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Patrick McIvor Guest Blog: What Can You Do With A Game?

Have you ever thought about, “What you can do with…" With what you ask? With games. As I have been back in my salon coloring guests' hair on a regular basis, things have started to build very quickly. In about 8 months, and with no advertising, I have gone from a salon with zero guests to being almost completely booked.

As I started to build my clientele, I set myself up for success by making it a game. The game begins with every new guest and entails doing whatever I can to ensure he or she comes back, never leaving anything to chance.  

The Consultation
The game begins with the consultation. Like all successful hair appointments, a good consultation is the first step to a great outcome. During the consultation I look for something that the guest will fall in love with. The key to this is both listening to what the client says and watching for nonverbal signals to find out what he or she likes and doesn't like about his or her hair. What I am looking for here is something to focus on that either helps the guest overcome a challenge they are facing with their style, or helps them emphasize something they already love. The key here is to create an experience based around focusing on one big element — and then knocking it out of the park.

Give The Guest A Reason To Come Back
Apple has always done a great job at getting people to come back. Apple never gives you everything you want the first time. The first iPad, for example, did not have a camera. So, while everyone was excited about the first iPad, as soon as the second generation came out with a camera, people who already had the first iPad, plus the people who waited and didn't buy the first version, both wanted to get the second one. This creates almost 100% re-adoption, which means not only are you getting new business, but you are also having almost all of your past customers purchase the latest product as well. For me, when I finish a guest and while they are still in the chair, I always give them a reason to come back. This can be discussing something we will do differently next time they are in for their pre-booked appointment, or something that we will be doing next season, but I always give them a reason to look forward to something even better.

Share Something You Have Done/Will Do
I like to make sure my guests have something to talk about every time they visit. With guests visiting the salon approximately 8 times a year, this means I need at least 4-6 big things a year that I can let my guests know I'm doing. From attending shows and education, to doing photoshoots, to learning new techniques from friends, I make sure every guest either gets to experience something I have learned that will make their hair better, or gets to learn about something I will be doing that will make their hair better. With some planning, you can always have your guests talking about you and their hair all the time.  

Give Them Something New
Things are changing all the time, and advancing technology offers us new ways to create better experiences for our guests. With better wearability, better coverage, faster processing, better conditioning, increased shine, or even a more youthful look from hair color, things are improving all the time in our industry. I love when I can let a guest know that our salon has something new that can make their hair better or maybe even save them some time with new express processing times! This is another great way to keep upping our game and making sure our guests have something to talk about each visit.

I find that when I make a game out of life and business, things get better. I just have to find the game. For me, when I can break things down into individual steps, I can look for the opportunities to make my guests even more happy — and build my business too. When I can do that, it's a win/win situation for everyone. As we grow and our success builds, I continue to refine and look for more games to play that not only make things better for myself and the guest, but also create a system that allows other team members to create the success they want too! From there, we can spread the goodness to even more of our community.



Image courtesy of Patrick McIvor