My Top Four Tips For Consultations

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Consultations are our number one most important thing where we come up with a plan for our clients hair, discuss goals, cans or cannots, talk price, product & maintenance. It’s also our #1 thing stylists get wrong because we’re not spending enough time creating a plan, saying no, doing a test strand or incorrectly communicating.

I’m going to share some things I’ve done wrong in a consultation (no guys I’m not perfect), some tips & things I’ve learned from years of being behind the chair and from numerous educational courses focused on this one thing alone!

Here’s my tips for setting YOU stylists up for a better and more thorough consultation process!

Tip #1:

I require all new color clients to do a PRE consultation before their appointment. (If you want to see it I’ll link it here)

Clients fill out a questionaire on my website that gets emailed directly to my inbox so we can chat further BEFORE making their appointment:

It looks like this:

Each of these questions are equally important because sometimes a client would say “all over color” for #2 but in #3 say something like “want to touch up my platinum roots” and in #4 say “I’ve been growing my hair out for 6 months and haven’t gotten it done so it’s virgin.” <— which we all know it’s not!

After recieving their PRE consultation questionaire i ask them more open ended questions based on their answers like:
-Are you looking for any kinds of a change or are you happy with your hair currently?

-Have you been getting your hair done professionally in a salon or have you been touching it up at home?

I always ask for photos of their hair in NATURAL light and for inspiration photos! (read my blog post on how to pick the perfect inspiration photos here)

These questions and photos help me see immediately if a goal can be achieved with “one” appointment or if they need to come in to the salon for an IN-person consultation.

Tip #2:

When you’re doing your consultation in person before their appointment (using the information you got during your PRE consultation) BE EYE LEVEL. *let me repeat myself* EYE LEVEL.

This leaves a couple options;

-sit with them in the waiting area

-take them to your processing area where maybe you can both sit on a couch together

-sit them in your chair and pump their chair up or down dependent on your height

-sit on a cutting stool

Based on my PRE consultation I ask more questions, here’s some examples;

-tell me about your last hair service/s⠀

-we were chatting via email about x, y & z. Let’s talk a little further about z & x!

-in our e-mails your inspiration photos all had some similarities but also some differences lets talk about them etc.

Why I recommend being at eye level with clients during their consultation is because you convey so much when you tower over people. It can make them feel small, overwhelmed, less in control or in charge!

You can also lower or heighten your chair based on the way your client is communicating by reading their body language, more in TIP #3!

Tip #3:

I’m dedicating an entire tip to BODY LANGUAGE or non-verbal communication!⠀

Did you know only 7% of communication is verbal??? Leaving 93% non-verbal and a whopping 55% of that being body language??

One thing we’re not paying attention to while we’re trying to read our clients body language is our OWN body language. Yesterday I shared in my #3 advice regarding having your clients at EYE level.

Did you also know that having your chair at certain heights sends subliminal messages??

-By having your client HIGHER than you, you can convey sympathy which would be good in a situation where a client is telling you something about their last service going awry.

-It can also help a client feel more like they’re in power if you can tell they’re having a hard time verbally communicating their service goals.⠀

By having your client lower than you, you convey that YOU’RE in power. For instance;

-maybe you need to say no to a service or you’re having a hard time verbally communicating with your client and need to regain control over the consultation. 

There’s so many ways to read or MISread body language! And it’s soooo important for stylists to learn how to properly read or notice what their own body language is conveying!

Tip #4:

We’re wrapping up our blog post with a story about a consultation gone wrong because I forgot a MAJOR detail. 

During a consultation a client told me she had box colored her hair black a couple months previous.

I still applied her beautiful balayage thinking it was no big deal and processed for 45 minutes… 

There was no lift whatsoever. None. 

When I asked her again about the box color she said “I’ve been doing it every couple months since I was 16”

I should have done a test strand! I would have discovered there wouldn’t be any lift and have gone about her service in a completely different way. 

A test strand is a road map showing us how to properly lift your clients hair and what it will or won’t do! 

I do admit I only do a test strand on about 7 out of 10 new clients but it’s something I’m practicing more!