Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: EFT Lowballing

by | Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant

Q: “What would you say to tanning salon owners who are offering the $9.99 EFT membership based upon the theory of selling quantity to the masses instead of pricing the service for what they believe it’s worth?”

A: This is a very good question because it’s something that nearly every tanning salon owner faces in today’s market.  There used to be a “golden age” of tanning when all a salon owner had to do was open their doors.  Tanners would come flooding in and they were willing to pay any price to get the deep dark tans they desired.  Today, there’s too much competition and far less people who want to tan.  This means tanning salon owners are faced with two very tough choices:

  1. Evolve and adapt their business models to keep up with current consumer trends.
  2. Sell their tanning salons and pursue careers in other industries.

Needless to say, I don’t want you to pursue option number two. (I only recommend that to people who don’t have any children who want to take over the family tanning business.) If you’re planning on sticking around (I hope you do), then I suggest you embrace the $9.99 EFT membership… to a point.

We’re all disturbed that our products and services get nickel-and-dimed by people who don’t care about our futures.  That said, the $9.99 monthly EFT membership has become a marketing reality in our industry.  Many consumers now expect it.  Because of this, I recommend that you offer the $9.99 EFT membership, but do so only in your level-one tanning beds.  To be eligible, tanners must agree to a 12-month membership at that price.

Will you still get people whose credit card reject the membership payment after a few months?  Of course.  But I still think that it’s better to have tanners under that arrangement then not take them at all.  That’s it’s best to push these clients into free upgrade tanning beds for “their opinion” about these units.  Once a tanner experiences an upgrade bed, it’s hard to go back to level-one equipment.  This gives you and your staff opportunities for up-selling.  Remember, the higher the up-sell, the easier it is to get the tanner “bonded” to your salon.  (Remember: Not all tanning salons have the same high-pressure beds.)

While I know the $9.99 monthly membership is frustrating, I still say grab as many of them as you can.  Many tanners will see the difference between your salon and cheaper providers.  You’ll keep more customers and sell them upgrade sessions, lotions, and other products.  Use these tips to increase your EFT sales rate.  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask this tanning salon business consultant.

Ask a Tanning Salon Business Consultant: EFT Lowballing

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