Know Your Client
Before we even talk about the goals of where they want to go, it is important to know more about your client and their day-to-day life. I'm not suggesting you schedule a Gilmore Girls style coffee shop consultation where you delve into their latest drama, rather that you do your best to understand what their pain points are when it comes to their hair. Simple things like understanding that they need to keep their wild side under wrap because work with some stuffy suits is a big factor when it comes to creating a plan for giving them the hair of their dreams. Here are some simple starting points to consider when meeting a client for the first time:
- How much time and energy do they put into their hair in the morning? Be sure to let them know there is no judgment, but these little things will factor into how you create their new mane.
- How do they wear their hair most often? If they are the kind that Bun up and head out in the mornings, you'll know that you need to prepare the hair to be worn back and high up.
- What tools are we working with?
- Do they flat iron a lot?
- Do they use lots of product? If so, what brands? If you're not familiar with a brand they are using or simply aren't a fan, consider asking the goal of using that product and see if you can't offer an alternative or solution.
- What's their comfort level of styling their own hair? If they are loving those luscious beachy curls, maybe you'll set aside some time to show them how to create the look at home. After all, the better your client looks day-to-day, the more referrals you'll rack up!
- Finally, understanding each potential clients strengths & weaknesses is huge for helping them to dissolve their insecurities and to draw attention to what they love about themselves the most.
- So, what do they love about their mane and the locks they were born with?
- What do we need to draw attention away from?
- What’s the goal? If we’re looking at session evolution, what are the priorities for this transformation?
Know What You're Working With
This is why in-person consultations are so important, what a client sees in their hair is generally far different from what a trained stylist will see, so it's always important to schedule in-person consultations so that you know what you’re working with. Are we salvaging damaged hair? Are we creating an entirely new look? Should we plan to paint with that beloved pony tail in mind?
Ask that they bring about three examples of inspiration for their hair goals, examine each with them, asking what about each look they love the most. From here, a best practice is to find a couple other images, not provided by the client to confirm that you’re on the same page about the goals of the partnership. This is a great mode of operation with new clients because visuals, especially those created to look more natural, like balayage or even toning are hard for most to describe and if you can save yourself the time and effort of a redo by investing a few more minutes in your consultations, you’ll not only have more time for more clients but you’ll have happier clients stepping out of your chair.
Sessions & Expectations
Under promise and over deliver is the best customer service you can offer your business! As stylists, it is your job to keep your client's hair health as a priority. If they are looking for a complete transformation, generally these evolutions will require sessions and setting up those expectations in advance, making sure your client knows the WHY on these sessions being spaced out is vital to creating client trust. Consider it your job to educate them on why you want to care for their hair, why staging these processes will offer more long-term benefits and longer lasting results.
American Salon is pleased to welcome the Business of Balayage, a collective of brilliant independent educators, as they share a series of business building blogs on americansalon.com. For more information, visit www.thebusinessofbalayage.com.