Summer SellersYou can’t do it all, and for June in particular, promotional planning means understanding your market and your staff’s strengths.

June promises to be a blockbuster month with Father’s Day, graduations and prepping for summer services. It all starts with a review of last June. Did your clients buy gift certificates for Dad? What were the trends in high school and college graduation styles? Did your waxing, anti-frizz or pedicure services take off most?

Start by supporting what was most successful for you. Then, explore hot new summer services and products. If your community is changing, you may find new success with hair straightening or graduation styles for teens.

Men and brides present a different challenge. If you don’t have anyone who is particularly strong at cutting men’s hair in the on-trend Mad Men-inspired styles, focus on Father’s Day retail packages or sports massages for men. If you are not fully experienced in working with bridal parties, start slowly by focusing on younger, non-traditional brides.

Laser Focus Ideas

Heather Bagby, director of communications for Summit Salon Business Center in Plymouth, Minnesota, which consults with hundreds of salons and holds seminars across the country, says some successful campaigns include:

• Ladies Send Us Your Man! Send an e-blast or create signage that reads: Send us your man with your next color service and you’ll get your cut for free! (Must be a new male client.)

• Summer Dimension, which encourages clients to add color to their service with a foil special (add 10 foils for $35) for the summer months.

• Summer gift cards. Most salons forget to mention gift cards in summer, and utilizing signage is a simple and effective way to remind guests about purchasing them for life events.

What can individual stylists do to get summer-ready? Lynn Jacobs, an American Board Certified Haircolorist at Up In Tangles, in Cypress, Texas, is working on “Look Books” for wedding, graduation and special occasion styles.

“For those young ladies who want their hair half-up, pictures help so much,” says Jacobs. “I’m fascinated with the braids’ trend and I’ve been practicing some of the looks and creating alternative ways of using the techniques. I’ve also been talking to clients about my updos and braids, and some of them have accepted my offer of a free braid with their service.”

This gives Jacobs more practice and walking advertisements.

Amping-Up for Summer

Surprisingly, says Bagby, what salons forget most is the planning itself. “We suggest creating six campaigns per year that run for two months each,” she says. “This will enable your entire guest count to participate in the promotion. Planning ahead ensures that the salon will create an exceptional guest experience, but if you can’t plan all 12 months in advance, give yourself at least four weeks to plan a successful campaign.”

To make it work, she advises using this checklist for what to have on hand:

• Meeting handouts/staff explanation of the promotion

• Salon signage at stations, the desk and the restrooms

• Backroom tracking

• Front desk scripts

• E-blasts

• Local advertising

• Facebook/social media tie-ins

Don’t forget a follow-up system that compares similar services to the same month for the previous year. “Measure your ‘Ladies Send us Your Man’ campaign against last June’s men’s hair cut sales,” suggests Bagby. “Typically new male guests will need incentives to return, so don’t forget to have a newguest welcome packet with additional offerings ready to hand out.”

Here Come the Brides

Are you equipped to handle wedding services for an entire bridal party—a true specialty? If not, get updo training and start planning.

“Bridal services greatly impact your Saturday sales, and your salon should have a detailed plan for handling bridal parties,” says Bagby. Here are some of her tips:

• Is the wedding preparation on-location or in your salon? If it’s on-location, you’ll need to secure a fee that compensates the stylist and the salon for travel time.

• Did the bride receive a trial service? Consider building it into the cost of the wedding-day hair.

• If it’s a bridal party, did you secure a deposit? A 50-percent deposit for all services to be performed is recommended.

• Who is paying? Determine this in advance and have the person complete a pre-authorized credit card form. Wedding days can be very hectic and this can get overlooked.

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