How to Create an Easy Referral System for Your Spa or Salon

Referrals are the lifeblood of your business. You need a consistent flow of referrals from your existing clients to achieve your weekly sales goals. A well designed referral program taps into your clients' networks rather than relying on you to make one-on-one connections.

Don't be one of those spas or salons who leaves this to chance or throws together a program without much thought. Instead, create a system to generate referrals with grace, efficiency and consistency.

Here is a simple formula for a system you can setup this week to encourage and reward referrals from your existing clients:

1. Pick a prize or gift for referrals. Every client who walks through your door should feel like a VIP, especially those who are coming in because a friend or a family member raved about how amazing you are. A small gift welcoming her to your salon will make her feel good and the client who referred her look like a rock star. Make the gift something special. This isn't the time to clear out the product that isn't selling. Consider what service she has booked? Give the referral a small gift bag of travel size product related to her first appointment or a discount off a maintenance service. Make her feel special and she'll refer her friends.

2. Use your database to track referrals. Most client database programs, CRMs and booking programs will have a place to enter data on how a new client heard about you. Tracking this data lets you know which client to thank for the referral. Over time you'll start to see trends and learn of your clients are your strongest referral partners. Periodically search your database to find out which clients make the most referrals. (Schedule this on your calendar so you don't forget!) Your very best referrers are often well-connected people. They deserve VIP treatment. Offer them a VIP card giving them a discount every time they come in. Or give them a free service for every three referrals, not just an add-on service, but a free haircut or hour-long massage. Acknowledge their importance to your business with a substantial thank you gift.

3. Reach out to the person who referred the new client and send a card and a gift. Your existing clients lead busy lives. They have work, families, businesses, social events, in other words, a lot going on. Your business isn't top of mind. They need incentive to recommend your services to their networks. Choose a meaningful gift. Most people won't be motivated by a 5% discount or a trial size shampoo. If you give products, make a gift bag of travel size products. If you go with a discount, make it substantial, 25% for example. Better yet, offer a free service. Send her a handwritten thank you card with a menu of free services she can take advantage of the next time she comes in.

Take these steps to create a solid referral system. It isn't difficult to implement, but requires consistent action on your part to maintain. The effort will pay off with new clients walking in, and happy clients walking out - and spreading the word about your spa or salon!

About the author

Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," the tech-savvy Sydni uses a results-focused, "how to" approach in implementing simple, customized strategies so service professionals create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyle they choose.

Visit for your FREE training course, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!


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