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5 Phrases That Will Transform Your Relationship with Your Clients

Elizabeth Jakaitis | March 15, 2016 | 10:38 AM
Kelly Bileddo and Rod Sickler with two hair models from their "Men Mean Business" class at America's Beauty Show 2016.

At America’s Beauty Show this past weekend, stylists Kelly Bileddo and Rod Sickler of Sexy Hair hosted a class called, “Men Mean Business,” where they offered five key phrases that can drastically improve your relationship with your male and female clients.

1. “These are the products I used on your hair, do you have any questions?”

RETAIL: It’s tough to ask clients to buy retail and many stylists don’t feel comfortable being salespeople. Bileddo and Sickler say you don’t have to be. Instead, be informative and share your expertise on the products you used to style the client’s hair that day. Then, be sure to ask the client if they have any questions. This ensures that the client gets all of the information he or she needs to recreate the style and you will have encouraged the client to buy product without feeling like you were pushy.

2. “Do you have time for that?”

UPSELLING: Like retail, there may be additional services you would like to offer your clients while they are in your chair, but you don’t want to push them into spending more than they can afford. Bileddo and Sickler suggest that you tell the client about the service and its price, then say, “do you have time for that?” For example, if you are giving a male client a haircut and beard trim, you could say, “I can do a neck shave, too, for $10—do you have time for that?” This way you have offered the service, given the client all of the information, and provided them with an easy out if they don’t want to add more money to their final bill.

3. “I can offer $10 off your next service with a referral.”

REFERRALS: One of the best ways to build your client base is by getting current clients to recommend you to their friends. That can be an awkward request to make, though. Bileddo offered this tip: Tell a new client, “I loved doing your hair and would love for you to come back. Here are my referral cards. Pass some out to your friends and I can offer $10 off your next service with each referral.” The discount will be well worth it if you earn a few new clients!

4. “Let me recap what I did for you today.”

CONCLUSION: To ensure that your client leaves feeling well cared for, conclude the service with a recap of everything you did. The client will appreciate your knowledge and attentiveness and this will give them an opening to ask any final questions that they may have. First impressions are impressions are important, but so are final impressions.

5. “You look beautiful.”

CLIENT BONDING: During the class, Sickler pointed out something that makes hairstyling different from other professions: hairstylists are in physical contact with their clients. Sickler joked that it would be pretty uncomfortable if a car salesman started giving you a neck massage while explaining why you should buy a certain car, but for hairstylists it’s different. Running your hands through someone’s hair is an intimate gesture, but it just comes with the territory of being a stylist and it is an important reason why people relish the salon experience. As a stylist, don’t forget that you offer something that some people may not get anywhere else. Make them feel pampered and cared for. Give them a new style or maintain their current style, then tell them that they look beautiful. 

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