The time spent consulting with new and returning clients is never wasted time! This is a very valuable time to not only discover your clients likes and dislikes, but to build a stronger stylist/client relationship. A great consultation is the cornerstone to stylist success and a happy client. It also tell your client that you value and care about them. They will always remember how you made them feel!
Communication builds wealth! ~ Sam Villa
The biggest key to a great consultation is to get them talking. Often it’s not only what they say that gives you clues, but what they don’t say can be even more revealing. In addition, it is very important that you let your client define what they mean. Make sure that you clearly understand what they are saying by asking them key questions:
KEY CONSULTATION ‘MUST DO’S’ & SOME ‘NEVER DO’S’
1. DO a consultation with every client, before their hair is washed. If they are a returning client make sure you know all about their last appointment; when it was, what was done, along with any inspiration you might offer them.
2. DO sit at their level, face to face, rather than above them or behind them looking in the mirror. This fosters equality in the relationship.
3. DO ask open ended questions then listen to discover what they are looking for, their likes, dislikes etc.. Wait until you have this down and then ask permission before you touch their hair. This is respectful and let’s them know that you have listened. Here are a few really great questions to ask new clients :
a. Can you describe the best haircut (or colour) you ever had and the worst.
b. How savvy are you with styling your own hair? What are your expectations for time and tools to style your hair? What type of products and tools do you currently use to style your hair?
c. What type of work do you do? (This gives you some boundaries for your suggestions).
d. What do you like about your hair?
e. Do you do a lot of socializing?
f. In regards to colour; explain the maintenance time and cost for a new colour client.
4. DO share your recommendations honestly with them. If they ask for something that you know will not look like the picture they show you, then explain how their hair type or texture is different and how it will make the cut look different etc.
5. DO consult with all returning clients before their hair is washed. Be open to hear their feedback. This builds trust and allow’s you to refine your services for them. Here are some ‘Must Do’ questions to ask;
a. How was your last cut?
b. Did you have any areas that were difficult to manage?
c. *Do not take it personally if they were not entirely happy with your last service. They have returned to your chair confident that you can make adjustments and meet their needs!
6. NEVER, NEVER criticize another styist’s work with your client – no matter how bad it is! Clients might bait you with this, but it is extremely unprofessional. You might even end up critizicing your own work if you insist on using this strategy – Ouch & Embarrasing!
7. ALWAYS, ALWAYS clarify your client’s meaning before you begin any work. It is the stylist job to understand what the client is asking for, not the clients job to make the stylist understand this. Here is a simple example : Client says they want 4 inches of hair cut off. Stylist should ask client what 4 inches looks like to them. Be sure that your understanding of 4 inches is the same as theirs. Never make assumptions. *Note : If this is a big change it is wise to make sure the client is sure and not just emotionally responding to other factors in their life.
Once you have reached an honest and clear understanding you will be able to reach these goals. Your client will be impressed with your ability to recieve feedback and will love what you create for them. It is all about trust that ultimately keeps your clients in your chair.