Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Nov 1, 2016

 The consultation is huge part of the ideal client-stylist relationship, but there must be open, honest communication, or the connection won't last. 

Have you ever gone through a consultation, but had a client not being entirely honest? Or have you ever lost a longtime client when you thought they were happy? Why have longtime clients sought out a new salon? Brian Driscoll, who has led the sales efforts for All-Nutrient for over 30 years, says it’s because that initial full, safe consultation atmosphere didn’t exist, so the client does not feel comfortable. Communication is key. The only way to know what your client wants is to listen and the only way to let your stylist know is to tell them. You need to set the tone to make sure everyone is at ease. This will set the bar for the rest of the services, so it is of utmost importance to ensure it is a positive experience for both parties. These tips will enhance your consultation so that both stylists and clients are happy for the long haul!


1. Privacy Matters

When a new client comes into your salon, where do you have their consultation? Most stylists have it right at their station, surrounded by other stylists and clients. While this seems like a good spot, keep in mind, not all are comfortable sharing personal information in a packed salon. Automatically take them to a more private area. If you don’t have one, take a walk outside, or around the building. Previous hair dye, medications, and products used can all affect the outcome of the hair. Some clients are on medications, or are embarrassed by how they have treated their hair. Asking these questions in front of others may incite some to lie and no stylist wants surprises during the service. “Your doctor wouldn’t ask you about your medical history in the middle of the waiting room…don’t ask your client personal information in the middle of the salon,” Brian says.


2. Eye contact. Eye Contact. Eye Contact.

During a consultation, where are you looking? Is your client seated in the chair, with you behind them? Sure, you may be looking at one another in the mirror, but is it really the same? If this is you, turn your client around! Eye contact is everything. Looking at one another in the mirror isn’t as powerful as direct, face-to-face eye contact, Brian says. “A lot of times the consultation is between me and the mirror…so, no, that’s not exactly a personal consultation. Make sure the consultation is eye-to-eye because that’s how people talk.” 


3. Don’t just hear, LISTEN.

Brian says the consultation should be safe. “The client should be able to say anything that they want,” he says, “it can’t be ‘I know what’s best for you and I’m going to do it for you’.” Not everyone will speak up if they don’t agree with you on something. You could lose a client very quickly if you don’t take the time to hear what they want, whether you think it’s best or not. The most important part of communication for the stylist is listening because you will pick up on what they say, whether it is clear or not. The number one failure rate of a cut, is that it is too short. How easily could this mistake have been avoided if a well-executed consultation had been given? Your client’s comfort level is the most important part of the consultation, period.     


4. Take Your Time.

Spend a lot of time on a consultation, Brian says, "because some place in the consultation your client might reveal to you, what they're all about." This is especially important for brand new clients. The only way to get to know someone, their style, and their dislikes is to spend the time to get to know them. People may want to appear flexible at first, when really, they’re very particular about what they want. As a stylist, you’ll be able to get a feel for who they are and their needs, only if you take the time to do so.


5. Keep It Fresh.

While you may have that one client that does the same thing every time they come in, you never know when they may want to mix it up. Refresh your consultation with regular clients! "They may see a friend with a style they like and want to try it out, but assume you can’t do it," Brian says. Have a plan for each client that they feel comfortable with and can discuss with you at any point in time. This way, you can link your client’s visits together and say, “Next time, we can do this,” dramatically increasing the chance of them returning, while also highlighting your other talents beyond their go-to look. Remember, “Communication is a very important tool that everyone has and can use…it’s just most of the time it doesn’t get used to the full extent that it should,” Brian says.

Topics: Business Talk