Pre-booking is quite literally the glue that holds my business together!
I can budget my life this way, I was also able to move my clients not once but TWICE in a year, I always know what supplies I’ll need that week in work and I can plan to take vacations because there won’t be any last minute texts from clients dyinngggg to get in!
While sometimes my weeks just randomly fall apart still (which is when I like to think God is telling me to take a break) I am still consistently booked 1-2 months in advance or more for weekends! Learning to Pre-Book wasn’t easy. I had to train myself to use the correct verbiage when talking with a client and train clients that they HAD to pre-book or they would have to wait a while to see me.
So I’m sharing with you my top three tips for Pre-Booking and how you can implement them in to your business so you can feel more finically secure, easily move your clients between locations AND not feel completely stressed when you see gaps in your day!
When I became an independent stylist I was so nervous clients wouldn’t follow me that I opened my schedule to be available….every day….. all day long….
I was so scared of losing clients that I chose to be as available as possible to them and when booking them I’d say things like “ANY TIME, literally any time you want to come in.”
It was fine working like that for a couple months. But then I noticed some weeks I was coming in to the salon 6 days a week, with large gaps in my days, and I had 0 balance between personal and work time which ultimately led to feeling burnt out!
When I finally discovered in order to maximize my profit I needed to minimize my days in the salon. This revelation was something NO ONE HAD TOLD ME. I also needed to install boundaries with clients (which should be a whole other blog post). I went from 5-6 gap filled days to being booked solid 3, 11-12 hour days. Working less days of the week lead my clients to pre-book because I didn’t have as much availability options.
When clients are used to being able to call any day of the week and get in, that’s what they’ll always do unless you train them otherwise! By saying things like “I’m available ANY time, any time you want to come in” shows clients you’re really available any time so there’s no reason they need to Pre-Book!
^^ which is the most important part of the hair service in my opinion!
When you’re coming up with a plan for your clients cut or color you best believe you should also include a plan for the future or “next time”! It’s amazing clients are able to go several months between highlight appointments with “low maintenance” colors like balayage or root shadows but you should absolutely be planning their next service and suggesting what that should be.
Here’s some ideas on verbiage you can use:
Your client is naturally darker than a level 6 and she wants that oh-so-instagram ashy balayage look! During her consultation you can say “We might not be able to get your ends as light as your inspiration photo and while we’ll certainly try, I’m going to suggest we set you up with another lightening service in 8 weeks to continue this process” or “In order to retain this ashy of a color you’ll need to come back in for a toner every 4-6 weeks, we can set you up with that appointment as you’re leaving to help keep your color on a schedule to retain maximum ashiness”.
By setting up a plan & expectations with your client about their next service your planting a seed for what they have to look forward to next!
For my third & final tip it’s all about sealing the Pre-Booking deal! You’ve used better verbiage, you’ve talked about their next service during your consultation and now you’re just executing what you’re been gearing up towards: THE CHECK OUT!
Here’s verbiage to use:
1: I’d love to see you back here in ___ weeks to continue our journey or keep your color/cut looking fresh
2: I’m going on vacation ___ which is most likely when you’ll need your next service! I highly recommend you pre-book because I’ll be really busy before/after the trip
3: I tend to book up really far in advance so setting up your appointment today will help you not have to wait too long between services if you can’t get in!
4: (insert receptionist name) is going to check you out for your service today and set up for next time!
Remember when you’re starting to focus on pre-booking your clients won’t be used to it, have never done it OR you may have never asked them! So maybe they won’t Pre-Book the first time you start addressing the topic but start planting the Pre-Booking seed!