Expert Advice

Are Salon Clients Guests?

Carlos Valenzuela | June 27, 2016 | 9:42 AM

Is someone who hires you for a specific job a guest? Not in my opinion. People who sit in my salon chair are clients, not guests. I can fire a client—and they can certainly fire me. Isn’t a guest someone you invite into your home, arrives and usually leaves on time, compliments decorating efforts, eats what you put on their plate all the while claiming a good time?

A client arrives with a pay for service mindset that turns testy when value is not apparent—how testy depends on your degree of departure from a business into a personal relationship that, in the client’s mind, caused the mediocre outcome. Why not take the high road and keep your professional guard up by sticking to skillfully played out professional service concepts? In other words, don’t get distracted with chitchat--be ON.

Think about it: clients, not guests, pay your bills. I know what you are thinking, “But my clients are my friends, what’s wrong with them being my besties?” Nothing--if you are satisfied with your income, client load and creativity. If you can say, “I’m good” and clients understand you have a job to do and remain open to your professional moves.  

You could not be  reaching your goals because it’s tough to be at your professional best with friends, after all, friends don’t hustle friends. Case in point: you follow a system to make your weekly income: a consultation, followed by a service, upselling opportunities, retail, rebook, and so on, its difficult to play this out when someone just confided they are having a bad day or late with rent.  

A curious side note: when I cut hair, I don’t carry on conversations, I usually offer, “I don’t talk much when I cut hair, but I listen well, don’t think I’m being rude.” A majority of clients respond, “I prefer not to talk myself.” One client thought it best I concentrate on my work, after all, she said, I am going to be wearing it. This is the mind of a client not a guest.

I think your bottom line improves when you keep salon visitors as clients.

You can always turn to your fabulous friendships outside the salon.

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