This one goes out to all the ladies. I know, I know – we are all beautiful naturally. And (almost) never need any beauty supplies or treatments. But if you accidentally (!!!) find yourself in one of such places – here is what I learned recently.
First and most important – they are all businesses. Smaller or bigger – everyone is in business for business. Therefore, the goals, that they have; problems, that they face and methods, that they use in every day work are the same as you have at work.
New customer attraction
Go there only if you really need or want a specific procedure. Beauty shops, which have more ambitious growth targets, will be more aggressive to get new customers. They will be more flexible with pricing of the first procedure – or even offer it for free. It is good if you, as a service buyer, already have a firm opinion if you need the procedure. Also, if this is a series of procedures – if you are going to use all of them. Then getting one of them free of charge, negotiating prices of the other ones – everything will be beneficial for you.
If you are only curious to try, you might find yourself in a trap, spending money when you had no intention in doing so.
There are some beauty specialists, who do not need any new clients. Or, to be more precise, do not need them at a specific moment in time. Everything changes. If you really want to get there – be persistent and / or patient.
Just like in “normal office business”, service providers like to create dependency. The same rule applies with beauty stores and services. You might be sold:
- Very exceptional service (“only available in this shop in this country”);
- Completely innovative product (and there are oceans of those – every store will have at least few of them. The “newer”, the better).
- Follow up procedures: once you to have the procedure you came for done, you are told, that “follow up refreshers” are needed. Otherwise, “it won’t work”.
A quote from one beautician I know: “they have to need us. They cannot just stop coming”.
Cost and pricing strategies
Oh, yes, they are flexible! A lot. And these are the things you should know to be ready for the price conversation:
- Rent of premises. Services in London will be more expensive than in Grimsby – sounds logic, right?
- Investments into equipment. Service providers, working with old or no equipment at all, will have lower prices.
- Investments into trainings. Self-educated “YouTube specialists” will have different pricing structure. I am not saying the latter is bad – on the contrary: I know some specialists, who are amazing at what they do without any fancy certificates. Instead – they have passion for what they do.
- Ingredients, technology and materials used. The same beautician told me a story of a hardcore negotiating customer of hers: the customer convinced her not to use the local anaesthetic cream (because “she is very brave”) and reduce the price of the service…
- Efficient time usage, bundling. Recipe changeovers for production lines are expensive due to cleaning, downtime. The same here: setting up for a new customer, cleaning up after – it is not efficient time usage, nobody pays for it. I mean – it is not a separate line on the bill. But someone must pay for it. If you can – consider doing several procedures in one go and do not forget to ask for price improvements. If you came to a tanning shop to buy your monthly pass – ask, if they are planning any promotions. Buy when the promotion is on (some places will apply it immediately for you not to run away with your wallet).
- Perception. That works for both sides. Marketing is a very strong tool here. You might be ready to pay higher price because of references or the image that the beauty shop has. On the other side – beauticians are good sellers, too. They will evaluate how you look and will set the pricing based on that (do not overdress the first time you go there). They will observe your body language: if you show signs, that the full set of several procedures is too much for your budget – they will react and adjust to your budget. If you manage to sell the perception of bigger future business (“after this, I will want to do this and the other and then a little bit more”), they will adjust prices.
Easy for me to say. I learned all this already being on the procedure chair. Knowing things is not the same as being able to apply and applying them in real life situations. Care to try the tips next time you are in the beauty shop? Please share experiences!