Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Building Business Through Referrals - Style Labs

This idea is taken from a very successful local salon in my town. He requires each of his stylists (regardless of tenure) to do four style labs per year. Here's how they work:

  • Choose a client you wish you could clone.
  • Tell her you would love to offer a style lab for her and her friends. She invites friends for an evening get-together at the salon where you will offer tips and tricks and do demonstrations. It's free to all attendees.
  • Do this after the salon closes so there are not distractions
  • Set up chairs so everyone can sit during our demonstrations.
  • Provide and cheese, cake...whatever is appropriate
  • Enlist one coworker to help you
  • When the guests arrive, collect their contact information, including mailing address and email address
  • Ask them to write down their beauty dilema or question.
  • Mingle with the group as a the good hostess you are. Your helper will take care of refreshments, etc. (you will do the same for her when she does her lab)
  • Based on the questions, decide what demonstrations you are going to do (have a few ideas prepared in case you need to wing it)
    • For instance you may choose someone with medium to long hair and demonstrate how to make lovely curls with a flat iron (hopefully a flat iron you also retail)
    • You may demonstrate how to take daytime hair and quickly put together a more elegant look
    • You can demonstrate some of the looks you get with some of your favorite products
  • People are busy so the whole even should only be about 90 minutes (6pm - 7:30 is a good time because it's after work but not too late).
  • As you wind down, tell them that "tonight and tonight only" they can get 20% off any products they purchase and [choose your discount] on their first appointment if they book it now. Give your client hostess the same deal as thanks for bringing in her friends.
As I said, my friend requires his staff to each do four of these a year and it keeps a steady stream of new guests coming in the door.

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