We Are Sunshine

“Why Are You Tanning Today?”

Friday, February 23rd, 2024

By Scott Nichols

Have you ever been somewhere shopping that made you feel good? A place where you wanted to go back because the employees where so friendly – it didn’t matter what they were selling. It was a place that made you feel special. Today, I am going to talk about being that place for your customers. I want to tell you a way I found to make customers feel special and want to return. My hope is that you can implement this and in return help increase your customer count.

You can increase your customer count by adding new customers and/or keeping your current customers tanning with you. Today, we are going to talk about keeping the current customers coming back. The great thing about your customers returning is the increase of sales. More customers equal better sales.

Many (unknowingly to themselves) work on the wrong thing, and it’s understandable. They want immediate results so they run big specials and believe these big specials will increase their customer count. It can happen, but in the long term, the customer is only tanning with you because of the special you are running.

Don’t get me wrong: It’s important to have big specials, but a special is only as good as the number of people walking in your door. From Black Friday until Christmas, you will find every store running sales to entice customers to come in. This time of year, customers are shopping and heading to stores to buy all the gifts they need. But what happens in January when all the customers disappear? During the holiday season, people are already coming in the door, so the specials work. It wasn’t the sale that motivated the customers to come out; it was the need to buy gifts.

It’s a similar story during busy season. We get busy because of vacations, proms, weddings and much more. Because people are wanting to do these events, they need to get some color. If it was all about the specials we promote, then all we’d need to do is run the same special in August as we do in March. We all know there will be different results, especially in the number of customers we are seeing and the total sales made. I hope you understand my point that customers create our sales.

If you are looking at creating a good relationship with your customers, then you need to find out why they are tanning with you. What brings them in today? I’ve had many conversations with employees who are struggling with sales, and the first thing I ask them is if they can tell me the reason the last five to 10 customers were tanning. The answer? They don’t know. Sure, they might give me some excuse about seeing the same customers every day, but in all honesty, they don’t know.

It’s important to find out why your customers are tanning for a few reasons:

  1. Even though a customer might be going on vacation in a month, they could have a wedding to attend this weekend. This will give you an opportunity to have them try spray tanning, a bronzer or something else. This will create another buying opportunity. Let’s be honest: Pretty much every time we tan it’s for a different reason. I am a firm believer that different  lotions and bed mixes are to be used with each different reasoning for tanning. If you are still under the assumption the customer is tanning for vacation like when they came in last year, you have missed a lot of opportunities.
  2. Whenever I ask customers why they’re tanning, I get a chance to bring tanning into the customer’s life. If they are tanning because of a dance or wedding, I might suggest a bed that has shoulder tanners (if they are wearing a dress that shows their shoulders). When I do this, I want to let them know why shoulder tanners are important and how it can help with the event they are attending. What do you think will happen next time the customer has tan lines on their shoulders? They will visit you to help blend them in. But it’s even more important than that. You have established a relationship with a customer by helping fix a problem. You are the person with the solution to their problems, and that can make someone feel real good! The idea then is to multiply this with as many customers as you can. When customers have other reasons besides vacation to come and tan, they will. The beauty of this all is simple: You can do this will every customer and every customer’s reason for tanning changes.
  3. Lastly, customers just want to talk. They’re not going to openly share their life store with you on the first visit, but once you get to know the customer, they become a friend. When you reach this status with customers, they are coming in for more than just a tan – they are coming in to see you! You can relate this to your hairdresser. How many go to the same hairdresser every time? Does it matter if the salon down the road is running a special? No, because you have your stylist, and they know exactly how you want your haircut, and more importantly they know you.

We can create these opportunities with customers. It’s important that we make them feel good and comfortable when they come in tanning. If you keep doing this with your customers, you will start to see your customer count over time increase.  In return, your customers will take care of you and your salon.