Pre-booking is the most important and powerful action you will take when it comes to your success as a professional hairstylist. And it’s incredibly easy to do once your clientele starts gets used to it but it can be very difficult for some stylists at first. So here are some ideas:
At a few points during every service you do today, simply mention what the maintenance is going to be on that service. During Mary’s highlights, you are going to say, “This is going to look amazing. And I think you should be able to go about 10, maybe even 12 weeks before we need to do it again.” And then get back to catching up with what is going on in Mary’s life.
During Mary’s cut, let her know that the cut will last her 6 weeks and that you will want to see her for a free bang trim in 3 weeks. And then get back to your conversation. Do not be pushy and don’t get weird about it. Just mention it when it makes sense during her service. Then when you have finished making her look gorgeous, walk her to reception and tell the receptionist that Mary will be booking her next appointment for 6 weeks from now. Then walk away and let reception do their job.
Now here’s the catch: Mary probably won’t book in.
But you are doing this with every single client and a few of them will. And all it takes is a few people pre-booking to make this snowball very quickly. Mary will likely find it a little tougher to get in with you the next time, which is when you tell her “I know, I’m sorry. That’s why I wanted to get you pre-booked so you would have your ideal appointment time. I’m getting busier and I want to make sure you can get in when you need to.
This is actually doing a service for your clients, as it allows them to maintain a look rather than wait until they absolutely hate their hair. And they end up becoming much more loyal because they are always able to get in at their ideal time and always have an upcoming appointment.
Pre-booking is going to fast-track your career and allow you to start making a great living as a stylist much sooner. When you become fully booked a few weeks out, you get to control your pricing. It’s a simple law of economics that when demand exceeds supply, the price goes up. And you can easily control how quickly this happens simply by acting like a busy stylist from the moment you get on the floor.
Understand, you can’t possibly ask for a pre-book unless you do great work and give great service, so it forces more professional dialogue and behaviour from you. This starts to permeate every aspect of your involvement as a hairdresser, especially your creativity and passion for your work and your clients. Pre-booking, like all good salon systems, starts out as a scripted act but becomes a catalyst for an amazing and fulfilling career as a hairstylist.
– Holidays, vacations and Christmas are perfect times to use as a catalyst for pre-booking. 8-10 weeks before these things happen, make sure to talk to your clients about how busy things will be before the break.
About: Michael Levine has been a hairdresser since 1993. Having had the luxury of being trained by incredible mentors and learning from some of hairdressing's icons from very early on, Michael has been featured on stages across North America almost from the beginning of his career. Opening his first salon, called Statik in 1998 with his wife and no other staff, Michael Levine has built a multi-award winning salon company through developing new talent and rather than by hiring stylists with a clientele. Michael currently has 50 employees, a product company, 3 salon locations and 2 academies in Vancouver British Columbia.