How to make money for your salon, barbers or skin clinic during lockdown..... by selling Christmas Gift Vouchers to local professionals.
2 days ago the UK went in to full lockdown again for a month (at least, could be more who knows). Ireland has been in lockdown since mid October.
So there’s a lot of frustrated business owners out there, wondering if they are going to survive, or at least praying that December is going to be fully booked.
December will be very busy for most of course. But then some businesses will hit the January blues and a new quiet period to tackle.
So! Here is a very effective way of boosting revenues during lockdown AND getting new clients booking from Jan onwards. What I’m about to outline is the rough structure of the Local Business Targeted Promotion strategy that we run for our partners.
Despite many office workers based at home, we are finding we are still getting plenty of interest.
And now you have time on your hands, there is nothing stopping you from investing some time doing this yourself and creating revenue and clients whilst you’re closed.
Here’s how it works, broken down in to simple steps:
STEP 1 – YOUR NEW CLIENT eVOUCHER OFFER
As this is a prepaid voucher that you’re offering (in order to cash in on Christmas gifts), you want to create an offer that people just can’t say no to, for themselves or for partners or friends!
Here’s an idea that would generate plenty of interest:
Take your most popular service (or combination of services), cut the price in half and there is your offer price. But to really get maximum takers, try and add one or 2 bonuses that cost you little to nothing.
Relaxing Head Massage (just an extra 5mins), conditioning treatments, even a free cheap product if you’re overstocked…..
Prop up your 50% off special with a bonus or 2, and you have an enticing offer as both gifts or for themselves.
Put that offer in a word document, add a “voucher code” that buyer need to quote when they book, and a brief list of User Terms & Conditions, save as a PDF voucher and you have your simple, effective offer.
Those terms can include:
To see examples of some of these simple, effective eVoucher offers, book a Strategy Session with us here and we’ll email you some to you.
And if you’re not sure what services/treatment your prepaid offer should contain? Make 2 offers and give your buyers a choice!
One with your most popular service then another more expensive option with a combination of 2 services! (E.g if you’re a hair salon, half price cut OR half price cut and colour options).
TIP: It’s worth noting that anything less than a 50% discount will probably see significantly less buyers, unless you are already low pricing. Remember you want an offer that really demands the attention of staff from local businesses. And if it’s new clients only, redeemable from January during quieter times…..you have little to lose.
STEP 2 – DRAW UP A LIST OF LOCAL ORGANISATIONS TO TARGET
Now get a pen and paper and write up a list of the 20 largest organisations in your town, city or area.
Almost always this will start with your local council, NHS or hospitals and University or local college if you have them.
Then you’re writing down all the large companies where you are based, and any other organisations you’d love to get new clients from.
TIP: If you are hair or beauty salons, add all your local schools to your list. You can generate a lot of interest from your local teachers and school staff!
This list does not have to stop at 20. If you are in a city with lots of good-sized organisations, you can build up as bigger list as you like!
STEP 3 – REACHING OUT TO YOUR TARGET ORGANISATIONS
There’s 3 ways to do this: Email, LinkedIn or good ol’ fashioned telephone.
A phone call will both guarantee you speak to someone and get the quickest response, but if that doesn’t float your boat, email and LinkedIn will be fine.
Regardless of the means of contact, you want to explain that you have a created a promotion exclusively for staff in some selected organisations (include them!) and you're hoping they can tell you who is the best person to email the details across to?
By email you’ll start by emailing the contacts you can find via their website or Googling them.
Using LinkedIn requires you to connect with people within your target organisations before then stating your purpose. But the Sales Navigator in LinkedIn is an absolute gem for contacting potential leads in your local businesses. And it’s FREE for the first month!
Provided you have a LinkedIn profile, upgrade to Premium account to Sales Navigator Professional. Enter your card details etc, set a reminder on your phone to cancel in 28 days and you won’t be charged :)
Once you have access to the Sales Navigator; here’s how to find the best people to connect with form your target organisations:
TIP: We find the following connection message gets a good connection rate, as it creates intrigue:
Would be great to connect as I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction at (company)”
Check your LinkedIn daily for new reply messages, or new accepted connections in the My Network area.
You are then messaging them all with your purpose: you have a fantastic offer exclusively for staff in some organisations including theirs, and you were hoping they could provide the email of the correct person in-charge of staff benefits there.
Once someone within that organisation gives you a contact, whether that be on the phone, via email or LinkedIn message, you are emailing that correct person with full details of the eVoucher offer, which is largely:
a) Clearly stating what the deal is, the normal price and saving they're getting
b) How they pay.
IMPORTANT: Regardless if how you're reaching out, if you speak to someone who then refers you to their colleague: names-drop that person in the info email.
E.g. "Hi Kevin, I've just spoken to your colleague Melissa and she tells me you're the right person to contact."
When you word it this way, Kevin will read your email!
Whilst you’re in lockdown, what are the payment options you can provide? Remember this is a prepaid eVoucher, so it can be purchased as Christmas Gifts.
Does your booking software allow you to create a link so people can buy your eVoucher online? If so great, otherwise there’s always PayPal. Or simply ask that they email you and you can reply with your bank details, asking they put their name as the payment reference.
Be very clear on the email exactly how people buy the eVoucher and how they will receive it.
TIP: Try to give people 2 if not all 3 of the payment options I’ve mentioned. Offer your buyers flexibility.
Don’t be surprised if less than half of your emails or attempted LinkedIn connections are replied to. Another reason why a phone call can be the most effective, it guarantees someone replies to you!
STEP 4 – RECEIVING PAYMENT AND DISTRIBUTING YOUR eVOUCHERS
So you’ve created an irresistible offer that’s exclusively for staff in certain local organisations (at least that’s what you’re stating, where in fact you can reach out to as many local businesses as you like!)
You’ve reached out to your target list by phone, email or LinkedIn and (hopefully) a number of your list have replied with the contact details of the correct person to email.
You’ve then emailed that contact person with your irresistible offer, mentioning their colleague who referred you to them, and clearly stating how people can buy.
Now it’s a fun part….seeing how many buyers are taking you up on your terrific Christmas offer!
Much like getting less than half of your LinkedIn connections or emails replied to, it is highly unlikely you are going to get buyers from all the organisations you email info to.
In fact, you will probably only get buyers from a handful of your list.
These local business targeted offers are a numbers game. But all it takes is to get one or two organisations enthused, and you could have 10 – 20 buyers in each organisation!
From now until Christmas: at the end of each day: check for purchases and email each buyer their eVoucher(s).
IMPORTANT: Don’t email each contact just once! Try to email each contact again before Christmas. You will often get a better response from your second, follow up emails!
In these follow ups: if you’ve already received buyers from that organisation, thank them for their help and remind them that the offer is still available, and you don’t want anyone missing out.
This may all sound like hard work, but once your offer eVoucher is created and you’ve contacted then emailed info to a bunch of companies: the heavy lifting is over. This can EASILY be done within a week by investing just a couple of hours each day.
It is the rough structure of our local business targeted strategy that has seen us win HUNDREDS of new clients and THOUSANDS in new revenue for our salon partners.
Have fun with it. If your tone is polite and non-pushy when contacting your local organisations, most will respond positively.
Time is of the essence here! You ideally want to be spreading info around town starting mid-November, last week of Nov latest.
And if you're happy with the results: you now have a list of great leads to email in your list of organisations, to whom you can re-contact and re-launch your offer next year.
If you’d like some more advice, or have us run this strategy for you for just a 33% commission, book a Strategy Session and we’ll help in any way we can.
Wishing everyone based in the UK and Ireland a safe, reinvigorating lockdown period.
……Likes moths to a flame……