Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Sandra Mary Smith, Apr 20 2011 12:13PM

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special offer or not

Hi,
Im having a stall at a local fair soon, Im still trying to establish myself, business is terrible !
My dilema is, do I stick with my prices, or should I offer a special price if people book on the day, just to get some business ?
Regards Sandra
Amanda Clegg
Apr 20 2011 12:17PM
No : stick to your guns and ask for what you are worth/market rate. If you START with a special offer you will only get poeple looking for discounts and my experience is they don't tend to re-book. Much better to offer a loyalty bonus - either a free upgrade to a longer 3rd or 4th session, or a free gift (great if you have some retail lines as you get them at cost and the perception is they're worth the RRP). That's why I don't do the embody special offers any more - never got any reliable ongoing business from them.
Sue Hannaford
Apr 20 2011 12:28PM
Hi Sandra. Yes, starting out is tough! Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with Amanda, if you are trying to get new clients, a very important aspect is for people to meet you and for you to "get your hands on them". People are more likely to book treatments if they have felt your quality of touch and get an idea of who you are. Some sort of offer for first treatment for new clients only may help to bring people in, which is income. I do very much agree with Amanda about discount-hunters - I still have clients who only come when there is an offer (very, very rare nowadays!) or they really need a treatment. The point is, having experienced my treatments, I am the one that they come to! Discounting as a rule is a bad habit that is hard to get out of. I know from experience! Hope that helps. Good luck!
Sandra Mary Smith
Apr 20 2011 1:39PM
Thanks Amanda and Susan,
all very useful comments ideas. Will stick with my prices !
Can I include the fee for the stall as an allowable expense ?
Regards Sandra
Sue Hannaford
Apr 20 2011 1:46PM
Yes.
Amanda Clegg
Apr 20 2011 2:39PM
and your travel there.
Nicki Lee
Apr 21 2011 9:21AM
I agree with both previous answers, wholeheartedly! You have to be so careful with discounts.

You may be able to offer some other incentive though (if you sell products can you get free samples to give out?). Also, you haven't said if you are going to be doing treatments on the day or only just booking clients for later. If doing treatments on the day, you can do mini treatments more cheaply, call them tasters and that gives people a sample they will hopefully want more of. You could possibly do 10 or 15 minutes, or even offer a free 5 minute taster hoping to whet their appetite for more.

One thing I have done is a free prize draw for a free treatment. You will have to give one free treatment, but you will also have email or postal addresses of everyone who entered and can then direct your marketing towards them with emails or newsletters, etc. I initially sent everyone a 'sorry you didn't win' note with a leaflet. As they have entered for a treatment prize draw you know it is likely they are interested. The disadvantage would be if a lot of people from outside your area entered, but you haven't lost anything as you don't have to post to them.

Very best of luck building your business - it is worth the struggle in the end but there is no denying it is hard work!
Nicki
Caz Sayles
Apr 21 2011 2:41PM
Hi,
I'm going to go against the general advice given above. At the salon where I rent a room they do taster sessions of the different treatments they offer. At the most recent one I offered a 15min taster treatment. anyone who took this up got a £5 off their first treatment with me. This has led to 4 new regular clients for me (I only did 7 taster treatments)They have since recommended me to friends and through them I have now got 10 new clients, So I have found it really worth while. Just make sure you are targeting the right audience. And keep the amount of special offers to a limited amount.

Hope this helps
Angela Rawlins
Apr 21 2011 5:57PM
Hi

I have eventually learnt my lesson with giving a whole treatment voucher as a raffle gift:) They only ever came for the free treatment and then I realised that it was a expensive freebie! Now, I only give a voucher for the events raffle that will give the recipient a 20 minute treatment. So, Caz's idea is good idea and obviously works:)
Amanda Clegg
Apr 25 2011 11:12PM
Also, Caz is giving tasters to people already in hte salon, rather than punters from the wide world, so to speak.

Good point, Angela. I do the odd freebie raffle prize etc but only for 1/2 hr treatments, and with a 3 month time limit from the event. Only had one claimed ever!

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