Yesterday, I went to my local Publix. There’s a hair salon right beside the grocery store. As I finished putting my groceries away out of the blue a woman approaches me.
Me – “Yes?”
“Let me just give you this.” – extends business card
Me – “No thank you.”
She was a hair stylist. Honestly though, it doesn’t matter what her profession was. This has happened to me more times than I can count. With hairstylists, DJs, musicians, insurance sales people, etc. I don’t know her and the first thing she tries to do is solicit my business. That was the first time I ever flat out said no. Usually, I take the business cards in order to avoid sparing their feelings. I felt bad for the woman, a little, because I wasn’t too nice when I said it. At the same time, I was incredibly proud of myself for not accepting her card for the following reasons:
- I have a hairstylist that I like and I’m not in search of another.
- My hairstylist has a lower price point, with extras included in the price (deep conditioning and masques), and allows cell phone and electronic use while I’m getting my services. This salon does not.
- I’m tired of accepting people’s card when knowingly, I will not be supporting their business and the card will linger somewhere in my purse, desk drawer or car
- She didn’t act like she even cared to know my name, or anything about my needs she just wanted my money
Then after I got home and unloaded my groceries I started thinking of cool marketing strategies that the woman could use to be successful. See, that’s the 2nd time that I have been approached by a stylist from that salon who just opened the door to offer me a business card. They are new, and I know they are trying to grow their business and they are the second salon to come into the plaza. The last one closed. I park there often and live almost walking distance from the salon. So in a few minutes I came up with a short list of cool stuff they could do:
- Greet and get to know women in Publix, everyone needs groceries and there are times, like yesterday when I went during the day, when people are not in a rush and can socialize more
- Start a referral system with the existing clients that you have. Offer them $5 or a free deep conditioning treatment with each first time referral. That doesn’t cost you too much.
- Have a greeter stand outside of the salon who smiles and greets everyone that walks buy and offers a flyer or discount special for services. On a Saturday, this could be a cute older child with her hair done.
- When you see potential customers, introduce yourself before offering them a card. I found my last stylist at a mall because she approached me and introduced herself. I was impressed that she cared about my hair goals and took the time to listen. I went to her for over a year. This strategy was effective to me and worth imitating.
In the end, the hairstylist lost me as a client because of her approach. Have you ever had something like this happen to you?