Are We Client Snobs?

happyfeet

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi Geeks,

Inspired by Izzidoll and her fabulous threads, I thought I would have a go at one of my own.

So.........

What sort of clients do you all attract? Do you have an age range in mind? Do you market to a particular category of folk? If so how do you do this? Or do you not mind, happy to take any sort of client on.... the bargain hunter, the holidaymaker, the every two weeks booking or whoever comes through your door. The services I offer currently tend to attract the 30+ bracket, which was my aim when I started out. I find them particularly loyal, never baulk at the price or tell me what so and so is doing down the road.

Over this last month or so I have received enquires for enhancements, which I don't do. Thinking this may be something in the future for me to train in, I've come to realise something about some of the enhancements clients in my particular area. They are bargain hunters.
However if I ever get a call from a client regarding enhancements, I always enquire about the condition of their nails, why they want enhancements etc, to establish if Shellac would be suitable for them. So far I have turned 3 enhancement calls into a shellac bookings and all have been very happy with the results and again they were the over 30 bracket. I would never offer this if I didn't feel it was suitable for them and one particular lady who called last week, I actually referred her on to a tech in my area who did do enhancments.
However, I had a call the other day from someone enquiring about enhancements (despite plastering natural nail treatments on my website :Scared:) and the first thing she said/barked was what offers have you got on. Now as said normally I would establish if Shellac suited them, but for this particular enquiry I didn't. Why? Because I felt we would get no where. Saying that I have learnt a good lesson on here that you should never close a clients wallet before they've opened it, but on this occasion I heard the word discount and thought um no you're not the sort of client I want. Despite being a new business I still value my work, products and time meaning I charge accordingly and also I do want to attract a certain clientele to my business and on the whole so far I've achieved this.

So the point of my thread you ask? Out of curiosity, do you think as therapists/technicians e should be choosy about the clients we want to attract? Or should we be happy in the knowledge that in the current climate, whatever type of client we attract, we are earning money?

PS The title is tongue in cheek :wink2:
 
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geeg

Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek
#2
I have always tried to appeal to the same group you are going for. Thing is I don't think it is I who choose them ... Clients would come into the salon from every age group and financial bracket but in the end it is they that choose to stay with me or not and not the other way around.

The vast majority of clients were the ones from the 30+ comfortably off group and because My prices were/are not cheap, the ones who choose me seem to value my attention. I get a few teens with money to burn but mainly the regulars are as I said.

I never do discounts and I only do special offers on products and never services as I have always believed that I am worth no less on one day than another ... I have always stuck to that.

Good thread.
 

#3
Good thread by the way (Happy Feet).......and Geeg, quite interesting to hear this from you. So have you always stuck to this policy even when you first started out? As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I do but I do sometimes offer a discount which has always never been a success so on that note, I have stopped any sort of discount or promotion. I might just pinch your idea Geeg and do more promotion on products. :biggrin:
 

chocolatepickle

Well-Known Member
#4
I wish I could answer but I have such varied clients!

I work mainly evenings and do 90% Shellac now.

My day clients are ladies with money to maintain their nails, most have grown up children/ no children/ flexible working hours with some disposable income.
Evening clients may be mums who are having their nails done once kiddies are in bed, others work all day so like that they dont loose their lunch hour.
Most have the money to maintain regularly and care about the look of their nails- the majority wouldnt be seen dead with a 3 week outgrown shellac or a chipped nail.

A couple of mum clients I only see when they have special occasions but they stay loyal.

I like them but do not try to attract this group as a clientel as many parents dont have the disposable income, so while they may have things done through the summer once their holiday etc is out the way work can go quieter, which did happen to me- yet my more wealthier ladies continued.
I get on really well with all my clients :)

I dont tend to discount to attract new clients, I did in the past but didnt get much benefit from doing it and hated taking less money!
I reward my regulars with little gifts (which can lead to retail) or treatment upgrades.

Most new clients now are recommendations which means a lot to me as it tells me my clients are happy with me.
 
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geeg

Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek
#5
Good thread by the way (Happy Feet).......and Geeg, quite interesting to hear this from you. So have you always stuck to this policy even when you first started out? As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I do but I do sometimes offer a discount which has always never been a success so on that note, I have stopped any sort of discount or promotion. I might just pinch your idea Geeg and do more promotion on products. :biggrin:
I have never discounted ME. Never offered a discounted service ... never felt I needed to.

Discounting a`product is perceived as allot by a client but very little to me. Gets them using the things they need. For me it helps to move stock too. It has always worked.

Never know why people offer Xmas deals and summer deals when that is the time we get so much business anyway. Offer promotions when you need to .. as a means to an end .. not durring busy times!!
 

An*Gel

Well-Known Member
#6
I don't actually have a target market, as I don't advertise (luckily my clients do that for me :))

My clients are all 35 and over and some are Solicitors, Teachers, Nurses, Doctors and retired women... basically ladies that have money and don't feel guilty to spend it... so my kind of clients! :)

If I was to have a target market, then these clients would be the ones I would want to go after, not the young girls, as I find the younger clients usually don't want to pay what I charge for a start and they don't get their nails done on a regular basis... they seem to be happy to pay 20 euro for a bad set of enhancements that will last for the weekend (that's just been my experience of course)

Some of my clients would strike fear in the heart of any good nail professional (I say that tongue in cheek :lol:)

I love them all though and am very grateful to each and every one of them for the loyalty they have given me over the years.

Am I a client snob?... absolutely!! :lol: (OK that was said tongue in cheek too :lol:)
 

nicole333

Active Member
#7
I hear you all. But what about us that are starting out and do not have a client base yet? I feel I need to get out there and shout it out to everybody that I'm here. I also feel the need to lure clients in with something.

Last night I sat here and did a service and price list. I then read a few threads for a break and ended up reading a very interesting thread about why you shouldn't discount. Needless to say, the rest of the evening was spent changing those prices back to what they should be!

I don't want to change the theme of the thread, so I'll just say that I don't feel like I have the luxury to market to anyone in particular right now and it's blooming scarey!
 

geeg

Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek
#8
I hear you all. But what about us that are starting out and do not have a client base yet? I feel I need to get out there and shout it out to everybody that I'm here. I also feel the need to lure clients in with something.

Last night I sat here and did a service and price list. I then read a few threads for a break and ended up reading a very interesting thread about why you shouldn't discount. Needless to say, the rest of the evening was spent changing those prices back to what they should be!

I don't want to change the theme of the thread, so I'll just say that I don't feel like I have the luxury to market to anyone in particular right now and it's blooming scarey!
None of us has a client base when we start out. All we have is our talent (hopefully) our personality, our commitment to our clients amd our business. All that, should be enough to get your name about ... what allot of newbies do not have is any patience for the long haul.
 

#9
Loving the thread happyfeet :biggrin:

Am I a client snob? No. Do I seem to attract a certain geo/demographic of client? Yes. But it all honesty it's pretty split between mobile and salon. My mobile clients are quite often younger women, 20-29 who really want to look the part but are working during the day and socialising on a weekend so take advantage of my evening appointments. Most don't have a huge disposable income and come from the less prestigeous areas of the city but nevertheless, they want to look and feel the part

My daytime clients tend to be older ladies, 40+ who are either in flexible jobs, not working through choice or retired. These clients usually go for multiple treatments in a visit and are like clockwork. I think this probably has to do with the fact a lot of them also use the Personal Trainer who is in the same building as me so they make all their stops in one trip so to speak!

I can honestly say that other than with bridal work, I've never actively gone and sought out a client type but I guess you find them/they find you naturally
 

nicole333

Active Member
#10
None of us has a client base when we start out. All we have is our talent (hopefully) our personality, our commitment to our clients amd our business. All that, should be enough to get your name about ... what allot of newbies do not have is any patience for the long haul.
True, but it's nice to hear. Reading these threads, it's hard sometimes to imagine anybody starting from the beginning.
 

dandelionpoppy

Well-Known Member
#11
Good thread; it's made me think!

My clients range from 15-85.

I'm lucky to have a great association with a ladies-only gym, and am able to market to them whenever I wish, so many of my clients are from there.

When I went into beauty at a very advanced age (!) I wondered whether my not fitting the stereotype of a therapist would hurt; in fact a lot of mature clients have told me that it is a positive with them.

On a realistic note I think that as the economic crisis deepens many businesses will have to re-think strategies, and appeal to the widest catchment possible. Sorry to be gloomy, but I think tougher times are ahead.
 

geeg

Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek
#12
True, but it's nice to hear. Reading these threads, it's hard sometimes to imagine anybody starting from the beginning.
Mind you, I just didn't sit there and wait! for folks to find me. :biggrin: No one had heard of nails when I started and the country was in a deep recession. So I had my own challenges.

I did talks to womens' groups amd fayres and put my cards EVERYWHERE. Every loo I went into I left my cards stuck in the mirrors! I did loads of women who worked in shoe shops, dress shops, jewellery shops for free to tout my services .... you have to hustle your bustle and think about it all the time. Focus! You lot today have different challenges, but the principal is the same.
 

#13
Excellent topic by the way!

I live in a sleepy seaside town so therefore I am unable to be picky about the age, gender or sexual preference of my clients but to be honest, that is the way I like it. I love being around people and I love the variety that walks through my salon door, it keeps my passion fresh but ultimately, it keeps the styles of treatments exciting.

I do run offers occasionally but I never discount my time. The youngest client I have is 2 years and the oldest being 102 (who I am proud to say has regular mani's)! I am happy to accommodate "occasional" clients who are loyal but use my services to "treat" themselves.

I have men, women, teenagers, little girls, gay, bisexual and sometimes transsexuals. I love the fact that all these different types of clients feel comfortable in my salon and I am proud of every single one. I must add, not one of them grumbles at my prices which are higher than any other salon in town and we are also the busiest. Not bad for only being open a year eh?!

Thanks xx
 

geeg

Judge Gigi-Honorary Geek
#14
Excellent topic by the way!

I live in a sleepy seaside town so therefore I am unable to be picky about the age, gender or sexual preference of my clients but to be honest, that is the way I like it. I love being around people and I love the variety that walks through my salon door, it keeps my passion fresh but ultimately, it keeps the styles of treatments exciting.

I do run offers occasionally but I never discount my time. The youngest client I have is 2 years and the oldest being 102 (who I am proud to say has regular mani's)! I am happy to accommodate "occasional" clients who are loyal but use my services to "treat" themselves.

I have men, women, teenagers, little girls, gay, bisexual and sometimes transsexuals. I love the fact that all these different types of clients feel comfortable in my salon and I am proud of every single one. I must add, not one of them grumbles at my prices which are higher than any other salon in town and we are also the busiest. Not bad for only being open a year eh?!

Thanks xx
That's the way to do it ... well done !!
 

nicole333

Active Member
#15
Oh I hustle my bustle alright! :biggrin:

I am focused on nothing else and loving every minute of it.

That's an impressive situation you turned around. I'm taking it all in!
 

#16
Great thread with some invaluable advice.

I'm a small home salon (mum working part time) and in my local area have a few salons ranging from the local one, whom undercut everybody, to a lovely hotel offering spa services at high end prices. Also, as a busy mum, I cannot offer the amount of hours/flexibility to the extent that the local salons can and so need good pennies in the limited hours I offer.

My question is as a home salon, with no passing traffic, do you think it necessary to offer 'specials' and loyalty cards in order to compete with the local beauty businesses??. I know there are always customers where bottom line is their priority (fair enough in this job/economic climate) but to what extent to we compromise in order to keep/gain/retain customers.

My concern is that I offer high quality products and services from home (Shellac/Genuine Minx/3d A H Francis Lashes) and have completed advanced courses in order to be the best that I can which has cost me a lot of personal money to set up. Therefore, although I currently offer a loyalty card (10 stamps/visits = £20 off) - yes I am now regretting this!!!, I do not think I can continue this in the future. However, most businesses around me do offer a loyalty card of some kind - no doubt with more therapists their margin is greater than mine, although I do not have their overheads.

I have been very pleased to have gained not only loyal, but lovely ladies from a local golf club (fabulous - available daytimes with cash to spend on themselves) and they have recommended me to family and friends, which has been wonderful. In some ways, I would rather have 6 of these ladies than dozens looking for a cheap service.

Appreciate your thoughts.

Julie
xxxx
 

#17
I offer an Army discount because my husband is in the Army and that discount brings alot of clients, male and female, people we know and others we don't.

I roll my eyes until they hurt at the ''how much!!!?? '' brigade. Yes you can get a set done at the NSS in town in 37 minutes and for £20 and you are welcome to go there...you get what you pay for. :wink2:

I have a range from 20 to 84, depending on the treatment. Nails are what attracts the no shows in my salon, and thats usually because they dont want to spend the time or the money! I am based in a very prosperous area but even they are feeling the pinch.

I don't do any offers and I much prefer to have quality over quantity...I would rather be quiet and have lovely clients than be really busy with the bargain hunter type any day!
 

Lolly22

Active Member
#18
Hello,

Great thread happyfeet.

Well I dont have my own business at the minute and I work in a salon so therefore I cant really choose my own client type.

The type of people that come to the salon are local's who are quite loyal to the salon and to their own favourite therapist. We have a school here which ALOT of Americans go to, and we get alot of these girls. They really like having their waxing and their pedicures done.

Then my managers also do KGB offers. Now, most of the time these clients are nice enough. But I just cant help but feel "Why should I bother giving this FBM my all when this client paid buttons for it and is not likely too ever come back". Now I know that is not a good attitude to have but once the deal site have taken their pay you are left with about £4, for an hours worth of treatment. I just think, why would you do that? And some of the clients you can just tell are dealseekers, they will just go to wherever next is having a deal.

Personally if this were my business, I would be getting myself upto that school and putting flyers and cards everywhere. Alot of the American girls come through word of mouth so I think by doing this we would get a good few more customers. I would say to my managers but they have other full time jobs so I get the impression this is maybe just a hobby. From looking at the book I cant see that they make alot of money. And I dont think they bother about marketing really. They prefer to put on deals on the website and these KGB type deals.

When I eventually have my own business I wouldnt want to attract these type of clients so I would rarely have discounts. I would prefer to reward my regulars instead of a new client who will only come when there is a deal.

Sorry for rambling :) x
 
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happyfeet

Well-Known Member
#19
It's brilliant to read the replies on this thread and has got me thinking even more.

I agree i don't think we choose our clients more they choose us and i also think thats something to be proud of, whether a loyal client or pamper clients that aren't regular but use you when they need a treatment.

I offer mobile and have just taken a treatment room/mini spa cabin in the grounds of a health shop in a small village within thanet. No walk ins or passing trade mind but i tend to and intend to target my advertising, besides the internet, at the thirty plus age group as generally they have the income and lifestyle that suits my business. As a rule i don't offer discounts, besides loyalty scheme and refer a friend and more so now because I'm paying rent on the mini spa cabin. Figures wise it just wouldn't work, I'd be concerned that people were looking for the discount all the time and when i work out product cost and my hourly rate i want it to be healthier. I have two fairs coming up at the beginning of December where we are expected to discount on the night but for this i don't mind as i believe, hopefully not naively lol, the client understands its a one time offer and its a shorter version of my treatment though not compromising on the system i use, i just don't offer towelling mitts or hand and arm massage with my shellac application but i do full prep etc. I do give an incentive to book a home appointment at the fair but its a matter of a couple of pound. I won't be offering it for the mini spa cabin mind.

I try to set my treatments apart from the competition. So with a shellac mani or pedi i offer my full manicure experience. With the new place I've taken on I've just started offering a mini spa experience. I believe these sorts of things not only attract clients but makes you stand out and hopefully re booking.

I had someone contact me on Facebook the other week enquiring about my prices. I told her the price and everything included which at £25 is still very fair. She replies back saying can i do it cheaper she doesn't want a full manicure just shellac application. I replied politely that shellac was a premium product that our clients deserved a premium service. She didn't book never heard from her again. Turning clients away like this at such an early stage of my busines when i have a mounting credit card to pay as well could get down and frustrated but i choose to believe in my service and products :) if that makes me a client snob then I'm happy lmao.

I am in the very fortunate position that my husband is supporting me financially whilst i find my feet so i do understand i could be more choosey but I've still got products etc to pay off.

I'm loving the golf club idea and will be getting in touch with our local one this week so thank you! I'm picking up my brochures/leaflets from the printers tomorrow to drop off at my health shop and ready to launch the mini spa cabin at the two fairs. New business cards and posters will be here soon too. So very grateful to all the tips so far.

On a final note i live in a less than affluent area but there are higher earners here too, pockets of wealthier areas and ex Londoners like myself so i price myself according to this and actively try and seek this particular demographic. However I'm not exclusive i just don't bend to accommodate the discount deirdre's ;)

love n hugs x x x and sorry for the essay lmao x x x
 
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Katelisa

Well-Known Member
#20
I love the variation of my clients. I dont care where they're from, when they were born or how much money they earn. I think they're all bloody great!! I've been really lucky with my clients, I've had maybe one or two nightmare ones in 9 years, I think that's really good going!

I've had school girls that come with their moms for a brow wax, who are now at uni and still coming (this makes me feel old! lol). Shellac has been really popular with the younger busy professionals 25-35 age group. And I even have a few OAP's that have Hollywood waxes and spray tans! :lol:

I don't think I attract a certain clientelle, because I can adapt my personality and service to suit anyone. I guess the only think my clients all have in common is that they're fab (and have good taste in therapist! lol)!
 
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