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Stylist Spotlight

The Cost of Being Casual

Jamie Newman | July 24, 2015 | 1:24 PM
Andis educator Danny Amorim keeps things professional while prepping for a photoshoot. Grooming: David Maderich for MAC Cosmetics // Fashion Styling: Rod Novoa assisted by Dennis Pinto (photo credit: Robert Ligresti)
Photo By Robert Ligresti

BEING BFFS WITH YOUR CLIENTS MIGHT NOT BE THE KEY TO MAKING MONEY—HERE'S WHY.

Stylists often put themselves at a bit of a disadvantage by generally being friendly and outgoing people who make connections easily. It’s not all bad, but it can be a bit of a double-edged sword when it comes to putting dollars in your pocket (and that should de­ nitely be a goal for you).

Carlos Valenzuela, stylist and author of i-Fabulous Salon Success, a success guide for new salon pros, says that “nothing wears professionalism down faster than making clients your best friends.” Before protesting that this is too harsh, consider trying to do business or sell to a friend: It’s a little awkward, and you might feel inclined to cut them a deal. If all of your clients are dear friends, you could feel uncomfortable trying to upsell them, retail to them or even have them pay full price for services.

“Notice that when you go to a high-priced place, they never show a slap-on-the-back attitude,” Valenzuela says. “They are friendly, courteous, but keep that professional distance to remind you that they are not there to hand out but to sell you something. It’s like they have a script. Bingo.”

That script is a good solution if you feel yourself getting overly chummy with clients. Make sure you know what your end-game is and how you’re going to get there; if you want to get an add-on service to every ticket or aim to retail one item to each client, plan to do so. This doesn’t mean you’re not being friendly to your clients, but make sure they see you as a valuable, worthwhile service provider.

“You must work in a salon to deliver incredible services and charge appropriately for every minute of your time versus going to do all your friends’ hair in their homes,” Valenzuela says. “With those earnings, you can then hang out with your friends, who are outside the salon.”

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