Follow The Leader!

California Stylist

August 2011

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Build An Unlimited Clientele

Build An Unlimited Clientele

Change the way you think about building your business, this self paced audio program provides you with the tools you will need to achieve your financial success with your new ideal clients.

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  • San Diego, CA 92108
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Create Elite Clients

You CAN Choose Your Own Clients, While Turning Your Existing Clients Into Your Ideal

You CAN create your own elite client base, choosing the type of client you want to see every day and also turning your existing clients into elite clients. Instead of just settling for any warm body that comes into your salon or day spa, take the initiative to find and create your own elite and most desirable client base. Lauren Gartland is the founder of Inspiring Champions, a business and coaching company specializing in the beauty industry. She regularly advises beauty professionals on how to create their ideal client base for business success and growth.

Recognize Potential Elite Clients

Gartland relays the story 'Acres of Diamonds' to show just how important it is to recognize potential. "Acres of Diamonds is the tale of a man who bought a house on land that was reputedly full of diamonds. He went out every day digging for diamonds, yet he never found any and eventually gave up and sold the house. Years later he returned and was shocked to find a huge mansion where his farmhouse once stood. The new owner showed the man an ugly rock – just like many rocks the man used to find all over the property. The owner rubbed the outer layer of the rock until a brilliant diamond underneath showed. The man realized he had in fact owned acres of diamonds, yet never recognized what they really were. Think of yourself as a treasure hunter and your clients as diamonds. If you're going to go treasure hunting for diamonds, you'd better know what they look like!" laughs Gartland.

Gartland advises creating a salon vision statement so that you will be able to recognize your elite clients when you see them. Gartland says, "Put yourself in a position to receive something. Remember that asking questions is the starting point of receiving. Write down in vivid detail what you would like your most ideal client to be like, what services they receive and what products they use. Create your vision statement, a description of your ideal clients, so that you will actually recognize them when you meet them!" To create your vision statement, consider your current clients and which of these you really look forward to seeing. You know who they are! Everyone's vision of their elite client will be different. They will all share some attributes, such as visiting you regularly and being open to receive a variety of haircare services, while consistently purchasing professional homecare maintenance products.

Perhaps your elite client is a business woman who is always punctual, rebooks before leaving, receives chemical services regularly and is committed to the homecare regimen you have recommended to her. Or, perhaps your elite client is creative, edgy and fashion forward; always ready to try the newest hairstyle and haircolor trends and one who loves professional products, investing in your entire hairstyle system. Write down their characteristics until you have a very clear vision. Gartland says, "Once you clearly define who your elite clients are, you will start recognizing them all over town. Make sure that when you do, you have your business cards on hand and are proactive about approaching them. Always look polished and professional and dress in a way that will impress your elite clients. Any place you are going, from the grocery store to PTA meetings and to the bank, there will always be opportunities to find new clients!"

"Once you clearly define who your elite clients are, you will start recognizing them all over town."

Open Yourself To Success!

Now, select a few of your best regular clients who are already considered your elite guests. They will become part of your advocacy group. Add to this group anyone you know who believes in you and your work. Choose your most enthusiastic clients, business people in your neighborhood, friends or family who are your strong advocates. Gartland shares, "Invite people in to help with your success. Ask the type of clients you want to have more of for their advice. Tell them you value their input and ask if they have ideas on how to grow your business. This will give your clients ownership and partnership in helping you succeed. Say to your current elite clients: Thank you for being such a great client! I am expanding my business and I want more clients like you. Would you help me? How many new client business referral cards can I share with you for your friends and co-workers?" You can then reward these regular clients with bonus points, free products or discounted services for sending you new first-time client referrals. Your advocates should know your 'defining statement,' which is an exciting definition that vividly describes what you do. This way, your advocates can create enthusiasm when they tell people they know about your services.

Start To Network!

Join a local business networking group, as that is always a great way to meet prospective new clients and advocates. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to get a list and visit at least three to five groups before committing your time to one or two. The benefits of a networking group are that it brings together business people from different industries who want to tap into other business experts. It's an inexpensive and effective way to get new clients as the members will work for free on your behalf. You will also have the opportunity to make new friendships and meet business people outside of your industry who will provide support and inspiration to help you grow your business.

The most important step in forming your advocate group is keeping in touch with them. Your connection should come from an air of neutrality. Do not continually ask members of your group for something or just contact them when you need them. Give back by also working on their behalf and investing in their success as well. Advocate systems are about building relationships and staying connected. Gartland says, "Never let an advocate get more than 30 days away from you in communication. Find different ways to contact them and get creative by mixing it up with phone calls, postcards, holiday greetings, small gifts or homemade items. Send them regular news on your services, seasonal promotions, inspirational messages or other fun communications."

Convert Your Regulars Into Elite Clients

Lastly, consider your existing clients who already have the potential to become elite. To turn existing clients with potential into your most and favored elite clients, start conducting thorough client consultations that will present new opportunities for additional services and product purchases. Your elite client should have a higher service ticket with chemical services, add-on treatments and be interested in your professional retail products. Inspiring Champions offers extensive training in how to conduct the "Perfect Consultation" with scripted consultation forms that include detail oriented questions.

Try to really discover what services and products will help your clients to fulfill their full potential. Ask meaningful questions and engage your clients' imaginations to find the right answers. Connect with your clients on an emotional level to enable them to see what is truly possible for their beauty transformation. For example, have them list three words that best describe what they want their hair to say about their personality. They may say, "polished, professional and confident" or "sexy, youthful and fun." Gartland adds, "An important part of your role during the consultation is to help your clients to see the possible options for their hair and their total image. Answering creative questions like these will help you to provide them with the right services and products for years to come."

The next time you walk through the door of your beautycare establishment; you will be looking at your potential elite new clientele. Wherever you go in the world, you will also be finding new people who may become your next elite clients. Gartland concludes, "By educating your existing clients and showing them the possibilities you can provide for their looks and style, you will start to create your own elite clients. Then, by consistently searching out and meeting the right new people in your everyday routine, you will continue to build your business filled with elite clients. Remember that you already own acres of diamonds. You just need to find them and polish them!"

EDITORIAL NOTE:
Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring services, webinars, audio tapes and educational resources. For more information call 800-496-9305 or visit www.InspiringChampions.com.
Jenny Hogan is the Media Director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business. For more information, contact 703-359-6000, visit www.MktgSols.com or send an email to MktgSols@MktgSols.com.