ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Creekmore – After Leaving a successful commission salon to booth rent, I knew that I had to implement structured business practices in order to be successful. My commitment is to share what have learned and how I have adapted them over the years so you can also be successful in business. Visit HairLoveDesign to learn more about Kim and her San Diego based salon.
Make Your Client Feel Comfortable
Have you ever walked into a salon only to have everyone turn to look at you, decide you’re not their client, then turn away? Yeah, I have too. Sucks right! Greet every client, even if they are not yours. Welcome them into the salon. Show them where the bathroom is for bonus points.
Do a Thorough Consultation
Ask a bunch of questions and listen to how your client answers them. Learn to read their body language and don’t make assumptions on what you are going to do until you have heard the whole story. The days of asking what they want to do are gone. Ditch the question, “What do you want to do today and did you bring pictures?” Instead, ask, “What do you like about your hair?” “What don’t you like?” and “How do you style it on a regular basis and when going out?” Ask questions that allow you to learn about your client’s story; make recommendations on how you can make things better for them. This is also a great time to begin talking about products they currently use that will help you ask for the sale.
Teach them How to Style their New Hair
A little lesson in styling goes a long way. Teach them how to hold the iron to get that fancy new wave. Show them the best way to style their new bangs. Show them how much of the product to use. Have them apply it and smell it. Make sure you allow them a hands-on experience so they feel comfortable when they get home.
Ask for the Sale
Hopefully during that super awesome consultation you are now doing, you threw in a few product recommendations that will support their home care hair needs. Bring those products to show them before they leave the chair. If you can’t show them at the chair, show them before they check out. Ask if they would like to take home the products and then say nothing at all. Let them decide.
Don’t Rush them out the Door
Even if your next client is coming in 5 minutes, or perhaps they have arrived early. Make sure the client in the chair is receiving your full attention and a great service during their entire visit. If you need to excuse yourself to greet the next client, that is fine and your clients will understand as long as you communicate. Leaving the next client to sit without an update is just plain wrong. You’re existing client will appreciate you not rushing them out of the chair, and your next client will see that you truly care about them. On a side note, getting wrapped up in chatting, gossiping, talking with your hands is not an excuse to run late. Be considerate of everyone’s time.
Pre-book, Pre-book, Pre-book
Every time someone checks out, make sure you offer them an appointment 4 to 6 weeks out. Don’t ask, just say to them “Let’s go ahead and schedule your next appointment (enter date here).” If they say no, check your notes and personalize it, “Let me look and see where 6 weeks falls, I know you prefer Saturdays and those can fill quickly, you can always let me know if you need to reschedule.”
Call them 3 to 5 Days After their Visit
Bear with me here, this is a big one. After a new client sits in your chair for the first time, it is great practice to call and check in with them 3 to 5 days later. Just be natural and show them you care, say “Hi this is (insert name here) and I am checking in to see how you are enjoying your new cut and/or color. How is the styling going? Are you enjoying your new products? Is there anything else I can help you with?
Existing clients making a cut and color change, big or small, should receive the same courtesy. This will help make your clients feel special, which they are, and if they were not as happy as you thought, allow them an opportunity to let you know and you can fix it. This will help your clients see your value instead of being unhappy and moving on to another stylist.