Every thorough consultation begins with a hand on the shoulder which offers a sense of grounding your client in the chair, and letting her know you’ve got this. This simple gesture allows you to get present as well, and focus.
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These moments before the clients’ service allows your client to warm up, and open to you, revealing her vulnerabilities and insecurities, allowing the relationship to unfold in a respectful way. If done correctly, this client could last your whole career. This is true mastery in our profession.
There are hundreds of questions you could ask, and as you move through your career, your questions will get better and better. Let’s not be fooled, even the most veteran stylists need to be reminded of how to offer a stellar consultation.
Equally as important as the questions and answers, is you listening. We will get to that on another post. If your client feels heard, she will stay. If she doesn’t, she will leave. It’s that simple. Allow time to take in how they are responding with their words, body language. Look at what they are wearing, their shoes, their handbag, their glasses, not in a sizing up manner. This is a subtle style type assessment. Look for hints of who they are. Listen for what they are not saying. This is wisdom consulting.
Preferably be seated, or lift them up in the chair so that they are at eye level with you. How many of you tower over your clients back and reach over their shoulders? This can be very intimidating, and it’s done all the time! Stand in front of them, make eye contact, arms unfolded.
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- In order to tailor this haircut, color or style for you, I will need to ask you some questions for you, is that okay?
- When is the last time you loved your hair?
- When was the last time you were in the salon?
- What did you have done?
- What chemical services have you had done in the last year?
- Are you aware that I guarantee my work only when my product recommendations for home care are followed?
- What worked in this last haircut, color or style?
- What didn’t work in the last visit?
- I assume you are here because you want a change, how open are you to a new look?
- If you could choose a celebrity that you think represents your style, who would it be?
- How do you want to feel in your new look?
- Have you ever had your colors done? (More on this topic later.)
- Have you had surgery, or changed medications in the last year?
- If you could describe the best salon experience, how would you?
- May I touch your hair?
Now I let them know I am going to take some time to look at them. Assess the hair, feeling head shape, assessing density, texture and porosity, test a strand of hair in different areas of the head. Look at the features you want to hi light and those you want to detract from, considering what would help to balance their face shape, and bring the best quality of their hair.
Present your offer, your guarantee, maintenance and price. Ask for their buy in.
In the end, what can you do to bring them closer to expressing their essence? Clients just want to feel relevant, and good inside. They want to feel like they can go back out there in the world and be themselves again. Continue to develop these skills and you will become the Master Hairdresser that people will wait in line to see, and you will be able to give yourself a raise.