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The Secrets of Client Attraction


Press Article

Guild News

March 2018

Adam Chatterley, on behalf of the UK Spa Association, writes about his four secrets to getting ALL the clients you'll ever need!

The Secrets of Client Attraction

For 20 years I have seen salon and spa businesses succeed, excel and fail all over the world. Yet in the most successful businesses of all, both large and small, I have consistently witnessed the same, very specific, collection of principles that deliver the most desirable, profitable, long-term clients. 

I have narrowed these principles down into four key insights (or as I call them ‘ secrets’). My own salon business clients now swear by these four secrets rather than relying on individual tactics. You see tactics change overtime . . . but principles remain constant.


Secret #1: Client Value

Try and think about all your clients both existing and new in terms of their annual value (or even lifetime value if you can) rather than just the single treatment they are booking in for today.

What can you do to tempt your clients to try more of the treatments you offer and have them spend more money, more regularly with you?

Even if you have an unusual location, a high level of competition, a problem with prices, a limit on treatments or a limit on available clients geographically (for example you are based in a tourist destination with seasonal populations) you can still reach your goals with the number of clients available to you.

Based on my own business client data I have calculated that it is extremely possible for a normal salon or clinic (so long as they offer the typical variety of treatments) to generate just under £900 per client, per year, with the right process in place.

Secret #2: Keeping Clients

Secret 2 isn’t that much of a secret at all . . . but it is almost always overlooked in the process of getting new clients.

All too often salons focus on getting new clients rather than keeping the ones that they have - or more accurately they focus simply on getting the new clients in once . . . and then simply hope they come back again.

Fact! It is on average ten times more expensive to get a quality new client than it costs you to keep an existing client.

Look at the visiting habits, spend patterns, last appoint details etc. of your current clients; not only to see if there are any you can prevent from leaving or recently lapsed clients you can encourage back, but also to see what you can learn from these client behaviors to help with your new client targeting efforts.

Here is another fact! You will lose 10% - 20% of your clients every year because of circumstances that are completely out of your control. This could be due to relocation, personal circumstances, financial or health issues, family commitments, work changes and unfortunately people do pass away too.

So, even if you are fully booked right now and happy with the number of active clients on your books, if you have no method in place for attracting a constant flow of new clients, inside of three years, you will have only half the clients you have now.

Secret #3: The Secret Sauce

Before you do anything to attract new clients . . . it is critical that you decide “who” you want your new clients to be?

Remember back in Secret #1 I talked about the ‘value’ of a client?

Wouldn’t you rather attract clients that will spend £800 to £1000 a year rather than someone who will come once and spend just £50 to £100 on one or two treatments?

I can’t tell you how often I see this in salon’s everywhere . . . posters and leaflets with ‘20% off this’, ‘50% off that’ . . . just desperately trying to get people, anyone, in the door.

If you are an existing business with a number of clients this process can be pretty straightforward and you have a couple of options:

1) Look at your top spending clients. If you have any sort of software that records bookings and payment this should be straightforward. Run a report of your top spending clients and look at the top 20 names on the list. Figure out the similarities between those clients and look for more people like them.

2) Look at your favourite clients. These are the ones you look forward to seeing the names of on your appointment books. Again work out what makes them your ‘favourite’, what do they all have in common and look for new clients that are similar to them.

(Additionally it’s worth looking at your least favourite clients. Hopefully you don’t have many of these, but what are the qualities that they have in common? How can you avoid attracting more of them?)

Secret #4: Automate The Process

Secret 4 is to automate your whole client attraction process. You can do this even if you only have a handful of ideal clients in place.

The best way to do this is using PERC’s (Personalised Exclusive Referral Cards).

Referral cards are nothing new, certainly in our industry; but you would only give this card to your most favourite clients, for them to offer to their friends and contacts as a ‘personal gift’.

The PERC is the size of a business card. It either has one AMAZING fixed offer printed on it, or you can hand write an offer on each card. The key is that you have a space on the card to write the name of your existing client AND the name of the person they are going to give this card to.

This “personalisation” massively boosts the perceived value of the card because it can only be obtained by one of your best clients (prestige for your existing client) and is only available to the person whose name is written on the card (prestige for your new client). There is also an additional benefit to your existing client in the form of a gift or treatment upgrade too. Which in turn increases the effectiveness of this scheme even further.

The logic here is simple. Your ideal clients are likely to have friends and contacts similar to themselves, who could also become your ideal clients. Plus the personalised touch almost guarantees that they remember to pass it on, and, I tell you now, it will out perform a bog standard ‘10% Discount for Referral Clients’ type offer every single time.


Writing on behalf of the UK Spa Association, Adam Chatterley is the founder of web based community consultants Salon Business Secrets, Host of the No. 1 industry podcast, The Beauty Business Podcast and all round spa and salon business growth guru. t: 0870 800 878 (UK Spa Association) w:

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