Posts in Sales Strategies
How to Use Guerilla Marketing to Grow Your Salon Business

What Is Guerilla Marketing?

Are you familiar with guerilla marketing? If you’re not, you should be. Entrepreneur defines guerilla marketing as an unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget. It can be a great business strategy for salons, especially new ones! In this post, I’m going to tell you how I used guerilla marketing to grow my business, and provide you with five simple steps to help you start a guerilla marketing program for your own salon.

First things first – why try guerilla marketing? One good reason is that it can be done on a shoe-string budget. Money can be tight for many new salon owners, and guerilla marketing (if done right) can be efficient and cost-effective. And due to the nature of guerilla marketing, it’s a great way to build brand awareness in your community AND build local partnerships, which can be another powerful tool.

So, with those benefits in mind, I decided to try it out for my own salon! When I started Be Inspired Salon no one in my community knew about us. So, my team and I started to go around to neighboring businesses and talk to members of the community. We gave away brochures and gift cards, NOT discounts (you all know how I feel about discounts). It was a risk to give away gift cards, but we knew that if we could get them in the door it would be a game changer.

That tactic worked, but we needed to step it up a notch. We decided to attend local networking events with the goal of building relationships, not selling services. But here’s the thing, we got a little bold with our new strategy. We attended these events dressed like cocktail waitresses. We had on nice Be Inspired Salon branded shirts and professional name tags, and we carried around trays with free product samples and whiskey glasses to collect business cards. (I said we were bold!)

We definitely drew attention, but in a good way! And don’t worry, we didn’t get in trouble. The hosts of the events thought it was a very clever idea. Anyways, it was a great way to start conversations and get to know the people in our community. We would tell them about the salon, offer a product and ask them to enter their business card for a chance to win a prize. We would alter the prize based on the audience, but usually it switched between a free hair cut or a product bundle.

Take a guess as to who won? Everyone! That’s right. When I first started guerilla marketing, I made everyone a winner. We were new, and we had plenty of openings. And it turned out to be a great success! We started getting new, paying clientele in the door.

Five Steps to Guerilla Marketing

But there’s a little more detail to how I made it happen. Here are the five simple steps you can follow to repeat what I did for your business.

1. Find events. I’m very lucky to live in a professionally driven community. There are always networking events going on. But if you are looking for ideas, check your local business chamber or search for local organizations on LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to check out Business Networking International (BNI) – they have chapters across the US.

2. Set a strategy. Networking can be intimidating, so it’s a good idea to have a plan before you go to events. First, set a goal of how many people you want to meet and/or cards you want to collect at each event. I started out with 10. Then, decide what you are giving away, and like I mentioned before, personalize it to the crowd. Finally, brand the heck out of everything you give away! I had little stickers made that included my salon logo, address, and website and put them on everything my team gave away. It’s a simple and affordable way to grow brand awareness.

3. Follow-up. This is the most important step to make your program successful. How many times have you had a conversation that ended with, “We should meet up sometime!” Only to never have that happen? The same goes with business networking. After my events, I like to find them on social channels, usually LinkedIn, and I send them a quick note. Something like, “Hey! It was nice to meet you last night. I want to connect.” And if you don’t feel comfortable using a social platform, email is another great option.

4. Set a schedule. Frequency is another key to success. When I first started, my team and I were going once a week. And if you’re thinking I’m crazy, you’re not wrong. It was a lot, but it did lead to results. But I know that everyone doesn’t have that kind of time, so at a minimum, I would suggest going once a month.

Once business picked up, I thought I didn’t need guerilla marketing anymore. I was wrong. I rode the first great wave of new business, and after about six months of no networking, business slowed down. I couldn’t figure out why. I talked to my business coach, and he pointed out that the only thing I stopped doing was guerilla marketing. So, the lesson here is that even when business picks up, you can’t stop networking. You need to keep a consistent frequency, even if it’s once a month.

5. Get your team involved. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. I recruited my Stylists to help for several reasons. First, it can be scary to go to an event by yourself, so the buddy system is never a bad way to go! Second, I wanted them to be more invested in the business. I started to notice that if I met someone at an event, and they came to my salon, they expected to see or work with me. As I got busier, that wasn’t possible, so it was important to have my Stylists at events as well.

We have an event sign-up at the salon with the expectation that at least two people have to go to ONE event per month. This way you don’t have to go every month, but your salon is still being represented in the community.

If done well and done consistently, guerilla marketing can help you grow your salon business! If you’re looking for more detail on how to get your program started, check out “Episode #74  - Have You Been Guerilla Marketing?” on the Beyond The Technique podcast!

Number One Marketing Mistake You Must Stop Making

What is the number one marketing mistake that salons across the US are making? Humor yourself by taking a guess…have your guess ready? The number one marketing mistake is: giving discounts!

This marketing tactic is so prevalent across the US that it’s almost hard to believe, right? Discounts are offered left and right, and we see them all. the. time. You know what we are talking about: “$10-Off Tuesdays” “$20 Off Your First Visit!” “Re-Book Today and Get 20% Off!” We have two words for you: Stop It!

Discounts Devalue

Any verbiage with the word “off” is a marketing mistake that you need to stop making and the reason is psychological. The word “off” actually devalues the services that you are offering. When your salon offers a discount, you are teaching clients that your products and services are worth less. The bottom line: discounts devalue.

Everyone Wants More

Are there ways to build a huge following and clientele without offering discounts? YES!

Instead of devaluing your services, focus on adding value because everyone wants more.

Here are a couple strategies to try at your salon:

  • Offer a complementary treatment with a client’s first haircut. This is a great added value for your client and costs very little overhead. Doesn’t a complementary service sound better than giving 50% off? We know it does, and your clients will notice too!
  • Gift color protection shampoo and conditioner after a client’s first hair color. As a stylist, you want your clients to use color protection shampoo. To ensure that they do, offer it as a gift! You can even follow-up with the client when they are running low to re-stock (double-win!).

Earn Your Worth

Position your salon to attract the type of clients who you want to work with! To do so, you need to stop competing on price. If you complete on price, you are always going to be a small fish in a big pond. Instead, start earning what you are truly worth. Build your clientele with the slow and steady approach, and you will gain a remarkable following. Today, make a promise to yourself that you will no longer make this marketing mistake and start thinking of innovative ways to gain and retain clients!

To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to the weekly podcast--we will see you there!

Maximize Your Salon's Referrals, Rebooking, and Retail

In an industry with thousands of distractions, sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics. In this case, the 3 R’s that every salon should focus on: referrals, rebooking, and retail. Why do we often forget that these are the most important components that our Stylists should focus on to build a loyal clientele and to utilize current clients to attract new ones?


Are you struggling to get your clients to talk about you? You probably have clients that you’ve seen for a long time, and you assume that by now that they’re bringing you up to friends. But, you cannot assume! You need to go out of your way to ask your favorite clients to send you referrals. That is absolutely the easiest and quickest way to get new clients in the door!

Another great strategy is networking--for example, hanging out with people who are similar to your favorite clients. As hairstylists we’re naturally outgoing people, so use that to your advantage and go out of your way to meet new people. Pro tip: make sure to have business cards and/or brochures with you!


On average, only three in every ten new clients will return to your salon. In other words, only 30% of new clients are coming back to your salon! That’s a big problem, and it’s something you should be tracking. Make a list of clients and determine one person responsible for trying to get those new clients to rebook. You need to decide upfront what you expect from your team. You should really try to set your clients up for the whole year because that’s the best option to secure their rebooking. You have the opportunity to provide your guests with a clear vision for the future, and you should both take advantage of that. For example, with hair coloring you know in advance that they will need to redo their highlights at certain points in time, so suggest a plan and then get them excited about it! Also, remember to mention why it would be a challenge for their hair if they don’t rebook at all.


Why should your clients buy from you? You’re the expert! If your Stylists aren’t selling retail that’s a problem. You need to be clear with your stylists about how much retail you expect them to sell. You should highlight the expectations of retail and go over why it’s important, so that it makes sense to them. You’re the expert, so you should be giving expert advice on products for your clients. When you sell retail to your clients you’re also building loyalty because it means that they trust you and your recommendations.

You also need to be accessible to your clients when they run out of a product, so that they can get more right away if they chose to. It’s a matter of focus--don't get distracted. Instead, focus on selling retail! You typically only see a client once a month or less, so you have to let them know about specials and other opportunities when they are in, so they don’t miss out.

In summary, set your goals and don’t forget about the 3 R’s: Referrals, Rebooking, and Retail. You might need to get an assistant to help you juggle all of these, so that you can keep up with the work and still make sure you give your clients individual attention. If you don’t focus on these elements to build your business, substantial success will always be out of reach.

Looking for more expert tips to help grow your business? Follow us on social media, listen to our weekly podcast, and check back on the blog!

How To Get Featured on Instagram

Start with a simple lesson in common sense. When you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, what do you like about the pictures that you stop for? What catches your eye and makes you stop and stare? We believe that there must be something spectacular about the picture! So, here are three components that will help make your pictures stand out from the crowd!

Smooth and Shiny Finish

You know the feeling of seeing a picture with hair so shiny that you want to touch it? Well, maybe it is just us. Either way, that is the feeling you want to strive for! Try to avoid frizz, dehydrated ends, flyaways, and an unkempt appearance. This doesn’t mean you can’t share a tousled, care-free look—you just need to have a purpose behind it. Creating a shiny and smooth finish can be as simple as spraying your product line’s shine spray. Visually, this is going to make a tremendous and spectacular impact in the photo!

Great Lighting

Channel your inner Tyra Banks and chase the light. You need to be really, really aware of where your light it is coming from and position your client accordingly. Another component to lighting is filters! Filters are a great way to create bright, crisp, and clean photos. By consistently using the same type of filters, you will create a brand image that allows others to easily identify your photos. Even though you are creating different styles, people can recognize your brand by your filter and that is crucial to building a huge following!

Attractive Background

You want to keep the focus on your client’s hair, not the other customers or products in the background. Aim for a clean and consistent background such as a light colored wall, an exposed brick wall, or even a trendy distressed wooden wall. Having a clean background doesn’t mean it has to lack creativity, you just want to avoid clutter. Being consistent with your background is another great strategy to create a branded image!

Having your pictures shared by other industry sites is a great strategy to build your following. Want to get started now? Tag Beyond the Technique and our sister company Meet Your Stylist in your spectacular photos—we are always in the sharing mood!

Want even more industry advice? Listen to our weekly podcast and learn even more social media tips and tricks from the pros! 

3 Sales Mistakes You Might Be Making

Sales Mistake #1: Failure to Listen

Sometimes, we get too focused on what we have to offer, and all the cool things we’re up to. When this happens, we get so caught up that that we forget to just sit down and listen to the person we’re talking with, ask them some questions, and maybe discover a problem or a pain that we could offer a solution for. If you don’t sit down and listen to your prospect, you’ll never discover why they should choose to work with you because you won’t identify their problem or their pain. So, mistake #1 is failing to listen.

Sales Mistake #2: Failure to Follow Up

I believe that this is one of the most under-utilized tactics in sales to get someone to come to your side. We simply don’t follow-up! Sometimes our turnaround is just too slow. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have a prospect who’s reached out to you in an email. They have a question for you. And you sit on that email for 3-5 days. That’s over with, kiss that opportunity goodbye. Because now you’re teaching them that they can’t expect to work with you and get answers when they want answers.

Do we live in a world of instant gratification or not? You already know the answer to that. People want answers now. So the sooner you can get back to people, the better chance you have of them coming to an agreement with you and choosing to sign with you. The turnaround (in my opinion) needs to be within 12 hours. If you cannot get back to someone within 12 hours, you need to let them know.

“I’ve received your message, and I’ll get back to you by this date.” Give them a sense of security in you. If you’re going to be gone at a conference for a few days, you need to set up an automatic reply on whatever platforms you’re using. If it’s social media, you don’t have a choice. Unless someone’s managing your social media or texts, you’ll have to suck it up and find a way to get back to people.

The difference between those who are good at what they do and those who are wildly successful is this: they’re willing to do what others cannot do or will not do.

Following up is part of that. What if you fail to follow up when someone initially reaches out to you? That’s their very first inquiry to you and you don’t get back to them right away? Already you’re teaching them what it’s like to do business with you. I wouldn’t sign up for that, would you?

What about thanking someone for their business? If you don’t do it, that’s another failure to follow up!

Someone signs an agreement with you, they spend money with you, and now you fail to give them a thank-you? Or now that they’ve actually done business with you, your customer service goes down the drain, you don’t get back to them when they need you, they call you and you don’t respond to them right away? Do you think they’ll ever buy from you again?

Or here’s the bigger question: do you have a chance to tap into their network? If they have a friend who needs you, would they consider you now or would they say, “Well he or she was really great to work with until we actually paid them, but now I don’t ever hear from them!”  

You don’t want to be that person.

Sales Mistake #3: Failure to Ask for the Sale

You may sit down and listen, and you may get back to someone right away every time, and you may be working hard, and you might think, “I’m doing everything right. I’m doing the best I can do.”

At that point you know that you’re providing amazing service to this person. But your biggest failure could be that you haven’t even asked them one time to do business with you.

Think about children. When they want something, they will not give it up. They will ask for whatever it is their little hearts desire over and over until someone gives in. We can learn something from them! You have to be a little tenacious. It’s not being pushy to say, “You deserve to work with someone like me.” And you need to be prepared for the answer to be “yes.”

There’s a difference between being a supportive salesperson and a dominant person. There are some personality types that will actually say, “You need to do business with me, I am the best person to take care of you.”

I would love it if someone said that to me, and I would believe them! Because confidence trumps experience. If you’re a supportive personality and you could never imagine yourself being that aggressive or assertive with prospects, then I recommend that you ask one simple question: “Does this feel like the right fit for you? I would love to work with you. If you’re ready and this feels like the right fit for you, here’s my pen, we can sign this and get it going.”

Obviously this is applicable to different areas; you need to translate this into your industry and your life.

The Takeaway

I’d like you to choose one of those three failures that you felt the most connected to.

I definitely know that my biggest struggle of these three is the listening part. I’m on top of it when it comes to following up with them and asking them for the business, but I don’t really sit and give them a chance to talk to me. It’s all about what I have to say. That’s my place of failure.

Start by following these two simple steps:

#1: Identify your failure.

#2: Take just a few minutes to brainstorm what you are going to do differently and how you’re going to do it differently.

An example: “I’m going to be a better listener.”

Well, you need an action item, something specific. Mine is this: In every meeting, I’m going to start off by asking some questions. This will become habitual. And I’m going to sit back and listen, and try to take notes on what painful or problematic issues I’m hearing for each person, which, sometime soon, I can respond to with a solution.

And what kind of message does that send? “You know, today I just want to listen to you. I’m going to hear you out. I’m going to listen to your responses for these questions I have for you today. And I’m going to take some time and then get back to you.”

Well, I think that sounds like you care a bit more than maybe some others do, because you’re willing to take the time to think of a solution for me.

Getting back to someone doesn’t mean that you’re losing out on the sale if you don’t get them to sign right away. You can ask for the sale at that moment and then say, “I’d like to do business with you, and my goal is for us to work together. I’m prepared for us to sign an agreement; however, I’m going to listen to what you had to say today and put together a solid plan of action for us.”

Friends, you will be successful at sales. Sometimes it’s not a lack of knowledge about what we’re doing or selling, but rather the habits that we’re forming or have formed that are prohibiting our success.

And if we can recognize the “downs” and fix them, the “up” will take care of itself, and you’ll be wildly successful. The key to substantial success lies beyond the technique.

Do you want even more coaching on sales? Check out our services page for information on virtual coaching and salon team development opportunities! To get more industry advice and empower yourself, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to our weekly podcast!

Six Steps to a Winning Consultation

Our contributor, Shana Dee, is a Georgetown, DC Master Stylist with over 16 years of experience in the salon and wedding industry. In addition to Shana’s numerous achievements, she worked with President Obama’s sister and sister-in-law for the 2013 Inauguration! Shana Dee truly believes in sharing her knowledge and experience with other professionals. Beyond the Technique is excited to share Shana Dee’s Six Steps to a Winning Consultation!

Step 1: Ask Direct Questions

Let’s start with an example of a bad question to ask a client sitting in your chair: “So, what are you wanting today?” While this question seems sincere and helpful, it is actually an ineffective question because it results in a rather vague answer from your client.

So, how do you avoid ineffective questions and vague answers from clients? Ask direct questions! By asking direct questions, you are ensuring that the client is expressing what needs to happen with their hair.

To make sure that your next consultation is a winning one, Shana Dee offers some examples of direct questions that she asks her own clients:             

  • What look are you wanting to change about your color?
  • What styles have you tried before? Longer or shorter?
  • When you are at home styling your hair, what areas do you struggle with?
  • When you are scrolling through Instagram, are you drawn to certain hair colors and styles?
  • What color have you had in the past that made you feel so gorgeous? This is Shana’s personal favorite!

Another strategy that Shana Dee uses to truly understand what the client wants is to ask about past styles, such as:

  • What did you like about the last color and cut that we did?
  • If you could change anything about the way that we did your style last time, what would it be?

Asking these questions makes the client feel like they’re in control of their hair, even though the Stylist is the one creating the look. Also, Shana points out that these questions allow you—the Stylist—to make it OKAY for the client to tell you if they didn’t like what you did before.

Shana’s final tip about asking direct questions during a consultation is, always try to stay away from negative questions such as: “Well, what color didn’t you like?” Stylists should always try to focus on positivity and keeping the client in a positive mindset!

Step 2: The Nonverbals

Many of us have heard statistics that most of our communication is nonverbal and, in fact, is conveyed through body language. To have a winning consultation, you must be conscious of both your body language and your clients’!

To ensure that Shana Dee can observe her client’s nonverbal cues, she never puts a cape on her client before giving a consultation. That seems simple, right? Shana recommends doing the consultation not-caped, so you can observe the client’s full body. When asking direct questions (see Step 1), Shana can observe if her client’s nonverbal cues demonstrate uneasiness or openness. If the client is nervous, they tend to close their body inward and become smaller. On the other hand, open body language conveys a feeling of relaxation and ease.

Another significant nonverbal cue is where you choose to stand during the consultation. While doing a consultation, Shana Dee chooses to stand in front of her client rather than behind the chair. Standing behind the chair places the Stylist in an authority position which can make it harder for the client to open-up and feel at ease. By standing in front of your client, you can chat with the client just like you were catching-up with a friend. Always remember that your nonverbal signals should make the client feel as comfortable as possible.

Despite your best efforts to make your client comfortable, there are times when a client is reluctant to open up and will appear nervous. In these instances, Shana Dee recommends putting these insecurities on the table and asking some more direct questions--surprise! For instance, if you noticed that your client’s fists were clenched or they were fidgeting with their hands, you could ask: “I noticed that your hands were clenched when we were talking about that. Are you sure that you’re comfortable with me cutting your hair that short?” By noticing these nonverbal indications, Shana is giving her client the opportunity to change her mind, or reassure Shana that she is nervous, but wants to take the risk! Shana Dee reminds us that: “When you let the client go into what they are not saying, that is when you find your gold mines of information.”

Step 3: You’re a Stylist, Not a Savior

Learn how to say no! As a stylist, you’ve done consultations and thought: “I can do it. I can do it.” Then, you look at the hair a bit more and realize: “Wait, nothing can save this!” Shana Dee insists that you must learn that some hair cannot be saved, and being a professional means saying no sometimes.

Stylists have said it a million times: “You can’t take dark brown hair and turn it to blonde in one day.” Sometimes, clients will try to bully you into performing a service that you are not comfortable with by saying things like: “Well, so-and-so did it at Salon XYZ. How come you can’t do it?” As a professional, Shana Dee reminds you to feel comfortable and confident in saying no and referring the client to another salon.

To explain why a client’s hair cannot change from dark brown to blonde in a single day, Shana Dee shows her clients several pictures of Khloé Kardashian’s transition from dark brown hair to blonde. Even with the amazing colorist, Tracey Cunningham, working on Khloé’s hair, it took about three steps over a year’s time to make the transition. Showing the pictures helps demonstrate the why behind taking color one step at a time.

Shana Dee reminds you that: you really do know what is best, and you should recommend what you think is best for the client.

Step 4: Compliment, Compliment, Compliment!

This is Shana Dee’s absolute favorite step to a winning consultation! She loves this step so much, that she recommends all stylists compliment your client within the first five seconds of seeing her. For instance, when you see your client waiting for you, you can greet her by saying: “Hi! It is soo good to see you! I love your hair! Tell me how you styled it today; it looks so pretty on you!”

By immediately complimenting your client, it creates a conditioned feeling of positive energy as soon as they see you. Plus, it always gives your clients something great to talk about when they are out with friends! As the saying goes, people will never forget how you made them feel.

But, believe Shana Dee that the chance to compliment your client does not end in the waiting area! When you finally go behind the chair to touch and move the hair, there is another great opportunity to compliment. The first thing that Shana does is say: “Oh my gosh, your hair is just so pretty! I love it! Look at all this shine that is still in your hair. You do such a good job of taking care of it at home. Are you still using that shampoo and conditioner that you got last time?” Not only is this a great compliment which boosts your client’s confidence, but it reminds them about purchasing more shampoo. Complimenting is a win-win for client and stylist alike! The opportunities to compliment are truly endless—simply endless!

Step 5: Money, Money, Money

You’ve got to talk about money! Shana Dee’s best money advice is to get comfortable with your own ability to talk about money. She believes that being comfortable with money has nothing to do with our clients, but everything to do with the way that the Stylist feels about money.

One strategy to become more comfortable talking about money is to educate your clients about how much certain products and services cost. Shana quickly points out that this does not mean rattling off a list of the prices for toners and hair color. Instead, she demonstrates to the client how many steps it will take to reach their desired outcome.

To do so, she uses another nonverbal gesture—your hands! Shana Dee suggests getting out your hand and saying: “So, you want this balayage. We’re going to hand-paint, then we’re going to go through and add some low-lights.” Is your hand still out?! Then, start counting off: one, two, three, with your fingers. “Then, I’ll have to rinse and tap your roots to blend the color really well. Finally, we are going to tone that. That’s about four steps to give you the gorgeous color of your dreams. Does that sound about right?” After your client agrees, you say “Ok, so for those four steps, it is going to be this price_____.”

If your client hesitates about the price, tries to haggle with you, or seems uncomfortable at that price point, feel comfortable referring her to another Stylist that better matches her needs. If Stylists at your salon find themselves in this predicament, you should check out one of Beyond the Technique’s sponsors: Meet Your Stylist. Meet Your Stylist is a one-of-a-kind survey on your salon’s website that matches clients to your stylists. Your new clients will be paired with her top three matches at your salon who are also in her price point. Suggesting that your new client fill out the Meet Your Stylist survey ensures that both you and your client are comfortable with money!

As always, being a professional means being able to express your price and being okay with it. Shana advocates for sticking to your standard, understanding your value, and knowing what you are worth.

Step 6: Educate

Clients don’t know, what they don’t know. Shana Dee loves educating her clients and believes that all Hairstylists should deliver their knowledge in a way that can be easily understood.

A common example of this type of conversation is when a client who has dark hair wants blonde hair. After the client explains her request, she adds: “But, I don’t want any red in my hair.” Like Shana Dee, hair colorists know that as soon as you lift the hair, the underlying pigment is going to be exposed, and that color will be a combination of straight-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, or yellow.

To educate her clients about color, Shana explains that color is on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is black and 10 is blonde. Then, she will look at her client’s hair and say something like: “You’re a level 7.” Then, she plays a quick learning game with her client by saying something like: “When I open up your cuticle and lighten it up, there’s an invisible color in there and guess what color it is? Well, it’s red!” When the client continues to insist that they don’t want any red in their hair, you can say: “But, your hair already has red in it.” In this easy example, you are educating the client about hair color, and you will not be blamed for red in the hair.

When you’re telling a client no, tell them yes at the same time. Even though you’re saying no to what they think they can have, you are saying yes to the possibility of what is going to look amazing on them!

Try Shana Dee’s Six Steps to a Winning Consultation and share with us your results—we are sure they will be great! Shana Dee encourages everyone to follow her on Instagram @hairbyshanadee, so she can “start lovin’ on you!” To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to the weekly podcast.

Listen to the full interview with Shana Dee on Episode 45 of Beyond the Technique’s podcast.

Simple Strategy to Increase Your Rebook Rate

By: Kati Whitledge - Founder of Meet Your Stylist & Beyond The Technique


Do you struggle with having enough new clients in your chair? Do you also find it challenging to get them to rebook for future visits? When clients say they’ll call later to rebook or that they’ll go online to book, are you forced to just cross your fingers and hope that it happens?

How many of you are following up to make sure that they actually have rebooked at that four-week mark before they should be getting ready to return?

Hopefully this strategy will help to immensely improve your rebook success rate. We all agree that if you consistently rebook your clients, you will have long-term success in this industry. It’s imperative that you rebook, because as hairstylists, you probably have commission-based income. This means that as a hairstylist, you’re only making money when you’re doing services.

It’s actually a security strategy for your future to be rebooking your clientele. 


Out of every ten clients that visit your business for services, how many should you be expecting to have rebook and return consistently? I’d estimate that when you’re first starting out, that number should be about five out of ten. After six months in the industry, that number should rise to about six out of ten. At that point you should be more comfortable in your position and more confident with the verbiage for requesting rebooking.

After one year, you should be rebooking about seven out of ten. You should be very comfortable at that point. And then, after two years, you should be consistently rebooking eight, if not nine out of every ten clients you see. At that point you’re no longer fresh and new in the industry. You’re not only better at asking for rebooking, but your technical skills have phenomenally improved.

Additionally, during this time, your loyal clients are referring friends to you, so your client base is increased additionally. As a result, it should be easier and easier to rebook, because so many of these new people were referred to you verses finding you randomly.

Or, if your salon is using the Meet Your Stylist tool, every new client will be like a referred client, and you shouldn’t have to worry about new people who might be booked with you randomly. 

Have the Right Mindset

Most stylists are very supportive people, which means directly asking someone to rebook an appointment may seem very pushy to you, but you need to have more confidence in yourself. Be proactive, rather than reactive with your life and career. Understand that it will be mutually beneficial for you and your clients to rebook. It’s not an infringement; it’s a favor to get them set up with you in advance so that you can ensure that they have the appointment time that works best for them. It is for their benefit as much as yours.

By rebooking someone, you are ensuring that they have the best, customized experience with you, at a time that works well for both of you.

It’s also important to establish boundaries and expectations. If you never encourage your clients to rebook, you might end up coming in early or staying late for them, and they’ll learn that they can just expect you to adjust your life to fit their needs. A healthy relationship with your clients includes setting boundaries.

I know stylists out there who will come in on their day off just to accommodate clients. I applaud them for doing anything to keep their clients happy, but it also breaks my heart that they’re giving up their designated time off. They need to be willing to be firm and request that an appointment be set up in advance on a day you’re available.

Offer Two Options

This is the big strategy I have for rebooking clients. Offer options, rather than asking a yes or no question. Many stylists say, “Would you like to get set up for your next haircut?”, which is a failure because it’s too easy for them to say no and never return. Or feed you with the “I’ll book later” line.

They can still say no with the following strategy, but it’s not automatically assumed. Instead, you’re triggering them to think and make a choice.

Ask something like this instead: “Would you like to set up your next appointment for Tuesday or Wednesday five weeks from now? That would the 12th or the 13th of the month.”

That way you give them choices, but either way they’re back in your chair.

If you don’t like that tactic, try something like, “Would you like to make your next appointment for four weeks or five weeks from now?”

Again, two options. From there, you can ask further questions about which day and time they prefer in order to finish booking the appointment.

Try not to get in the habit of saying, “My whole night is free. What works for you?” If you say things like that, it’ll appear that you have no other clients, and the individual you’re talking to will think they can just choose any time and you’ll accommodate them.

Once you’ve selected the date and time for them, write it down on your card and give it to them. Even though they’ll probably just put the appointment into their phones, they now have your business card and might be able to refer you to a friend.

As the professional, you know when any particular client needs to come back in order to maintain the look they’ve chosen. You should have already gone through this information with them during their consultation, so you giving them these options later will make sense to them.

It is your responsibility to guide each client to make the best choices for them.

For your busiest clients, why not suggest setting up their entire year ahead of time for a recurring monthly appointment? Then once you establish that full year of appointments, let them know that you’re also accessible. If a conflict comes up for one of their appointments, let them know that you’ll be happy to adjust it so it works for both of you. 

Plenty of people would love to get on board with a system like that. Will you still get a no? Of course you will. But don’t think of that as a rejection. Be confident enough in yourself that it’s  okay when not everyone says yes, even though most people will take you up on it.

Find Consistency

You probably have clients who always tell you that they’ll just book online later. But instead of just letting them continue with unpredictable promise, tell them that you’re getting super busy and don’t want them to go online later just to find out the time they want isn’t available. Just recommend that they let you help them out while they’re there that day, so that they have a great appointment time and day all ready to go.

Again, be confident, firm and directive. Even if you fear being pushy, there is nothing pushy about establishing healthy boundaries and expectations. That’s being assertive, not being aggressive.

I promise that this strategy will work and it will help you improve the number of people you’re rebooking. Just give it a try for a few months and watch how your rebooking percentages, and your pay, positively increase.

Be so active with your pre-booking that you’re swamped. That way, if and when someone cancels the day before, it won’t put a huge dent in your day. You’ll still have plenty of other appointments that day to make up for it.

Rebooking your clients is one of the top three things you need to become an expert at to be successful long-term in this career, so it is completely worth your time to be confident, learn these strategies, and book more clients.