Without nail customers, you can’t be a Nail Tech. Without nail customers, you have no business and you have no income.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you have a new business or one that is well established, one thing your nail business will always need is more customers.
Finding customers is one of the hardest parts of starting or growing any hair, nail or beauty business – and it can be an expensive exercise. So how do I easily acquire more nail customers without breaking my bank account?
For years now, there is a simple technique that I have trained my customers to use to turn one nail customer into two nail customers. It is called “The Voucher for a Friend System.”
Why use the Voucher for a Friend?
Business is built on relationships and you already have nail customers who know you, love you and trust you. They buy your nail services and may have done so for a number of months or years already.
Those trusting customers have friends, family members and work colleagues in your trading zone that need your services. The problem is, those friends, family and work colleagues don’t yet know about you.
You want to leverage your relationship with your existing clients and get access to their circle of influence. In other words, you want to turn your existing customers into your sales team and get them to refer their friends, family and work colleagues to your nail salon. Look at the image below.
My client Jane, knows and trusts me the Nail Tech. Jane's friend Amy trusts Jane based on their mutual relationship. Because Jane trusts me, Amy knows that she can also trust me based on her relationship with Jane. I want to leverage this trust between my clients and their friends family and work colleagues to get more clients – without it costing me much money.
What is the Voucher for a Friend?
There are many ways to implement the Voucher for a Friend system in a nail salon, but based on my years of experience helping Nail Tech’s run the Voucher for a Friend system – here is what works best.
The Voucher for a Friend is a value-added offer / gift that you are going to ask your existing clients to give to their friends. It is going to be a treatment or service where the friend gets to experience your business, skill and passion.
The Voucher for a Friend is not a discount. You can offer a discount on the Voucher, but I have proven that discounts do not generate the response that a complimentary nail service does.
The Voucher for a Friend is known as a loss leader. In other words, it will cost you a little money (I.e. a small loss) however it will gain you a new long-term customer. If you look after this new customer and, on subsequent visits give her great nails with excellent customer service, she will stay with you for many years to come. This means that the loss leader is actually an investment in your business.
By the way, if you have a good tax accountant, you may even be able to claim the loss back from tax, so if you run your business properly and you implement the Voucher for a Friend system the right way, it will actually cost you nothing to acquire new clients.
How does it work?
When you hand the Voucher for a Friend to your customer, tell her it is for a friend and that it has an expiry date. (More about the expiry date a little later) Then, write your customers name and surname on the voucher and let her know that when her friend brings the voucher in, she will get a reward. This makes the voucher easy to track and you can then reward the customer who sent the friend.
It is important to know that the success or failure of the Voucher depends 100% on what you say, and how you say it, when you give the Voucher to your customer.
We don’t have time to cover what to say in this blog post, however, we teach you what to say to your client in The Image Cartel's Marketing Workshop so that your client does give the voucher to a friend. We also give you access to ready-made vouchers that you can customize with your salons contact info and special offer.
We also teach you how to reward your client after she sends her friend to you. Always thank and reward customers when they do something good for your business. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also incentivises your customer to keep sending her friends to your nail business!
What must I do when the friend comes in?
When the friend comes in to redeem the voucher there are 4 things that you must pay close attention to.
- Treat her like royalty – your customer just took a risk and referred a friend to you. Make sure you look after her friend and do nothing to betray her trust.
- Always do a Professional Client Consultation. Chances are, she has never experienced a Nail Consultation at her previous Salon, so position yourself as a Professional Nail Designer through the consultation. Make sure to add her contact details to your sms and email marketing database.
- Give her an excellent service. Regardless of what service you decided to add to the “Voucher for a Friend,” make sure you give her the best treatment that she has ever received. At the end of her visit, she must want to come back again!
- Be prepared to upsell, cross sell and rebook the new client.
The Rules for setting up the Voucher for a Friend
When you create the offer that is placed into the voucher, there are 5 rules that you need to follow to get the voucher to work for your customer as well as you.
Rule: 1 – The offer must contain a service or services that do not take long to deliver. Time is money, so the complimentary treatment must be short!
Rule 2 – The offer must contain a service that costs your nail business very little. In other words, the cost price / cost of product to you must be very low.
Rule 3 – The offer in the voucher must have high value from the customers point of view. It must be something that is desirable for the client.
Rule 4 – The offer must be a service that is visual – the friend who redeems the voucher must walk out of your nail business looking different, because when she looks better, she feels better – feelings are powerful, but most Nail Tech’s don’t understand that what they sell is feelings!
But, there is another powerful reason why the service must be visual - the client must walk out of your business and be able to see what she received, for example, she must be able to see nail art on her fingers for the next two weeks, because every time she sees it she is reminded of you and your nail business.
Rule 5 – The voucher must contain a sense of urgency. You are going to place an expiry date on the Voucher that lets the friend know that if she doesn’t act quickly, she is going to lose the complimentary nail treatment. I recommend using an expiry date of no more than 2 weeks.
Those of you who know the Consumer Protection Act (CPA)might be raising an objection at this point. The CPA says that vouchers must remain redeemable for a period of 36 months. However, this only applies to vouchers that a consumer has purchased. The “Voucher for a Friend” system is different. It is a free gift from you to your client’s friend. No consumer has purchased the voucher, so you can place an expiry date on the Voucher to create a sense of urgency and get the friend to book her appointment.
Sample Voucher For a Friend
Below is a sample breakdown of a package that you can include on the “Voucher for a Friend.”
|Nail Service||Retail Price||Cost to you|
|A Professional Nail Health & Lifestyle Consultation||R25||R5|
|A Nail File and Shape||R25||R5|
|Gelosophy Gelpolish in the colour of your choice||R180||R17|
|Nail Art on two fingers||R50||R5|
The above package is worth R280 at full retail price but will cost you less than R35 per client. At the end of this blog post, I will show you the income potential of this voucher.
Download Ready-Made Vouchers
The Image Cartel Customers that have attended our Marketing Training for Nail Technicians can download 7 different Ready-Made Vouchers from our Marketing Store that can quickly and easily be customized to suite your unique nail business. Below is just one of the 7 different styles.
How can I track results?
Tracking results is easy, when the friends comes in to redeem the voucher, record the name on the Voucher in a notebook so that you know who sent her in. The next day, call the client who referred her friend and thank her. Let her also know that the next time she comes in there will be a reward waiting for her!
What is the potential of the Voucher for a Friend system?
In this example, let’s imagine that you sell your Gel and Acrylic Nails for R350 a set and of that R350, R300 is profit. If one customer refers a new friend and that friend books in once a month for the next year, that is R300 x 12 visits = R3600 profit.
Not a bad effort for handing out a Voucher that didn’t even cost you R20! But here’s the good news - because the new customer has been referred, they are more likely to be better quality customers than those coming from advertising on Facebook or in the newspaper.