Everyone in a salon is busy from the stylists, to the client and all of the support staff. As a stylist you feel pressure to orchestrate a balance between getting your client out the door in a timely manner and giving them a relaxing experience that serves as a peaceful break from their busy day.
One of the best ways to make the most of your time with your client and to stay on schedule is to develop a quick and easy consultation process. Whether you client is new or they’ve been seeing you for 10 plus years it is important to have a short consultation before you start on their hair. If your client is new you need to get to know them and their hair and if you’ve known them forever you want to make sure they are keeping their hair fresh.
Over the years I have developed a quick 5-step consultation process that I apply to my new and current customers. I think it can help you out too!
1. Look at their style and outward personality:
Quickly examine your new client’s current hairstyle, the clothes and jewelry they are wearing and other distinctive aspects that represent their style. Think about what hairstyle and color would compliment or enhance their everyday appearance.
This step is equally vital to long-term clients. Check out how they are dressing and accessorizing – it has probably evolved of the years and their hairstyle or color may need to be updated to match.
2. What do they do on a daily basis?
Find out their occupation and other life factors that might affect their hairstyle. For example:
- Do they work in a professional field and need a more conservative hairstyle.
- Are they a new parent that doesn’t have time to style their hair?
- Or do they go on a long run before work each morning.
You can work this in to your initial conversation and may find more answers as their first appointment goes on. As for an existing client try to stay up to date on any lifestyle changes that might call for a new style.
3. Find out if your client has a clear idea of what they want.
It is great practice to ask your client, especially new clients, what they are thinking and what they would like to see done with their hair. Some clients come in with fully formed vision of what their hair needs to look like. They might have a picture of a celebrity or clear description of what they want. Honestly, this can go one of two ways – their desired style works for them (or works with minor tweaks) or the haircut would look awful on them and you need to save them from themselves!
Either way you will need to be open with the client about your recommend tweaks or ideas for a similar style/color. I usually explain to the client that I like the hairstyle on that person but you are not the person in the picture and you need a hairstyle that looks just as fabulous on you. I then tell them that I will add my own flare to the style and they will be happy with the outcome. If it is a major difference in cut or color I explain my logic and tell them how this style will make their feature pop.
4. Color – Follow Steven’s Four step analysis
If you are coloring your client’s hair with all over color or highlights for the first time or with a new shade I recommend following my four-step analysis to find the perfect shade.
5. Document, document, document…
After you finish your client’s hair and you are both happy with the final product it is critical that you document what you did. Make the time to write down what you did (what shade of blonde you used, what size highlights you did, what the cut looked like and where it landed in relation to their chin, shoulders, etc.) Do this immediately! You can keep your records on a computer or a card file. Whatever works best for you to ensure that you will keep up to date records is perfect. This is a vital step to help your remember so your next visit with your client is a successful one. Ultimately, this step will be pivotal long-term success of your business!