Salon Consultation 101
Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t have a horror story from the salon? It’s all too common for stylists and clients to speak the same language, but say different things. As a beauty professional, one of your most important skills is communication. It’s not what you ask, but how, that ensures every client leaves your chair happy and gorgeous.
Ask open-ended questions. Say your friend just returned from a vacation in Paris. You could ask them: Did you visit the Eiffel Tower? Did you eat an éclair? While these questions definitely make you sound interested, your friend hasn’t really told you anything about their vacation in their own words. You could instead ask them: What is your favorite sight? How do you like the cuisine? These open-ended questions cause your friend to open up and share a little more of their experience. The same rules apply during a consultation. Ask questions that get the conversation going. What is your biggest hair challenge? Tell me about your daily regimen. Whose hair do you admire most? As a hairstylist, the answers to these types of questions will provide you with more information faster.
Demonstrate what you mean. A trim can be a difference of inches to different people, and strawberry can range from light blonde to burgundy depending on who you ask. Because words don’t always tell the story, give your client a sense of perspective by demonstrating what you’re saying. Engage with them even further by touching their own hair, showing them samples of color, or demonstrating length with your fingers. Make real eye contact with your client, not looking down on them through the mirror. Consultations should always be face to face, ensuring the communication channels are open.
The consultation doesn’t have to end as soon as you pick up your shears. Continue discussing this new hairstyle with the client throughout the process. Advise them on what kind of products to use, how to style their new cut, or in how many weeks they should return. Keep asking questions, perhaps even the same question in different ways. By making sure you understand your client’s needs and desires, you can only ensure they will leave happy and feeling gorgeous.