Business Tips

Could Your Consultation Be Costing You and Your Clients Peace of Mind?

By Amanda Risser | 

Okay ya’ll. How many times have you breezed through a consultation, gotten into your color application and realized… oh shit. This is a way bigger project than I thought! We’ve all been there at one point or another. You’re painting your balayage… and painting and painting and painting. You’ve used four bowls of lightener and counting. You’re sweating from the two hours of application and are astounded by how much hair this girl actually has! And then if that wasn’t enough, you’re starting to realize that you didn’t quote her enough (or at all). Your next guest will be here in 30mins and there’s no way you’re going to make this girl as blonde as you had hoped.

Now you’re having that internal panic. “Should I just paint less panels in the back to get done faster?” “Should I just tell her now that she has thick hair and it will cost extra?” “Hurry up! Smile and keep her happy! Don’t let her know I’m doing all this math in my head!” Girl, we’ve all been there. Client leaves unhappy. Not nearly as close to their hair goals as they thought. Rushed out the door with a feeble “we’ll get you there next time” and a prayer that they come back to give you that chance. What if I told you there was a way to avoid all of this stress? That you could make your clients extremely happy without sacrificing your time or talent for free? I believe a lot of stylists suffer from saying yes too quickly. We could be the most talented stylist ever and still get in over our heads. And sure, we can totally achieve the look they want. But it’s not about the look. It’s about the CONSULTATION.

Let’s rewind and imagine. Same new client comes in for a full balayage. You take 15 mins to chat with her about her inspiration photo. But rather than rushing to get started, we have built-in some extra time to our service for quality communication. “How long has it been since you had your hair done?” “What have you done to your hair for the last two years?” “Okay, you have previous color? That means we might end up with some warmth today – and it may just take a couple sessions to actually achieve this platinum shade.” “Now that I’ve seen your hair goals and know what type of canvas we’re starting with… I will tell you it will take about 2 color sessions to get you there. I am confident that we can get you to a gorgeous light brunette today – what about something like this? (Insert your own Pinterest suggestion)”.” “And next time we can build on this foundation to get you those beigey blonde pieces you’ve been wanting! Plus, because were taking our time with it you’re hair will be so soft and healthy – it will thank you for being patient! Does this sound like a good plan to you? Is there anything I’m missing that you would like to address today?”

One of my mentors once gave me a great piece of advice, “Whoever is asking the questions is in charge.” Do you see how we flipped the script? By asking more questions we become the experts. We lead our clients into realistic expectations by gathering information and repeating it back to them in a way that gets them excited about what you’re going to do for them. Now your girl is so confident in you because she CAN TELL that you know what you’re talking about. She may not get exactly as light as she had hoped in one sitting, but you made a plan with her to achieve it in two sessions. She knows to expect some warmth. But that you can tone it to be a gorgeous brunette in the meantime. She’s excited about the journey – rather than dreading the brassiness she thinks she’s gonna have (Or worse, being surprised by a completely different result than the pic she showed you).  The point is, she knows you are on the same page because YOU showed HER a picture of what would look amazing on her for this stage of the process. She feels cared about because you took the time to make sure she felt heard and understood.

See what I’m getting at here? WE set the tone for the service. WE set the pace for the service. If we can find ways to guide our clients to realistic expectations in a way that makes them excited for their hair journey … girl, you’ll have a loyal client for LYFE! Just imagine how much confidence and CALM it will bring you to know that you are in control of the situation. How much more enjoyable would that be? When your consultation game is at its best, you can have peace of mind that your clients trust you and will be happy. Because you’re a GREAT COLORIST and now you’re a great COMMUNICATOR too.

Want more tips and talk about elevating your COMMUNICATION behind the chair? Follow me on Instagram @amandarisserhair 

Amanda Risser