Clients (Part 2)
There are two types of clients: the ones you have, and the ones you don't. In January, I talked a little about how to keep the ones you have. This month, let's concentrate on the clients you want to get. The logical starting point is to ask yourself what kind of client you want. The reality is that you can't be all things to all people. Abercrombie & Fitch appeals to one type of fashion client, Brooks Brothers to another. Both have a crystal-clear picture of their strengths and know who they can and should be targeting. Does your spa appeal more to women or men? To upscale or Middle America clients? To mainstream or cutting-edge clients? To the young and trendy or older and sophisticated? To locals or out-of-towners? Armed with a clear mission statement, or USP (Unique Selling Proposition), you can begin to focus your marketing efforts efficiently and effectively. Here are some obvious, and not so obvious, strategies to consider:
Kerry J. Cannon, Jr
Referrals A recommendation from a happy client is one of your best advertisements. Reward your existing clients for every new client they send you.
Advertising Few companies can survive on cachet and word of mouth alone. You absolutely have to shout to the world about what you have to offer and why everyone should patronize your spa.
Public Relations Get the press and your local community to notice you. Conduct a fundraiser. Partner with an organization. Help them with their cause, and your business will get attention and bask in the glow of the good work you do for them.
E-marketing Spa clients tend to be upscale, sophisticated, and well-educated folks who use the Internet more than most. Websites such as www.spa-addicts.com can help you accurately and inexpensively reach a concentrated audience of spa-goers.
Gift Certificates Always look at an unredeemed gift certificate as a wasted opportunity. When you sell a gift certificate, try to obtain contact information for the recipient. Send a reminder or call the certificate holder to encourage him or her to come in for the service. And always honor expired certificates. Turning away potential clients because they waited more than a year to make an appointment makes no sense.
Above All, Be Clever Creativity gets noticed. Whether it's your ads, your referral program, or how you approach the editor of a local newspaper or trade magazine such as American Spa, ordinary, ho-hum is easily overlooked and gets you nowhere.
Our editors and I would love to hear from you about your clever and effective client acquisition program. Drop us a note .
All the best,
Kerry J. Cannon, Jr.
Advanstar Beauty Publishing Group