The topic of the Guest Consultation is often met with a big yawn when it comes to business education, yet savvy salon owners say it is a vital component of any successful salon business. The consultation helps to generate profit in the salon and establishes realistic guest expectations. Unfortunately, some overcomplicate it, or make it more time intensive than need be, which often becomes the perfect excuse to skip it entirely. Beware! Skipping the consultation can be a critical misstep in a successful service.
A good consultation is what gets to the root (no pun intended) of a guest’s desires, allowing a smart stylist to customize the service and exceed expectations. Remember, this is actually a tool for both stylist and guest. It sets the stylist up for success as a service provider, and ensures the guest receives an unforgettable service…one that she will talk about with friends and family time and again.
Photo: Janine Argila
For those stylists looking to hone consultation skills, and boost service revenue, below you'll find Eufora Educator Janine Argila's 4 Step Consultation process guaranteed to increase profit and spark business growth:
Step 1: Discovery
What does the guest really want? This is where you, as their stylist, get to figure out who that guest really is - not just what type of style they are looking for, but what makes them “tick.” What is their personality type, and what type of lifestyle do they live? All this is essential data when designing a finished look perfectly suited to a guest’s personal style. Not only is proper Discovery one sure way to establish trust, it also shows that you are a good listener and willing to adapt.
Step 2: Want Versus Need
Many guests come to the salon eager to tell you what they want, and some stylists might go ahead and do just that. Unfortunately, the guest’s request might not be well suited to them. Diving into current hair “habits” and hair condition will allow you to educate the guest on what would be needed to achieve their hair goals. Yes, of course, adding on lots of services can lead to profit, but this step should really focus on solving your guest’s problems. Think about it. How often does a guest say “my hair feels dry” or “my hair looks frizzy”? Both are common concerns, so you can surely get the guest out the door looking good, but did the guest really leave with the solution to the problem?
Rethink your guest interaction, and take advantage of the opportunity to explain what is needed before getting what they want. Ultimately, every guest wants to ensure their hair will look salon stellar long after they have paid the bill, so make sure they leave the salon with that sense of confidence.
Step 3: Prescription
Success! You created the look your guest wanted, and the service is complete…or is it? Does your guest go home and compromise your stellar service by using a random shampoo and conditioner not suited to her hair? For any stylist looking to create a walking advertisement for their work, this is truly unthinkable! You are in control only when you incorporate this important third step : Prescribe the right at home care, and ensure your work stays referral worthy. Don’t wait until the service is over to make recommendations. The conversation should start during Discovery, and always begin the actual service using verbiage something like “I hear you saying that your hair is really dry and unmanageable, so today I am going to use our smoothing shampoo and conditioner. You will feel what a difference it makes on your hair.” Remember, each step in the service can be another opportunity to prescribe a solution to a problem.
Step 4: Maintenance
Almost any hair style requires some type of Maintenance – everything from a hair cleansing routine, to styling time commitments and even frequency of salon visits for upkeep. Why wait until the end of the service to talk about your guest's next appointment or address home hair routines? A guest who has received a service that requires more time commitment than she can handle, or cares to undertake, will not be the walking advertisement that you covet. So, start with the end in mind. Lifestyle, and time invested in Maintenance, should have been established during Discovery. Then, together you can set realistic goals for future appointments as well as their at-home Maintenance program.
For those salon professionals interested in a deeper dive into the Guest Consultation, check out the Profitable Consultation course available online at Eufora University.
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