If you’re looking to improve your salon consultation process, you’ve come to the right place! Read on as we walk you through the best ways to approach any client consultation, whether it is with a brand-new client or an existing client looking to switch up their look.
The importance of salon consultations
Salon consultations are the first step in discovering your client’s hair history, goals and any hair-spiration they may have. And whilst it may be tempting to jump straight in as soon as your client sits down in the chair, you must take the time to open up the lines of communication between you and your client to ensure you are both on the same page.
Not only will a great salon consultation ensure that both parties are happy with the plan and overall goal, but it also helps to build up trust between you and your client, demonstrating your integrity and encouraging them to rebook with you time and time again.
Related: Make Salon Clients Repeat Customers!
Consultation techniques in the salon
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Client consultations are essentially a fact-finding exercise. If it’s your first meeting with this client, start by introducing yourself and telling them about your expertise. This will help a new client to feel at ease with you. After all, the salon environment can be daunting for some clients.
You may then invite the client to sit down at the styling station where you can sit next to them to continue the conversation. Alternatively, if you need to touch your client’s hair to gauge its thickness, condition and texture, you can stand behind them as you both look in the mirror to talk.
1. Ensure that your attention is fully focused on your client.
First impressions count, so maintain good eye contact throughout. Your client wants to feel like they are the most important person in the room. By ignoring other distractions within the bustling salon environment, you are demonstrating to your client that you care about them and are focused on providing them with a fantastic service.
2. Discover the facts about your client’s relationship with their hair.
You may have a consultation form template on your tablet or phone, or you may use a printout. Whichever way you choose to record the information, it’s always good to take notes at every consultation to store on your client’s file.
Ask plenty of questions about their general lifestyle, as well as asking about how much time they spend on their hair, what kind of products they use, and their everyday styling routine.
All of this information will help you to paint a picture of your client’s relationship with their hair. You may also ask about some of their best and worst hairstyles or colours to see what does and does not appeal to them.
3. Discuss your client’s hair goal and source of inspiration.
Once you have the background information, you can discuss what your client wants to achieve with their potential new look. Encourage them to show you pictures of hairstyles or hair colours that they like so you can gauge their preferences.
4. Set expectations.
Now that you know what your client is looking for and you’ve got their hair history, you can discuss the possibilities and requirements of achieving the final desired look.
At this point, you should set your client’s expectations on how many appointments are required to achieve the final goal and an idea of the costs involved, especially if a particularly technical service is required.
You may also want to use this opportunity to introduce your client to some of the salon retail brands and products that are available for their specific hair type or goal.
Remember, clients have booked in with you, as you’re the expert in the business of hair. Feel free to offer suggestions based on your experience, and they may be open to fresh ideas.
Examples of good salon consultation questions to ask your client.
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- Do you have a sensitive scalp or allergies to specific ingredients, such as PPD?
- How do you feel about the current condition of your hair?
- What is your biggest challenge with your hair at the moment?
- How often do you wash your hair?
- How much time do you spend styling your hair each day?
- What do you do with your hair if you are going somewhere special?
- What do you like most about your hair?
- What has been your best /worst haircut/ colour…and why?
- What products do you use on your hair at home?
- What styling tools do you use on your hair?
- Who’s hair do you aspire towards?
- Do you have any inspiration images to show me?
Related: Top tips to get more clients
What not to do during a salon consultation
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Don’t be judgemental.
It is important that you remain judgement free during your salon consultation. For example, a client you have never met before may come into the salon with seriously damaged hair, or they may only be able to afford to use the most inexpensive hair products. As a salon professional, your job is to offer the most constructive feedback to get the best outcome for your client based on their lifestyle factors and budget.
Don’t become distracted.
For new clients, this consultation could be the deciding factor between them returning to you as their regular hair care professional. If the client senses that you are distracted and not really focusing on the consultation, they may feel like they are unimportant to you and never return.
Don’t disregard the client’s thoughts.
A client may sit in your chair and have wildly unrealistic expectations about what is achievable with their hair. For example, they have box-dyed black hair and want to achieve golden blonde balayage in one session. The reason for them thinking this is probably because nobody has ever walked them through the technical process of going blonder.
It is your job to educate your clients on what is and is not possible for their hair, ensuring that they feel heard and understood instead of being dismissive of any ideas they have.
A good salon consultation is the starting point of a long, open professional relationship with your client.
Will you try some of these ideas at your next client consultation?
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