I went to the dentist last week, and I didn’t get a discount!

While I was at the dentist I had the car cleaned and when it was time to pay, again no discount!

After the dentist I got a coffee at Starbucks, no discount there either!

Then I went to the bookshop and bought a book still no discount…

When I got home I went online and booked a flight and a train …still no discount!

I’m sure you can see where I am going with this…

Why do salons discount?

In my role as a salon coach the subject of discounts frequently comes up and for whatever the reason hairdressers often feel guilty about charging people the right price and want to give them a discount!

In many cases it’s now out of control, the salon profits gone and in some cases the viability of the business is under threat!

One salon owner I work with who was suffering from what I call “Discount creep” got all the staff to give her a list of all the clients who were getting a discount and why they thought they should get it.

The end result was that many of them were getting a discount for all the wrong reasons so they were stopped, predictably it made an instant and significant difference to her bottom line and profitability of the salon.

Are there exceptions?

Yes sometimes there might be for example you might be doing a specific promotional offer on a particular stylist or product or service, that’s different.

You might have specific situations like a regular client I once had who said she wouldn’t be in for a while because she had lost her job so I offered her a discount until she got back on her feet.

We also offered a lower price on Monday or Tuesday with a new stylist in order to build them up on quiet days. And I once had a blow-dry client who said she would come in twice a week if I gave her a modest discount so I did.

I didn’t offer discounts because he or she’s was a local, or because they worked in a shop down the road [unless they’re is some specific cross promotion involved]

I didn’t offer discounts because he or she said they’d refer people, if that’s the case I would give the client a referral card so they’d get a proper discount when a new client they have referred comes in!

And I definitely didn’t offer discounts because I thought they couldn’t afford it or because they’re my friend…

One rule should be that any discount should be authorised by the owner, it cannot be left up to the team to determine the price.

It’s the owners job to set the prices for the salon services based on what it costs to cover all the business overheads and to make a realistic profit.

It’s up to the owner to decide on the price point of services in order to attract the target market.

It’s up to the owner to decide on what you're worth and you need to be confident about charging that price!

It’s up to the client to decide if you’re worth it and if they can afford it!

Have a great week!

4 responses to “No more discounts!”

  1. Miriam Cabrera says:

    Excelent Mr. Antony, i agree with you,but in my country Dominican Republic its a desater,i am hairdraser since a lots times , also life coach,. now writing a book about salon,thanks for yours writing,sory my English,…

  2. Roxanne Walker says:

    I recently relocated my salon and offered a whopping 20% discount off for the entire month as an incentive to get my clients to follow. They did, but it was the worst decision I have ever made. I lost so much money I didn’t even break even! I acknowledge now that it was a fear-based decision. Thank you for your guidance.

  3. Antony Whitaker says:

    I understand why you offered the 20% discount and it’s not always the wrong thing to do. The end result is that they did all follow you and perhaps without the discount offer ‘maybe 25% wouldn’t have followed you?’… You’l never know but perhaps you made a short term loss to guarantee a longer term win! I hope things are now back on track. Thanks for the feedback!

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