment book and staff just standing around getting bored. If you fail to motivate your team members, your staff will demotivate themselves, and that’s a hard place to try and pick themselves up from.

Bored staff start thinking about being anywhere but there, even working for another salon.

What that means is.

It’s then a never-ending battle to grow your salon, a war zone. If it’s an issue for you now, it was probably an issue for you 3 months ago, 6 months, a year. Unless we fix it, it’s probably going to stay that way, so let’s fix it today.


Let’s do this


Instead of having inconsistent new clients calling the salon, you want people booking into your appointment book consistently.
Instead of having you push last minute, not knowing what to post, you’ll have a system doing the hard work for you. You’ll be organised, and every post is attracting the right clients.

As they say, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You need a system in place.

Our job today is to turn the gaps in the appointment book into a fully booked column for every staff member with quality clients. Then when you employ a new team member or have team member move onto the floor, you can turn on the tap and book them up fast.

Instead of you doing all the pushing and battling to fill the salon, you don’t have to work hard each and every time. The salon will grow, profits will grow, and the staff will be loving each and every day.

This is important because…..

…. there are too many salons in your area all feeding from the same pond. The average salon needs 2000 clients per salon to escape the war zone.
I want to share with you a new way, a simple way to attract clients to your salon who don’t care about price.

You need to be an Authority, ‘the expert’.

In fact, they don’t care how long the wait is, how much you charge or even which staff member is doing it.


Spot their problems and then you’ll know what needs fixing

You need to set your salon apart from every salon in town. So the price is not the driving force. Every new client that comes to your salon has a problem which the previous salon didn’t fix. You need to learn more about that problem than anyone else and be the expert in that subject. Every time you do a consultation in your salon, the client is letting you know what their issues are because you know that that client has come to you from another salon with something wrong. 

It could be:

  • Their colour is too yellow
  • The other salon makes them wait
  • It takes too long
  • The greys are not covered
  • The hair cut doesn’t last
  • The nails fall off

They all have a problem, listen at your next consultation and see if you can spot what is annoying them enough to have left their previous salon.
That is their biggest problem, and your job is to solve that problem, whatever it may be, solve it and you have a client for life.

So what would happen if you could possibly write to these people before they go looking for a new salon and say, “Hey, I know you have this problem, and I am the expert in that, would you like me to fix this for you?”. Do you think that the client will come to you on price or come to your salon because you can fix their problem?

I know for a fact that price is not an issue for that particular client, they just want their problem fixed.

So you have two options right now, the old way or the new way.

Don’t be the cat, out on the hunt all the time, be the cheese and let them come looking for you.

Now let’s imagine that the clients are mice and we want to catch as many mice as possible, there are two ways in which we can do this. We can either hunt and chase them like the cat, or we can be a big block of tasty cheese, which the mice will come looking for, I want you to be the cheese and not the cat. 

But many salon owners want to stay in the old way, it’s easier, it’s familiar. They don’t have to learn new ways, and they are happy to discount to get the clients in the door. We call them the ‘CATS’, they like hunting for clients all day, they like doing all the work, they like being busy chasing clients and don’t want to work smarter. They’re the one doing all the chasing with discounts all the time, they’re the ones who are out there doing special offers, Groupon and so forth.

Do you want more purpose in your life?

But many salon owners I coach are not like the ‘CATS’, they like to grow their salons smarter, they want the salon to be busy not just them. They want to concentrate on giving love to their clients and staff and don’t really want to be hunting all day. They don’t like the stress of the War Zone and want more purpose in life than just being busy.

We call them the ‘CHEESE’. So the savvy salon owner of today wants to build a salon destination where it’s all about the salon culture and teamwork, they tell their clients that they are there to fix their problems and give them love. They show clients that they are the experts and prove that they can fix their problems. Then the mice search for the cheese, the clients search for your salon.

Cat or cheese – you decide?

So you have a choice today to choose to continually be the cat, hunting clients all day long, or you can be the tasty cheese, and the clients will come to you because they know that you’re the best. 

Be the Authority and fill your appointment book up with high paying clients. This will keep your staff happy, your clients happy and of course it will keep you and your bank account happy….

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