For the most part I run an appointment-based salon. My clients book weeks, sometimes months in advance. For all new clients, though, I make sure that full consultation time is booked alongside their appointment, and it's made me a better stylist for it. It took years but finally, I figured out the conversation tactics that work best for me to get what I need out of the clients. More importantly, I figured out the right questions to ask. Here's what I did:
I really listened.
The only way to determine which questions to ask is by first listening to your client’s hair desires. Here’s where we receive an array of Pinterest pins, Guy Tang photos or my favorite; the hair ideas that have nothing to remotely do with their hair color, length or texture. How about our Kardashian clones that want to keep up. Oh, how I wish our clients understood they wear amazing wigs created by talented artists. Therefore they are able to drastically change their hair color, have the perfect hair you see on social media and TV at the drop of a hat. Nine times out of ten there is a pro tweaking their manes in between shots.
Depsite this, listening is the BIGGEST part of our consultation. Listening doesn’t necessarily mean hang on to every word they say. It means observe your client, read in between the lines, pay attention to their lifestyles, are they conservative, trendy, demure. Who is your client? Do they have children are they always on the go, will that double process blonde be ideal for her busy lifestyle?
I played it back.
You have a complete understanding of your clients needs or at least you think you do. Here’s where I would repeat back to your client what they stated to you as well as incorporate what you interpreted. This is where the magic happens, the meeting of the minds. You can either nail it or get lost in translation. No worries, if you listen more than you speak you should hit this right out of the park!
I inserted my expertise.
This is when you give your very professional feed back. I will tell a client "no" in a heart beat if they are requesting something that is just not possible or will compromise the integrity of the hair. Black box color to pale blonde in one sitting, not happening. I think it’s so important to have real and honest conversations with our clients. Be sure you are looking at them face to face not via the mirror, I can’t stress that enough. Make it as comfortable for your client as possible.
Be sure to use the correct verbiage when speaking to your clients, we have a vast amount of terminology in our industry. I think its best we used it! It doesn’t hurt to brush up on key words. Re-visit your cosmetology book. Re-learn the parts of the head, crown, nape, occipital, parietal ridge, etc. Our clients love it when we talk professionally to them. It makes them feel they’ve made the right decision by sitting in your chair. I always make it my mission to educate my clients in the chair, I joke and say my salon is a teaching salon but I truly mean it.
I fixed my mistakes.
On occasion we get lost in translation. You know the moment you just didn’t hit it out of the park for your client. It’s ok, it happens and not every client that graces your chair is meant to stay and not every hair color, cut or style will be flawless. Unfortunately, we can’t please everyone some people are never satisfied. That has nothing to do with your abilities as an artist. Don’t allow those moments to deter you from dancing in your passion.
How Do You Find Hair Models?
3 Ways To Have A Better Day
Skin & Esthetics
For Future Professionals
Textbooks & Materials
State Board Practice Tests
Continuing Education (CE) Classes
Advertise with Us