As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And this is as true in the hair biz as it is in any other industry. If you’re looking to build your client list, the BEST way is to connect with people you already know. This is known as your warm market. And the best part is, you already have a bunch of pre-made lists ready to go. You just need this reminder to use them.
Your Phone List
If you’re like most people, you’ve been accumulating contacts on your phone since day one. And since all phones now carry contacts forward from one phone to the next, it’s an ever growing list of people you know well enough to have entered them in yourself. This is the most likely group of people who want to see you succeed.
One of the easiest ways to reach out is to send a text message. Something simple like:
“Hey, I’m excited to announce that I’m starting at a new salon! I’d love to have you come down and check it out. I’m booking up fast but would like to reserve a spot that works for you. What days work best for you?”
Been working at your salon for a while? Start the above script with: “Hey, I’m excited to announce that I’ve hit my six month/one year anniversary at my salon!”
Don’t be offended if you get a lot of no-replies. Your location may not work for them. They may have just gotten their hair done and the timing isn’t right. They may already be working with a stylist they love. The key here is to recognize that you offer something they need and if you catch them at the right time in the right mood, they might return the text and book with you.
Text messages are easy to ignore. Follow up your text with a phone call. There’s a good chance it has been a while since you’ve spoken with most of the people in your phone list. Give them a ring and say: “Hey, it’s been a while since I last reached out and connected. I’m working at a new salon and I’ve got a few minutes between appointments so I thought I’d reach out and say hey! How’s it going….?”
Let the conversation go from there. You can cut things off by saying, “Hey, my next appointment just arrived early. I gotta run but before I go, when can I see you? I’d love to have you come down and see the salon. I’ve got some availability in the next few weeks. What days are best for you?” If your in a position to do so, offer them a discount or even a free haircut. Once you get their butt in your seat, getting them back is much, much easier. Remember the lifetime value of a client?
Facebook is a great place to highlight your work. And it’s a great way to reach out and connect with prospects you already know. You can go through Facebook Messenger and use the same scripts as above. Just be careful not to hit up the same people. You will look insincere if they get the same script from you multiple times.
Another great way to use Facebook to prospect is to check up on what your friends are up to. Is someone posting about an upcoming holiday? Comment on their post that they might like to look extra special in their holiday photos. If someone mentions a wedding they're a part of? Ask them if they have someone lined up to do the hair? Is an event like Mother’s Day coming up? Send a note to your friends spouses that they might enjoy a special Mother’s Day haircut as a gift from a child. There are all kinds of ways you can leverage what your network is posting on Facebook to drum up butts for your chair. Turn it into a game and see if you can post one comment a day that responds to a friends post with a suggestion them might like to come see you.
LinkedIn is another great place to find prospects. Since it’s used more for business content and networking, people expect to be reached out to on LinkedIn. You can use the same scripts as above to send an InMail, LinkedIn’s version of a message.
And just like Facebook, you can use the information people post as an opportunity to reach out and connect. Someone starting a new job? Congratulate them in the comments and suggest that they might like to look extra sharp for their first day by coming to see you for a clean up. Someone post about a conference they are excited to be attending? Suggest they come in to see you before heading out. Someone have a less than fantastic profile picture? Suggest they might like a new headshot for their online profile and that they come see you to get spiffed up. You can take the headshot right there in the salon after their hair is cleaned and styled.
LinkedIn is another great place to leverage your existing network to find prospects. If you liked these people enough to connect with them, wouldn’t it be great to continue growing the relationship by seeing them every six to eight weeks?
Similar to your phone list, your WhatsApp list grows and grows and grows. Using a similar script to the above, you can send people a note on WhatsApp. In most cases, there will be a lot of overlap between your lists here. So you might follow up with people on WhatsApp with something like: “Hey, I sent you a text, but I thought it might be easier to connect here on WhatsApp! I’m working at a new salon, and I’m excited to reconnect with you. It would be great to meet up for an hour. Better yet, let me get you cleaned up while we catch up!”
Email Address Book
Email is a great way to reach out to people at scale. You can develop a longer announcement to send to your email contacts that can include the salon address, a picture of yourself standing outside the salon, and even a GoogleMaps link for easy directions. Just remember to email yourself and BCC your contacts. It’s very unprofessional to email a large list of people and CC everyone exposing their contact details to the world. Another good practice is to limit the number of people you BCC. A lot of the email service providers will put your email into the spam folder if you’re BCC’ing too many people at once.
Instagram is another great social media platform for reaching out to prospects. Watch what people are posting and comment on it. If you see someone posting a fun picture of them out with friends, comment that they’re looking great and that you’ve got a fun idea for their hair for the next time their heading out on the town. If you see someone posting pictures of their kids, comment on how big they’re getting and that you haven’t seen them in ages. Invite them to come down to your salon with the kids for a family hair cut. If you see someone posting shots from a recent hiking trip, let them know you’ve got some tips for managing hair in the backcountry and that they should come see you before their next hike.
People like to document their lives through photos and Instagram is the modern, real-time version of the family photo album like the one your parents kept. Use it to keep up with your friends and remind them at the right times that you do hair and that they should come see you.
Don't Make it a Project
This kind of warm market prospecting doesn’t need to be huge project. The great thing about most of these marketing channels is that you can use them in your free moments right at the salon. When you have a break between appointments, make a point of sending a couple outbound text messages. If you’re an active social media junkie make it a habit at the end of every day to browse your news-feeds and post five comments on your connections’ posts. It’s all about timing. If your scanning the headlines for life events that would be a normal catalyst for a haircut, there’s a good chance your comment will break through the noise and you’ll get the attention of your prospect. And if you’re on Facebook regularly anyway, it’s fun to make it a game to find posts that you can comment on in this way. Sales can be fun!
That's it for lesson four. Your action step is to use the channels and scripts mentioned above to begin prospecting your current connections. And if you haven't already downloaded the Gotta Style App, give it a try!
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