A few weeks ago, we were approached by the Manager of the local Toni & Guy hair salon. They were running an client open evening to celebrate their birthday and would we be interested in coming along to offer free mini-treatments on the night?
The great thing about hair and beauty is that there are salons that only offer one or the other, so it’s a great mix to get involved with local businesses that don’t compete but offer similar treatments, ie. personal grooming and well being.
Not only was the event good for the hair salon, it was also great for our client prospecting as we didn’t go empty handed. It was all about brand awareness and client acquisition, even within the confines of it being someone else’s event. What I mean by this is that we didn’t go in to steal the show – at the end of the day it was a Toni & Guy celebration – but we did use our presence to attract relevant interest.
We went armed with our key client acquisition tool, namely getting people subscribed to our salon email newsletter.
Now being a bit of a numbers geek, I always like to analyse the cost versus return. It’s one thing getting new prospects, but how much do they cost?
In this case, we sent two people for three hours, which is a total of six hours. In terms of lost treatment time income, this equates to around £180.00. On the night, the attendance was quite low, but we managed to get 12 addresses. So, each new potential client name cost around £15 each (top end estimate). If they take up the voucher, well then that’s another £5 each – £20.
I tend to aim for £10 so this is double what I would like to account for, but, if we can turn at least two of these people into regular customers, we’ll get the money back pretty quickly.
Salon Open Evenings
In my experience (we’ve run four open evenings ourselves to date) I’ve found that they can be a bit hit and miss, and a lot depends on getting people engaged enough to turn up.
We currently have an open evening ‘on sale’ for December, for which we are charging for tickets. We’ve worked hard to make sure the value is there for the price of the ticket and so far, we have sold over half of them, with two weeks to go. And, I’d bet that because people have spent the money, they will be more inclined to turn up on the night.
With regards to getting involved with other shops and salons and their open evenings, I guess it’s a case of working out the value. Also, whether the match is there.
- Does your client base match theirs?
- What is their current marketing like and how will it reflect on you?
I think, mostly, I’d be inclined to get involved with other complementary businesses and their events as there can be a good cross-over in terms of client profile. The key for me is that at the end of the day I want to own a direct customer relationship so I can manage and develop the marketing messages.
This is where the true value lies… it’s always easier to sell to existing customers.