The day I realized the most important part of this business beyond the physical skills needed is the ability to actually talk to folks and find the clues about them that will help you achieve the result they are expecting, “The Art of Consultation.”
Something about that moment clicked. I’m saying to myself this client is asking me things that I should already be telling her. I’m the one that should be asking her questions. This is the only way to get to know her in a way that will help me recreate her vision of herself today.
I always conduct my consult somewhere other then my station. I feel its more personal that way.
Beginning with the basic question: What brings you to our salon today. I will allow that conversation to take me into questions about what they didn’t like about their previous experience, what they don’t like about their hair. What are their personal struggles with styling, using products, etc?
From that point I will take this consult to a more personal level. What do you do for a living, are you married, do you have children. The answers to these questions help me visualize what this client’s day-to-day life looks like. It helps me determine what kind of commitment to her routine she is willing to make. Which will ultimately help me to guide her towards hairstyles that not only suit her personality but also allow me to give her something she will successfully be able to recreate at home.
One mistake young stylists make is to give the client exactly what she asks for without finding out this critical information. Its thought process we learn in school. The goal is to please the customer is what we are told. Immaturity and low confidence causes us to believe giving them what they ask for is pleasing them. As your confidence in yourself and your work rises you realize you need to take control of the conversation and educate your client. Its our job to use our knowledge to help them find a style they love and feel confident doing every time the pick up their own tools at home. We can create any style, any look with our tools and skills but the key to success is making sure your client can replicate that at home. If she can’t then you will have failed and she will eventually become frustrated and move on…. A good consultation is the pathway to success…