The Business of Beauty: Build your Clientele with Referrals

Building a clientele can be daunting, but – if you take one important factor into consideration – you can pack your books, jumpstart your career, and start making money, fast. Career building can be simple: It all boils down to proactive communication techniques (referrals). Read on to find out how these simple, straightforward methods can help you to gain traction and boost your clientele – now.

How-to: Proactive communication. Building a solid referral program doesn’t have to involve a lot of coaxing and self-marketing – though taking a proactive stance can help to speed up the process.

Your job, simply put, is to make your current clients aware of the incentives that your salon offers to new and existing clients. Though every salon’s culture varies, each salon usually offers some sort of referral program. Make sure to know yours well, and don’t be afraid to suggest – or try – new techniques. Below, I’ve outlined various programs.

Karen Ngyun of Karen Allen Salon

For Customers: The $20/$20 program

-New guest receives a $20 credit towards their first serviceReferring guest receives a $20 credit towards product

For Staff:

-Refer two spa services and receive a complimentary, 30-minute spa service of your choice
-Refer five spa services and receive a complimentary, 60-minute spa service of your choice

Adam Federico of AJF Salon

-New clients receive 25% off of their first service; cuts and colors included
-Referring clients receive one free haircut for every three clients referred

Lupe Voss of Julian August Salon: “Everyone needs a little ‘R&R.’

-Refer three clients and receive a $20 coupon for product purchases, plus a botanical treatment valued at $35.00

Though self-marketing can be tricky, sharing your referral program should be a snap. Try using the same phrase with each client. I like: “I’d like to share the salon’s rewards program with you.” Outline the program, and then make sure to clearly state that you’d love to pamper your (well deserving) client with complementary services.

Rewarding your clients for their loyalty can be a treat – and spreading your business via word of mouth is one way of building a solid clientele, which will keep returning to your chair for years to come. So don’t hesitate to be straightforward with your guests – and get started on proactive communication (and career building), today.

If you’re 100% booked – it isn’t a result of luck – it’s a result of skill and hard work. But how can you know when it’s time to increase your income, by giving yourself a raise? Stay tuned for my next ‘Business of Beauty” post: Knowing when it’s Time to Bump your Price Point.