There are many theories behind discounting. Whether you should or shouldn't. There is a time when I believe it's valuable to your business and times where it devalues your business. So sit down, grab a cuppa and let me show you 7 different strategies to add value and get clients booking in. Oh, and did I mention it doesn't involve discounting and most importantly, doesn't cost you money? Hallelujah!
1. Give The Gift Of Time
When we go through “slower” periods, it’s easy to go into panic mode and start discounting to get bodies on tables. It can work a treat, BUT, if we get into the habit of doing this every time, clients will come to expect it and using discounts for promos will lose their effect. So instead of discounting, give more time. Add a complimentary 15 minutes to a treatment. Getting 75 minutes for the price of 60 minutes is a great way to incentivise clients to come in and enjoy even more of what they love at no cost to them! It’s a great way to give back without cutting yourself short and the only thing it’s costing you is time.
2. Communicate Regularly
This is such an important one and it’s something we tend to neglect. Sending your clients weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even 6 weekly emails is so important. Keeping your clients up to date with your business, the latest news, tips and events, is a great way of: Number one, keeping your business at the forefront of their mind and number two, continuing to serve them. How you ask? Making sure you are educating them as well, whether it’s by sharing video tips, your latest blog post or the stretch of the month. Either way, by sharing your expert knowledge, you empower them to be accountable for their wellbeing, and THAT is valuable in itself.
3. Make Booking Simple
These days, most people want things readily available at their finger tips. Literally. So if you don’t have an online booking system, I’d suggest looking into it. The great thing about having a online booking system is that it adds huge value to your business by providing another avenue for clients to book. It gives them the convenience of booking at their leisure, so if they’ve gone for a run at 6am and are feeling stiff and sore, they can jump online and make a booking without feeling like they have to wait for opening hours and potentially risk forgetting to make the booking at all.
It also means you can have the option of displaying your booking link not only on your website, but across your social media, your monthly newsletters. You can even encourage your clients to share your link with their friends if they are looking to make a booking. Oh, and if these weren’t reasons enough, then the fact that it can reduce your workload should do it!
4. Reward Referrals
Encourage your clients to refer friends and family by rewarding them. This reward can be anything you see fit. Whether you want to offer a discount on their next appointment, (and yes, I did mention no discounts at the beginning of this article BUT hear me out on this one. The value of your client referring someone who may potentially end up becoming a long term client is of much greater value than a $10-$20 discount. Am I right?) Or gift them something. It’s completely up to you. You could even think about paying for their entry into their next running event. This comes with the added benefit of potentially becoming their “sponsor”. This has a few different benefits but will leave that for another blog 🙂 Get creative and make sure what ever it is you gift, it’s of value to them.
Doing an Add-On promotion is a great way to let clients experience new modalities for zero cost. For example, you could add cupping, (or any other modality you offer), to your remedial treatment and explain why it would benefit them. In fact, I believe this is something you should do every time you learn a new modality. Letting everyone know that you are building upon your knowledge and skills (via your monthly newsletters and social media of course,) creates interest and excitement. It also shows that you take your continued education seriously and that you will continue to learn and grow to better serve your clients.
6. Future-Use Gift Voucher
This is a great way to encourage clients to not only book an appointment, but it encourages them to book another! How you ask? Let me explain. Using language such as; “book a remedial massage this month and receive a $15 gift voucher toward your next appointment”, inspires them to book now and again to redeem their voucher. Another way you could word this (especially if you have a new service/modality you want to promote,) is; “book an appointment before the end of the month and get a 20% voucher for a *Reflexology treatment”. (*Whatever new service you have). Once again, not only are you encouraging them to book now, but you are also giving them an incentive to try your new service.
7. Partnering and/or Collaborating
Partnering and/or collaborating is a great way to expand your reach. When looking to partner with another business, it’s important to understand that it must be mutually beneficial. So, what ever they are willing to offer your clients, make sure you a willing to offer the same value back. It could be anything from a voucher, to a 15 minute add-on to any service voucher and so on. Partnering with other businesses can be good fun and can go as far as collaborating on social media posts, videos, articles AND even providing workshops. This is a whole other blog in itself. Interested in how to make the most of partnerships/collaborations? Send me an email and let me know what interests you and challenges you. I will dedicate the next blog on how to approach this hugely successful (when done correctly) marketing method.
8. BONUS: Membership
Looky, looky, I have a Bonus and it’s a goody!! Memberships. They can bring so much value to clients who are booking regularly. It can also be the deciding factor for clients who only book when they get the chance compared to having a regular booking at a discounted rate. Offering memberships shows you want to reward your clients for their loyalty. It also encourages them to adopt the right mindset in proactively looking after their health and wellbeing. So, what are the benefits of a membership? Well, you are in charge of your membership offerings but here are a few ideas to get you started.
A monthly discount
10% discount on all products
discount on additional massages and other services
…. just to name a few.
So that’s it folks. A few ways to add value without discounting. But just to be clear, I truly believe there’s a time where discounts can be incredibly smart, valuable and a quick-fire method of getting bodies on tables, so don’t be afraid of discounting, just be strategic. Think of ways you can get creative on how you can add value, show off your new services and continue to service your clients by educating and empowering them. This will build trust and respect.