People respond to a potential savings. It's enticing and often attracts clients to services they've never had or were unsure about before. A discounted service is better than no service at all. For new esthis, some kind of financial incentive could be the only way to fill the books. Some good, loyal clients were created from a discounted deal. Yes, it happens. But you know what's more likely? The worst coupon-chaser clinger clients.
I have really grown to respect service providers who simply never discount their services, or should I say, discount their time. The penny-pincher in me hates this idea. The first thing I do after leaving Target is check how much I saved with my Cartwheel app. But, that's a different thing entirely, which is my point. We can create enticement without an outright discount. The cartwheel app, for example, rewards loyalty. The more I shop, the more I save. They're also way more likely to offer a savings on an item that I will need to replenish, thus making them more money. Occasional skincare product discounts make more sense. They get the product in the client's hand--continuing the service/partnership outside of your spa. This doesn't cost any time, and if we're pricing correctly, we should have some wiggle room.
Discounting a service that will not lead to more purchases/services is a dead end. What are some other ways to get people in the door--not once, but continuously? Loyalty credits/memberships, simple referral incentives. I say simple because I've been hit with some referral program details that read like Shakespeare. Product discounts, free gifts, complimentary add-ons.
People respect us when we are steady and respectful of our own time. I firmly believe that. It can take time, but others learn from consistency and simplicity. If we're charging appropriately, spending smartly, and not constantly knee-jerk raising prices, it can all even out in the end. Increasing cost to ultimately discount is a song and dance I don't want to be a part of.
Respect your own time and money and your clients' and we all win.