The Power of a Referral
Waiting for a client to call in = low paychecks.
Staying in a high energy extroverted networking mode 24/7 = exhausting.
Where does the middle ground exist? It exists in the basics.
The best opportunity you have is the guest in your chair who is already a raving fan. They want to tell everyone. You are their secret weapon in the arsenal of fabulousness. You have an army of people who will recruit for you...are you asking them to?
'Instagram is my business card.'
'People just send me clients.'
'Why isn't my salon booking me anyone?'
'I keep forgetting to ask.'
It is hard. It takes a level of commitment and confidence to be able to start with the habit of asking for referrals on day one. 'I am starting out in this industry and I would appreciate any referrals.' It is even harder to keep the practice up with every guest every day after many years as a hairdresser. 'I'm always looking for new guests!' Asking for referrals is one of the easiest things we can do to ensure we stay productive. Word of mouth or 'earned advertising' is considered to be the strongest form of finding new services. Successful hairdressers build a request for referrals into the conversations they have with their guests.
Work for a salon? Familiarize yourself with your company's referral policy and use it to your advantage. If your salon doesn't have one, or you are an independent hairdresser, prepare your own referral system. Great referral systems include:
- Referral cards your guests pass out to their friends
- Booking software that tracks new clients and how they find you
- Social media requests
Give a little, get a lot. Entice current and potential guests by rewarding them for sending you clients. What do guests get really excited about?
Make your offer worth their while. Here's what some hairdressers offer:
- Money off their next service for every referral
- A free haircut or conditioning treatment after a certain number of referrals
- Pick a free product after x amount of referrals
- Credit at the salon for every referral that can be cashed in for services or products
- Specials offered to existing guests for recommending you on social media
Pick a system that you will stay consistent with. Nurtur Salon in Columbus, OH has a rewards system run through Millennium booking software that automatically tracks referrals, services, seasonal specials and products. Everything earns points that translates to money off future appointments. Imaginal Marketing partners with salons and offers customized print services. Referral cards can be passed from existing guest to prospective guest, fit easily in a purse or wallet and can be turned in for rewards.
Can you do it? Can you remember to ask for referrals? Yes you can! Statistics show that referral programs and guests earned through referrals have a direct correlation with income.
*More than 50% of people are likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.
*55% of consumers share their purchases socially on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites.
*Consumers rely on word-of-mouth 2x to 10x more than paid media.
*People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. (Nielsen)
*The Lifetime Value of a referred customer is 25% higher than that of other customers (Wharton School of Business)
The most powerful statement of them all? 'Thank you. Thank you for sending me your friend.'