When your salon earns a reputation for throwing the most legendary Customer Appreciation Bash your town has ever seen, your customers will without a doubt both love and appreciate your efforts to thank them for their loyalty. However, the real genius behind a perfectly staged and performed C.A.B is that it’s one of most powerful sales and marketing tools you could ever use.
No. 1 Party Fail: Same old same old won’t cut it. Just trust the saying, “Do it right, or don’t do it at all.” Be creative! This is when you enlist your entire team’s talents and everyone has a part in the creation, planning and execution of the event. A legendary bash is definitely a team effort. (I recommend some type of pre-party creativity contest.)
PA-LEASE don’t let the innocent sounding “Customer Appreciation Bash” title fool you; this is much more than just a party. It’s your salon’s chance to be in the spotlight – not only with existing customers, but with potential new guests, too. So when planning your bash, be sure to also include big incentives for new sign-ups as well rewards for loyal guests. Get masterfully clever and turn your current clientele into your customer recruiting team by rewarding them generously for bringing you a new tanner on the day of the event.
“If you build it, they will come” only worked in the movie Field Of Dreams. Party Fail No. 2: If you don’t promote like a pro then no tanners will show. Salon Whisperer Tip of the Day: Make a digital VIP “invitation only” ticket to your event, then post it, Tweet it, share it, email it, Instagram it and reward every one of your customers who shares it with all of their friends. If all of this is giving you a full-blown panic attack, just take a deep breath and remember: every young member of your staff is a social media expert and can handle this task for you in about six seconds.
Ahhhh success! Your team came through; the attendance is Standing Room Only – loyal guests, new guests, party crashers … okay, so now what? How about enticing lotion and tanning deals they can’t pass up. Add some engaging contests, prizes and free samples. The universal success test: when it comes to product sales, this should be one of your biggest days of the year!
Salon Whisperer Quick Tips: 1) Get support from all your product vendors: they’re in business because you are. 2) Collect as much client data as possible, including potential new tanner info and any social media info you need to connect with them later. 3) Use your event as way to support a cause in your community. The benefit of this, besides donating to a good cause, is that you can usually get some free media coverage of your event by doing so. (See my April 2013 column.)
Don’t forget the after party! This could be just as important as the bash itself. This is when you actually use all the data and media you captured at your event to follow up with existing and brand new salon guests. Include “Thank you” emails and posts for attending and even a social media post that recaps the highlights. Remember: make it legendary!
David is a National Educator for Sun Evolutions, offering brands including Supre Tan, ProTan, Fiesta Sun and Hempz. He is a face-to-face sales and beauty product fanatic who gauges his success solely on his effectiveness at selling real product to real, live salon guests.
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