How to Get New Clients While Giving to Charity

Charity Begins at Work

Last week’s video, A Companion to the Forgotten was a profound look at how one selfless man gave to the poor and destitute and wanted and received nothing in return.

Whilst I would like to believe we all have that spirit and inkling in us, for most, it is not practical to devote our life to helping others fulltime as we need to provide for and survive ourselves.

But I have found a way to give back to your community or favourite charity whilst still helping your business to grow and attract new clients.

Think about this, instead of giving 50 per cent off a treatment, that for arguments sake cost $100; why not donate that $50 to a charity? Many promotions see a spike in new clients for a moment but these clients more often than not are nonrepeating clients, that is they take you up on your generous discount or promotion but you never see them again. Donating to a charity of your choice you have a greater potential of servicing a new client with a higher percentage of becoming a regular.

There are so many causes and charities that people are passionate about for a variety of reasons. Don’t you think all of those women would jump at an opportunity to experience a professional service from your spa or salon so as to nurture themselves while at the same time donating to their favourite charity? Pick your charity well and the potential to tap into hundreds if not thousands of women and their friends and families, you could really increase your business beyond expectations. 

Ok so choose your charity or organisaion and make contact to offer a four-week special for all its members, and their friends and families. Make sure that the group or charity you choose is a tax-deductible organisation, and then check with your accountant to see if your donation could also be tax-deductible for your spa. Pick a service or treatment that you want to build up, and offer to donate half of the price (or various percentages) of the service back to that charity or organisation. 

Print up a flier or guest pass outlining the details of the offer, explaining the donation aspect, and then request that you attend the charities next meeting to meet the members and pass the fliers out, giving each member as many as they would like. Include a space at the bottom or on the back of the sheet for the person receiving the service to list all of his/her contact information, including e-mail address, to add to your database. You can even specify certain times this special offer will not be allowed, in order to avoid affecting the highest-volume time slots in your schedule; for example: ‘Offer not available on Fridays or Saturdays.’

Make sure you list your spa or salons name, address, phone number and hours, along with any other stipulation needed. You might even want to have a line on the sheet that says ‘group member’ and explain that the member who has the most friends and family come in for the service will win a $100 product gift basket. Or you can even be more specific: If you have a number of unused previous promotions available, announce that anyone who has 10 certificates (pick a number of your choice) that are returned to the spa for the service will win something. You can even step it up by offering to donate 20% of a member’s purchase that day to the chosen charity or, if the client rebooks for a future visit, consider adding another $5 to her overall donation.

When the time limit has expired, invite the entire group or charity to your spa to have its monthly meeting, at which time you can present your donation cheque. Along with the cheque, give the charity a detailed list of clients who came in, which members are responsible for the referrals and how much of their services/purchases were contributed to the total donation. If the amount is substantial, contact the local press for coverage of the meeting and your presentation. Consider giving a special award that evening to the therapist on your team who raised the most money or provided the most services.

Revive your client base, increase your cash flow, and keep your staff busy and satisfied with new, loyal, returning clients, while helping a worthwhile cause. If many spas and salons started a program like this, it would do so much good for the industry, and most importantly for those in need and less fortunate. It’s a win-win for everyone.

By: Aaron Sonnenschein

Aaron Sonnenschein began his career in the professional salon industry at 16, working at Hart Beauty Supply Company, which he later purchased with his wife, Jamie. With a degree in management and marketing from Chicago’s DePaul University, he launched JAS International, an import and visual merchandising company. Later working for Mid-City/Salon Centric, a division of L’Oral USA, Sonnenschein is now district manager for Dermalogica.


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