Every salon owner wants clients raving about their salon, rebooking as soon as the opportunity arises, spending money on retail every visit and, of course, recommending you to friends and family. These things are excellent for your reputation, bottom line and the continued success of your business.
Imagine if there was a way to wow your clients, elicit glowing reviews and achieve all of the above outcomes every single day? The great news is there is, and it’s as simple as introducing in depth consultations to your salon.
Terrific consultations are one of the best salon marketing tools you have and can be a win-win for your team and your clients. Excellent consultations improve the chances of your clients:
- Feeling valued
- Recommending you to others
- Rebooking as they leave
- Booking an upgraded treatment in the future
- Purchasing a retail product
- Reducing time between appointments
- Glowing online reviews
All of this, directly or indirectly, leads to more money in your team’s pockets. Not to mention, your till. It’s important to educate your staff so they know exactly what is required when it comes salon consultations. Here are some of the main areas to cover when training your staff.
- Listen hard. Learn much.
Make sure you take the time to really listen to what your client is telling you. This includes not making assumptions – you may have known your client for many years, so it’s easy to assume you understand their concerns. However, circumstances change and your client may be interested in hearing their options and finding out more about how their goals can be achieved.
- Think about body language
You want to make your client feel as comfortable as possible when you carry out a consultation. Using positive body language and fostering a nurturing environment can help to achieve this. Ensure you always sit at the same level as your client, while respecting their personal space. Avoid crossed arms and legs and, where possible, match the posture of your client. Use everyday language (not therapist jargon) to ensure the client understands what you’re suggesting and last but not least, use their name and smile.
- Open questions
A perfect consultation begins with getting to know your client – don’t be scared to ask wider, more personalised questions so you fully understand their circumstances. Always ask open questions, rather than closed ones to truly understand your client. An open question is one that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, but encourages someone to give a more detailed response. Asking open questions means you stay in control of the consultation and unrealistic client expectations don’t arise. Always be sure to take notes throughout so you don’t have to ask the same questions at the next appointment.
- Up sell your salon services
A great consultation can enable your therapists to add value for clients while also up selling services. Encourage your team to suggest and explore relevant options for their clients – this could include trying a new, more expensive treatment, adding an extra service or simply upgrading to a premium service, rather than the base line. Often your clients will simply not know about their options so a consultation can be a great excuse to make clients aware of the additional services available to them.
- Check, check and check again
A consultation is the time to double check that you and your client are on the same page about everything; it’s too late once you’ve begun the treatment. Make sure you’re clear about prices during the consultation (especially when upselling). Give your client some time and space to think before having to make a decision and run through your suggestions again prior to asking for a final decision. If it is not a clear yes, you should leave it to be discussed at the next appointment.
- Consultations sell retail
If you want to sell more retail products, consultations may be the answer. By deciphering your client’s concerns at the beginning of the visit you can then tailor the conversation during treatments around any particular products that may resolve their problems. Ask about their routine at home and use this as an opening to introduce your retail recommendations.
- Role play builds confidence
Role play can be a powerful way to boost confidence in your less self-assured therapists. When it comes to consultations, it really is a case of practice makes perfect. Get your staff to pair up and then run through different salon scenarios to ensure everyone is confident in consulting.
As with all of your marketing efforts, make sure you measure the effectiveness of your consultations to see what they’re adding to your bottom line. Compare things like retail sales per therapist, rebooking rate, turnover, complaints and reviews from before and after introducing consultations to see the results. Reward those therapists who reach their goals and mentor those who need more confidence.
Salon consultations can be a win-win for your staff and your clients. While clients will feel extra special and be made aware of the amazing services available to them, your team will shine in the knowledge that they are truly helping your customers and your business. Always remember that a well-handled client consultation is salon marketing gold.
For more advice on how to achieve the perfect salon consultation, get in touch with Beauty Salons Coach today!