Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE MARAPL 2015 Contents H
ow many times a day do you lie
to a client? Really? Be honest!
Ever told someone their new
colour looks incredible, when it’s
really just so-so? Ever promised
that the latest wand, straightener or gadget
was easy to use, knowing full well your clients
would have a better chance of cutting
their own hair straight than mastering this
ridiculous new tool?
If you’re like many hairdressers, telling little
white lies is something you do every day –
it really doesn’t even rate a mention. Perhaps
you do it because you’re under pressure to
sell more product, you want to make bigger
profits, or maybe you even do it out of sheer
habit to make people feel special.
If you think being a little two -faced never
hurt anyone – think again. Clients these
days are more sophisticated than we give
them credit for, and any trace of dishonesty
will turn them away from your business
faster than you can say “yes, those 80s-style
curls looks great on you”.
Today’s clients are wary of the upsell;
they know when you’re being fake and
they can sniff out a lie a mile off, even if it
is buried underneath your very best sales
and upselling spin. Why? In the words of the
eternally fabulous Coco Chanel, because
hard times arouse an instinctive desire
With the GFC, the consumer mindset
changed forever. Gone are the days when
an over-exaggerated print ad in a couple
of local magazines will draw in crowds of
new clients. People are more sav vy than
ever, and even the most blasé client can
spot deception a mile off.
Although we’ve come out relatively
strong economically, the fact remains
that the cost of living is higher than ever
and consumers would rather buckle down
and save their hard-earned cash, than be
sucked in by cut-price offers and discounts
on products and services that simply aren’t
right for them.
It might have worked the first time
around, but in serving up too many of these
kinds of deals, we have created clients
who are cautious about being ripped off.
The necessity of penny-pinching during the
tougher times has taught them a thing or
two about trust – and this means one thing
for your business: it’s time to get real.
Being upfront with your clients shouldn’t
be daunting, and you shouldn’t need to
dramatically change anything about the
way you run your business. You don’t need
to suddenly start telling them your profits
are down this month, and begging them to
help you out by buying more product. What
you do have to do, is show them some
To achieve this, you need to know yourself
who you are and what you do well. If
you’re not the cheapest hairdresser on the
block, stop pretending to be. If you offer an
excellent product at a premium price, that’s
your point of difference – so own it!
You’ll also need to be equipped with some
strong insights about your clients and what
makes them tick. Never make assumptions
that demure-looking 60-year-old might be
a hip-hop fan; you’ll never know until you
ask! Being in the know will help you have
honest conversations and create compelling
campaigns that will build your community
and increase your profitability.
Once you know yourself and know your
clients, you can start positioning yourself
Honesty and integrity are by far
the most important assets of a
salon owner, writes Jo Burgess.
so that make a meaningful connection
between what you can offer, and who
they are. For example, you could create a
special Set & Forget Marketing campaign
just for the stressed-out mums in your
database, for a quick one-hour pampering
they can easily slot into their busy week.
You can even tailor your entire marketing
approach around the common themes that
keep coming up with your clients. If many
of them are time-poor, offer tips on how to
achieve a polished look in seconds. If the
holidays are coming up and clients are
buzzing with excitement about their plans,
why not share yours? Give them some
insights into what you’re looking for ward to,
and offer advice on how to achieve the
perfect beach hair on their trip away.
Tricks like these show your clients you
truly ‘get’ them, and will help you begin
to build a true community who will invest
emotionally, not just financially, in your
brand. Once this transition starts to
happen, you’ll notice the flow- on effects
immediately – more happy customers,
more trust, and ultimately more profits for
you and your business..
Jo Burgess, Shortcuts
Jo has been involved with Shortcuts since
its inception. As a co-founder, her salon
was the first to install Shortcuts in 1994 and
since then she has seen many innovative
technological changes within the hair
and beauty industry. Now as Evolution
Manager, Jo is one of the key visionaries
of the company, supporting its strategic
direction and future product enhancements.
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