By Ivy Potter, Image Sun Tanning Centers of NW Indiana
Just like on the UV side, the sweltering summer months bring a slow season for the sunless industry. When it happens varies from region to region, but the dreaded slow season seems to show up overnight.
Suddenly the clients we were tanning for spring break, prom and vacations have natural tans and are out enjoying the weather! That instant happiness of a perfect sunless glow has become a memory forgotten in the heat of the summer. Retain busy season tanners who otherwise forget us until fall by offering “tan for the summer deals,” – bundles of tans you sell before the busy season traffic falls off, but that expire at the end of the summer. Keeping them coming in, even if it is to just even out tan lines, provides opportunities to sell them retail products and maintains top of mind awareness for when those summer tans fade.
It is no secret that the most lucrative clients are the ones who come to us week after week to maintain their tan. They have standing appointments and are more eager to invest in their sunless tan. Continuing to build a solid base of this type of client will sustain you during the slower months.
Take advantage of the slower season and find more of these clients. Get your foot in the door at local dermatologist offices and medical spas by offering a few free tans to the staff. Set up cross promotions and referral programs with hairdressers and esthetician to encourage them to refer clients to you. Don’t forget to drop off coupons and business cards regularly to your new connections. When the referrals start coming in, take special care of these clients; they are also the ones who will give you the best word-of-mouth referrals.
Make a big deal about changing up your retail for the summer. Everybody loves new products, and seasonal items are a great way to spice up retail sales. The transition to warmer more humid air alters our skin care needs, making it the perfect time to swap out heavy moisturizers and body butters for lighter, more hot-weather-friendly options. Heavy oil based exfoliating products are no longer needed to remove dry winter skin. Instead, promote gentle, oil free exfoliation products.
Special, summer only, solution options are another fun way to keep sales from getting stagnant, and clients are more eager to buy limited-availability options. Rapid solutions and sunless-friendly sunscreens are a hot summer add-on as well.
These easy and inexpensive changes will help you thrive in the summer instead of just surviving.