Today was day 7 of 8 of Operation Get Profitable (OGP) where I visit 10 salons a day for 8 days.
I’ve learned a lot over the last several days, which is interesting because I didn’t set out on OGP with the intention or expectation of learning anything. For one, I learned what makes a good prospect for me: a medium-sized commission-based salon. I had kind of a fuzzy intuition that this was the case but the 35 salon visits I’ve done since last Tuesday have really helped sharpen my perception in this area. I also learned that between doing a salon visit, putting the salon’s contact info and notes into my CRM and hand-writing a thank-you card to that salon, 10+ salons a day is probably not a realistic target. I don’t know what the reasonable ceiling is, but it seems to be below 10.
I decided to take a slightly different approach today. In the past I would visit as many salons as I could all day, then deal with thank-you cards, etc. the next day. This was fine when I used to do one day of sales in a week, but when I’m doing sales for multiple consecutive days, any card-writing I put off a day bites into the next day’s sales time, so there’s really no time saved. So today I visited just 6 salons, and then I went home and wrote all the thank-you cards and did all the CRM administrivia I needed to do. I like this approach better, since at the end of the day my work is 100% done and I don’t have any loose ends nagging at me from the back of my mind. I can start tomorrow with a clear head.
Since I’ve already picked all the low-hanging fruit in the town I live in, Grand Rapids, Michigan, my work today was done in nearby Holland, Michigan. As seems to be the case eerily often, the first visit of the day was by far the most promising. In fact, I can’t remember a more promising first visit, ever. The owner happened to be free when I walked in, and the salon was still using pen and paper. Although they hadn’t gone so far as to pick out a software solution yet, they said that it was something that was on their minds. At what better point in time could I hope to catch a salon? The owner and the woman who I took to be the receptionist were both a little older (but if either of you are reading this, neither of you looked a day over 29), and they admitted to being a little afraid of technology and nervous about switching to a computerized system. Luckily for everyone involved, I’m an old hand by this point at assuaging the fears of technophobic salon operators, and I addressed their objections like the hardened sales professional that I am. The owner had to duck out just a few moments into the convo, but they’re definitely a strong prospect and I will be contacting them soon.
Holland is kind of a richer town and richer towns mean high-end salons and high-end salons seem to always already be using Millennium. I think 3 of the salons I visited today used Millennium, which is an unusually high number. I used to have a “go to where the money is” idea – visit the nicest salons – but now I know that it’s usually a waste of time. I did get one other decent prospect, though, so out of 6 visits I have 2 prospects. That’s actually a pretty good ratio.
I also have another new selling idea that’s been slowly congealing in my mind over the last few months. Things finally clicked sometime today and this afternoon I pulled the trigger. I’ll be writing about this separately.