How Free Services Grow Business

I like to make it as easy as possible for new clients to experience our services. People want to test drive the car and to sample the flavor before committing. That's why I am a major proponent of giving people what they want. At Spoke & Weal, my team is required to provide as many complimentary services each month as possible in an effort to get new clients in our doors. 

Here's why: I am so confident in our services and the client experience we provide that I know if we can get them in the door and in our chair once, a certain percentage of them will become customers for life. 

There's also a psychological component to it. When someone gives you something of value for free, you tend to appreciate it more and might even feel a sense of loyalty towards them.

To be clear, I believe in service comps, not discounts. A comp does not devalue the service—instead, it says, “Here, experience it, and if you like it, come back.” A discount makes it seem like your service isn't worth the price. 

When I have someone in my chair for a complimentary service, not only do they come back and pay next time, I ask them to tell their friends, family and co-workers, who may also end up becoming clients. We try to make it as easy as possible for people to experience us. Simply get some cards made up outlining the offer, and ask your clients to give them to their friends and family.

I would rather do a free service than no service. When I do the comp service, the client not only usually purchases products, but also tips well. I'd prefer to stay busy doing my craft than sitting in the back room complaining about why I'm not busy. 

We review the numbers at our monthly team meetings and there's a direct correlation between the stylists doing comp services and the stylists earning the most for themselves and the salon. 

If you're looking to bring new clients into your doors, give this technique a shot. It's what has allowed us to successfully open five salons in less than four years and see 50 percent growth year to year at each of our locations. 

The return you'll get on that one free service from a lifetime client is well worth the upfront investment. Check out our first MasterMind Webinar where we cover this topic in detail or if you're a SalonProRx member you can learn more by viewing the "Recruit New Guests" module found in "Professional Business Strategies."

About: Jon Reyman, Co-founder of Salon Pro RX and Owner of Spoke & Weal Salons, has been a pioneer of change in the beauty industry for the past 20 years. He’s introduced a comprehensive online technical library for beauty professionals and salon owners with more than 900 educational videos, and has launched salons in five cities. Jon’s work and salons have been featured in publications and outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Refinery 29, E! and Access Hollywood.