How to make a great first impression
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers
First impressions are crucial. Potential clients will make up their minds about your salon within seconds of seeing any one of the following:
- Your salon’s window display and front entrance.
- Your reception area.
- Your salon interior.
- Your social media channels.
- Your website.
- Your online booking system.
Take a deep breath and put on your objective hat. What would you think about your salon if you were a potential client and came across it for the first time?
Let’s look at each of these in turn:
Your salon’s window display and front entrance
Will passers-by be attracted by your window display and tempted to call in to find out more? Or do you rarely look at your window display, let alone change it?
- Make sure you refresh your window display on a regular basis and include an up-to-date menu and price list.
- Always reflect the seasons and special times of year, for example, summer holidays, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s.
- Add mirrors, lighting and movement to your window.
- Avoid boring rows of products and remove faded, dusty items.
What about your salon entrance? Is the paint flaking? Does the handle stick? If so, potential clients will step away – not step in.
To make a good first impression, your window display and entrance must be smart, appealing and inviting.
Your salon reception area
Your potential client has made it to your reception area. But what will they find? A cluttered reception desk? Flowers that are well past fresh? A harassed receptionist? Or one too busy texting to look up?
Cast a critical eye over your reception area. The desk should be uncluttered and fresh flowers will make a huge difference. The most effective first impression of all is a big welcoming smile and good eye contact from your receptionist. Make sure they know how to help potential new clients in a non-pushy, professional and knowledgeable way.
Your salon interior
Your potential new client is taking the opportunity to size up your salon. What do they see?
Take a good look around.
- Is everywhere immaculately clean?
- No bins overflowing?
- No cluttered workstations?
- No scruffy paintwork or torn posters?
- No open doors revealing untidy staff areas?
- Are team members either with clients or doing other salon work (i.e. not standing around chatting)?
In other words – does your salon space look totally professional? Would you want to book an appointment if you were seeing it for the first time?
The Good Salon Guide star rating system celebrates and promotes the outstanding quality of service provided by our Member salons.
You can showcase your star rating in your window display, entrance and in your salon to create an immediate good first impression. You can use it online too.
Your social media sites
What will potential clients see if they check you out on social media?
Negative comments? Questions from clients that haven’t been answered? Photographs of a drunken team night out? Blurry ‘before and after’ images?
Your social media sites should reflect your professionalism and offer an accurate snapshot of your business, your overall approach and the services you offer.
Consider nominating one team member to be responsible for updating your social media accounts. Work with them closely to ensure the messages and imagery are appropriate, informative, fun, and above all, professional.
Don’t forget to add client reviews and testimonials to your social media posts a couple of times a month. Word of mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold when it comes to making a great first impression online.
Your salon website
Potential clients may visit your website too. You have even less time to make a good first impression online – visitors will click away in an instant if they don’t immediately like what they see.
- Is your website regularly updated or does it look tired?
- Does it have professional imagery?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is your price list up-to-date?
- Do you regularly update your team profiles?
- Do you post regularly on your blog?
Keeping your website fresh and current will go a long way towards making a great first impression.
Your online booking system
Do you have an online booking system? If so, make a positive first impression by ensuring it works efficiently and is easy to use. Anything tricky or frustrating will really put off new clients.
Don’t have an online booking system? Many clients love the convenience of online booking, so you’re probably missing a trick if you haven’t introduced it yet.
Members: Don’t forget, you get free access to an appointment request system, information and advice from our industry experts about all aspects of running a successful salon business.