With inflation and a recession both occurring, it can be challenging for beauty and barber professionals to charge prices confidently. You may feel you’re charging too much or notice your clientele comment on your pricing. Or you realized you’re giving discounts to clients without noticing. This is referred to as emotional discounting — when you allow emotions to impact your pricing and revenue, which is common in the beauty and grooming industry. As beauty professionals, you want your clients to look and feel good when they leave your chairs and feel great about the amount spent.
What is emotional discounting?
“Emotional discounting is the act of lowering your prices outside of a strategic marketing initiative, for example, on a whim at the end of a service. In some cases, it can be the right thing to do; however, more often, it’s an unnecessary and preventable loss to your business,” says Jane Adamé, Senior User Researcher at StyleSeat and licensed cosmetologist of 11 years. “If a client is telling you about all the misfortunes they’ve experienced since the last time they came in, you may want to offer a special discount for this one time (if they are a longstanding client). But I would encourage you to reconsider– this client knows your pricing and still decided to see you despite their other hardships,” she shares. Here are tips to feel just as confident about charging your worth without the emotional discounting.
Review and refresh your pricing
You should review and evaluate pricing frequently to ensure you are charging your worth. There are many factors to consider when changing your prices. If you are an experienced Pro or have recently completed additional training/education to keep your skills up, increasing your prices to reflect your experience is a must. If the cost of living is rising and you’re noticing an increase in rent in your salon space, products, and cleaning supplies, you should consider increasing your price list.
Another factor to consider when charging your prices is valuing your time. Instead of thinking how much a service should cost based on time spent behind the chair, think about the time you spend on your business when you’re away from the chair. Take note of your time spent on email marketing, social media marketing, taking inventory, bookkeeping, and maintaining your workspace. You are still working during this time, which should be included in your prices.
However, it’s essential to properly notify your clients when you decide to adjust your prices. “The most important thing about adjusting your pricing is setting expectations: letting your clients know how much, when it goes into effect, and why. One way to soften the experience is to keep all pricing consistent for the next appointment, at which time you can inform them in person that the following appointment will be held at the new price point,” explains Adamé.
Strategically plan your promotions in advance
Nothing is wrong with providing your clients with a discount. In fact, your clients love it! But instead of giving your client a deal at the last minute of feeling pressured, try strategically planning your promotions. “We often think of promotions as tools to drive new clients, but consider planning promotions to upsell to your existing clientele instead. This may be more valuable to your business than drawing in new customers at a lower price point (who may not return at your existing prices),” says Adamé.
When thinking of a time to plan a promotion, try offering during a seasonal time. The holidays are a great time to offer a promotion with clients. Spread the word by creating an email marketing campaign to send to your clients, and don’t forget to include any offer details and exclusions.
Take advantage of StyleSeat features
We have your back! We want you to have control over your business and gain more revenue. “One of the best things about StyleSeat is the work they do to help book clients at the prices you set. StyleSeat works just as hard to fill your seat whether your prices are what they are today or $5 more across the board. By having your clients book online, you can be assured that the client has seen and agreed to your posted prices,” shares Adamé.
Charging clients for no-shows and late cancellations can be awkward and uncomfortable, but we’ll handle it for you. Use the last-minute cancellation/no-show policy, where you can charge your clients a fee for canceling their appointment at the last minute or not showing up. Feeling hesitant about using this feature? Ease your clients into the new policy by giving them a heads-up. Try giving your clients one freebie of not showing up/canceling late and tell them they will be charged a fee if it occurs again.
In addition, StyleSeat offers Klarna as a payment method, allowing clients to Book Now, Pay Later. This payment option breaks down the total service costs into easy installments for clients, and as a Pro, you will get paid for the entire service upfront.