The opening - KEY INSIGHT, IF they read the first 3-4 sentences they're more likely to read the WHOLE THING - POWER OF Curiosity
This is a series of articles focused on sharing techniques and knowledge to increase revenue using public space, if you haven't read the previous articles then please do.
I’m Caroline Turner the founder of The Salon Money Maker. Over the last 28 years I've been a team member, spa manager, salon owner, team revenue and management trainer, senior operations manager, and business consultant.
Now, for the first time I'm sharing my knowledge of how to make money in a way that clients love, and teams can enjoy.
Many salon owners have asked me over the years, how do I get more clients? I've always said the same, start with the window, it truly is the biggest marketing tool if you have footfall, think of it like this...
Lets me play with some numbers to give you the reason to focus attention on your public space, if a salon had;
10 people passing the window per minute x 60 minutes = 600 people per hour x $/£800 an average annual spend on hair and beauty = $480,000 walking past the salon each hour!
If a salon was open 50 hours and the same number of people passed by over a week... that would be $/£240,000,000 walking past in potential client spend.
Now the maths is completely subjective of course, you may have less then 10 people per minute, the same person may pass more then once so we may need to knock off a few million!
The point, if there's footfall, people passing, then there's opportunity!
BUT only if they see you!
If a salon could get just half a percent of those passing using these figures, over a week that would be 120 new clients, 3 new clients per hour, and that is achievable. You see I've used a method that's generated 4 new clients an hour, BUT it only works if the windows right!
I'll share with you the new client technique in a future post, it will cost you nothing to use and is so VERY simple.
CONTENT - Connect emotionally the aim to trigger an emotion , when people feel emotion they pay attention
SUB-HEADING Big PROMISE number 2 - here's where to promise people exactly what they will learn a step by step guide TO... you've connected know its time for the step they need to so - TAKE ACTION
HOW TO SECTION - CONTENT - give them practical easy to do implement advise. Get people results and they'll remember you forever - CONTENT that is useful is more viral
1. Don’t have a clear view of the salon or spa shop floor
I heard an owner say to a client once “we’re going to leave the window empty so people can see us working, people love watching hairdressers”
Err… No they don’t! The general public are not walking around searching for salons so they can watch. Clients may say IN THE CHAIR I love watching you, that’s very different to randomly walking down the street.
The window is a marketing tool that needs to be used to inspire confidence and spark interest, not left bare. That's like paying for a 2 page magazine spread and then putting nothing in it! The window is a paid for marketing tool.
But there are 2 other reasons to NEVER have an open view onto the salon floor, and this is very serious.
Cover and Protect Clients and Business Reputation
I cover in my book, 7 Killer Sales Mistakes that people can't help how their brains work, people will judge.
If a potential client passes the business and they look in, and the salon is quiet or worse is empty there's a high risk that they will judge "they can't be very good, no one goes there".
The fact the salon was full 10 minutes earlier is irrelevant, if the business looks dead potential clients are less likely to enter.
Its the tribe effect, and is rooted in the most powerful part of the brain that effects behavior. There's safety in numbers so consumers, potential clients like to follow others.
The problem is there will be minutes, hours or certain days when a salon may look quiet, and passing potential clients brains will kick into gear to make a judgement based purely on what they see.
That's why the view into the salon should be blocked or broken up. It protects the reputation of the business in those quiet moments.
To continue this tribe effect with consumer behavior its important that any clients having services are placed at stations at the front of the business, so if a potential client enters they again can judge "others come here, that's a good sign".
For this reason clients should also be protected, a high % of clients don't to be seen having services done, so not only does the barrier protect the reputation of the business but also the privacy of the client.
The window is a marketing tool used is too grab attention, the marketing also protects the salon or spa's reputation and clients privacy whilst seated at the front of the business
2 - Clean, Neat and Tidy
I cannot stress enough how important being clean, neat and tidy is to consumers. The window is the calling card of the business and if clients see dirty windows, unorganized, clutter, faded posters, peeling paint, what does that communicate?
A research project found that 95% of people questioned rated cleanliness as being MORE important then customer care.
In understanding consumer behavior it makes perfect sense, from Marslow theory to many other science lead research studies one of the key primal needs is safety, and poor hygiene communicates danger.
Most children from a very young age have adults warning them "that's YUK, its dirty" "have you washed your hands" "Germs". We are programmed to believe unclean means danger, whilst people don't go around consciously aware of this automatic behavior they will notice if a salon or spa is unclean in any area and that WILL effect business.
Whilst humans may have moved out of caves thousands of years ago, a primal section of the brain still works with primal thinking.
The "new" marketing style is about understanding the most powerful section of the brain, primal thinking, which I call the cave dweller.
Marketing to the cave dweller brain means CLEAN is high on their list when it comes to picking a business, salon or spa.
This automatic (sub-conscious) behavior means passing clients will judge how professional and trustworthy the business is based on how clean, neat and tidy any public area, especially the window.
A salon or spa inspection is key to maintain standards, check paint work, posters are't faded, damage to signage or marketing tools like A-boards are key.
Having a cleaning check list of daily, weekly jobs, and educating the team on the importance of cleaning is also key, as poor standards will impact their personal income. Part of my online training covers cleaning as a module, not how to clean, but the impact on the business, revenue and wages.
Keeping a salon or spa clean is a BIG job, so working as a team with cleaning is key.
Over the years as a consultant I've often arrived early, so I'd wait for the owner to finish with a client. If I've seen the team is busy and a cleaning job needs attention, then I'd grab the broom or cloth.
The amount of times I've seen a look of horror on owners face's that I shouldn't be cleaning! But I was there to work with the team, and that makes me part of the team. No one is too important to clean, clean as a team!
Cleaning impacts revenue for everyone, cave dweller thinking has a need to keeping us safe, and we have been programmed to see dirty as dangerous.
1 - Creating a cleaning and maintenance check list to maintain high standards
2 - Review the public areas looking at clean, neat and tidy.
3 - Remove anything from the window that is not necessary (clutter), unprofessional materials such as piece of paper taped to windows or doors
4 - The clean, neat and tidy focus must apply to the whole salon or spa for client retention
3 - Go BIG or GO bust!
Research has shown that passing consumers Peripheral vision is very narrow, and if people pass walking at a steady pass (not a slow stroll) then any business with a shop front that is 16 feet (5 meters) or less is INVISIBLE
No one will see the business
This is VERY SERIOUS.
Go bust? Now, of course salons and spa's go out of business or struggle for many reasons and having a small poster in the window isn't top of the list, but not attracting and keeping enough clients is top of that list, so when it comes to using the biggest, potentially most important marketing tool a salon or spa often has going BIG AND BOLD is essential.
The window, public presence must be big and bold to grab the vision of potential clients, its like shouting;
"HERE WE ARE"
1 - The space available
2 - The size that can be used
3 - Avoid any small posters, font size or displays
4 - The vision of the client is narrow so what is used must catch "the corner of their eye" so,
GO BIG AND BOLD
4 - People see Color First
People see color first, in the article What goes in a POP window I cover in more detail the importance of using color, not just in the window but in every element of marketing.
I explain how the brain has a "memory bouncer" to protect from overload, seeing too much. How the bouncer filters out what it deems as NOT IMPORTANT, and how though science lead research the bouncers method of doing this is based on color. We see color first, not the message.
The bouncer from research shows;
Black and white images or black and white with partial color will NOT enter the short term memory (invisibility).
So avoid these images for marketing, whilst black and white images can look beautiful, artist, and glamours the research currently shows the bouncer blocks them from the short term memory, impacting there marketing benefits.
The bouncer, like the cave dweller takes notice of bold, high contrast colors.
An experiment, take a moment to just look at the models on the catwalk, which model for you keeps your attention or you find your eye's draw back to look at?
When picking color, whether for paint (window frame), signage, back drops, photo images for posters, or planning a photo shoot for marketing images, understanding and then using color to attract more clients is key.
The catwalk... Did you find the patches of red drew your attention?
Cave Dweller thinking see red as a sign of danger, and so has to look to check. Did you also know... using a bold RED in a window has been shown to increase sales by 17%!
1 - The reading more on the Dimension of Brand Personality
2 - Use color with the focus that Less is More, use a small color palette
3 - Use white to allow color to stand out, POP
4 - Use bold high saturated color to grab attention and get into the short term memory
For more details see
5 - Change the window, Regularly
The window needs a plan, and a budget so that it CAN generate revenue.
The window will need to be changed, or rotated every 4 to 8 weeks, I would advise every 6 weeks as this coordinates with the ideal time for promotions.
So, the window changes every 6 weeks minimum unless there's a special event or a specific celebration.
Events include local festivals, sports events, mothers day or a religious celebration such as Christmas.
Then the window can be dressed for these events BUT the moment its over, the window MUST change.
Avoid leaving up specific promotions past its end date, think of it like food... its past its sell by date! So, no mothers day posts in the window weeks later. Once its gone, so is the marketing material.
Planning a 6 week window may sound like a lot of work but it is worth the effort and commitment.
1 - Having a set of large poster that can be rotated and reused, look after them as an investment
2 - Plan the window to "marry" with every marketing event
3 - Make it a team activity, get the team involved to use their creative minds and build a team culture
4 - Give the window a budget so that any prop's or materials can be purchased
6 - Light it up
Lighting is used to direct peoples sight to a key focal point, and is another key method of increasing the window impact. Lighting helps the window or display stand out, and focus the potential clients attention to a specific area.
Whilst I'm not saying light up the window like Time Square or Piccadilly circus, lighting is important.
Avoid over head lighting as it will cast shadows, light the window or display from the side and or from the front as is will be more attractive.
1- Lighting from the side and from the front
2 - Use lighting to highlight key focal points in the display
3 - Avoid over head lighting as this creates unattractive shadows
4 - If the area is busy in the evenings consider how the window can remain lite after hours.
7 - Building Displays
When building displays there are a few simple rules to follow, whether for the window or around the business. As I discuss in my book 7 Killer Sales Mistakes, there are key hot spots that can generate revenue, if used effectively.
1 - Create a focal point using a system like a pyramid format
The eye is draw to the central point of the pyramid, allowing the brain time to "digest" what it's seeing, and then the person can make a decision, spark an interest. In the window or a internal display the focal point (central) is the promotion or key retail item. The central point should be when possible, something of contrast as this is working with visual perception laws, it stands out. For example, a central picture, framed promotion or poster is the contrast if everything else in the display around it is retail.
In this pyramid example uses a compact display of height and width to draw the eye to the central point. It also uses symmetry (visual perception laws) with shape. However, this is not a perfect example as it includes a black and white image, the pink and purple products should have been on both sides (bold color and symmetry).
In this right side reception display the height is created by the flowers and the central show card to hold attention, the contrast is the retail and the small show card to the left in this example, however this display is not symmetrical.
Always have a promotion on the right side of reception, and the price list to the left hand side as this will help keep potential new clients longer at reception.
Can retail displays go in the window?
Only if its BIG and BOLD, the issue with retail is size. Whilst a display can be eye catching it has to be seen, and when people move past a window at pace that's very tricky.
One way of dealing with this would be to use a shelving unit in the window but then the focus is selling retail and not promoting the services.
Any form of display must also be at eye level, having retail low down in the window just won't achieve high sells results.
Whether a window like below uses window graphics to break up the window (protect) with a grid, or other window graphics or a pyramid display, it MUST be BIG and BOLD to make a difference to bookings.
1 - Create displays that have a central focal point to focus clients and potential clients to what you want them to see
2 - Remember, big bold and strong in color, but limit the number of colors in displays
3 - Use displays inside the business as well as external public space
4 - Be careful with retail in the window
5 - For maximum effect in key hot spots MUST be at eye level (marketeers work at 5ft 4in for most countries when creating a window, measured from outside).
If a business has passing people then using the window or public space is key. Rather then wasting time and money with low impact marketing like flyers, newspaper adverts, social media promotions put more effort and money into the window.
The window can not only generate large revenue when done right, but also protects the business reputation and the privacy of clients.
There are many ways to dress the window to WOW potential clients with graphics, frosting, large frame posters and full creative displays.
Whatever you decide it must be lit well, be BIG and BOLD and use color to grab the attention of passing people.
What to do next
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The Salon Team Training online program is currently closed, but I'll keep you posted on the next dates.
Finally, once you've built that POP window I'd love to see so send me your salon and spa window pictures of your creations