Sometimes the busiest stylists in a salon are not the best styists. They are usually fully booked, weeks in advance, with extremely loyal clients. A client centric, detailed orientated, consultation is their key to success. They make sure the appointment is all about discovering their clients likes, dislikes, preferences, lifestyle, and objective for each appointment.
They make sure to ask open ended questions and listen for clues that define what is important to them. The first 5-10 minutes of an appointment are often the most valuable for building stronger stylist/client relationships. A loyal client is a happy client that feels valued. And that starts with a great consultation.
Communication builds wealth! ~ Sam Villa
KEY CONSULTATION MUST DO’S & SOME DON’T EVER DO’S:
DO a consultation with every client. Returning clients will appreciate being able to give honest feedback on their last service and helps you with any adjustments you can make building trust in the relationship.
DO sit at their level, face to face. This fosters equality in the relationship.
DO ask open ended questions and practice active listening. Make notes that you can transfer to their client profile and review before their next appointment.
Here are a few really great questions to ask new clients:
Can you describe the best haircut (or colour) you ever had or the worst.
What do you like or dislike about your hair?
What is your current at-home styling regime? What product and tools do you use to style your hair.
DO share your recommendations honestly with them. If they ask for something that you know will not look like the picture they brought in then explain how their hair type is different than the person in the photo which will make the cut/colour look different etc..
Here are some ‘Must Do’ questions for returning clients;
How was your last cut?
Did you have any areas that were difficult to manage?
*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!
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 unprofessional. You might even end up critizicing your own work if you insist on using this strategy – Ouch & Embarrasing!
ALWAYS, ALWAYS clarify your client’s meaning before you begin any work. It is the stylist responsibility to understand what the client is asking for. 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. Try not to make assumptions.
Once you have reached a clear understanding you will be able to reach your clients goals. They will be impressed that you asked for their feedback and will love what you create for them. Listening and building trust and making the appointment all about them will keep your clients loyal to your chair. Most of all have fun getting to know your clients and building rapport with them.