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Hairstylist Confidence: 7 Tips For Communicating With Clients

Hairstylist in hair salon

What do you call it? A consultation. A new client sesh. An assessment. Or something else?

Whatever you call it, the first time you meet with a new client, the outcome can make or break your business.

Maybe that sounds overly dramatic. But the truth is if you don’t crush your consultations with your new clients, you won’t be able to grow your business because they won’t rebook.

Even if you’re completely booked now – things change. People move. Or they have a change of heart or circumstances and they bounce. Life happens and suddenly you find your books…well, not booked!

The Best Way To Handle Change Is To Prepare For It

The most important thing to do when you’re building or re-building your business is to master a great client consultation.

You’ll need these skills for new clients as well as when an existing client asks for a drastically different hairstyle or if they’re going through an illness, taking new medication, or a hormonal change such as pregnancy or menopause.

All of those scenarios should prompt you to perform a consultation because they all involve change. You don’t want to make assumptions that could end badly.

In a past blog, I went into further detail about doing the physical assessment of a client’s hair but this blog is going to take a deeper dive into the communication aspect of the consultation.

Clear Communication Is Key

These days we do much of our communicating through a quick text or DM. A couple of clicks (throw in an emoji or two) and we’re good!

But the actual face-to-face communication can be a bit more challenging. And if you’re shy or unsure of yourself, it can be a LOT more challenging.

No need to worry! With these tips and some practice, you’ll have the confidence to slay the communication part of your consultations in no time.

Here are my top communication tips to help you succeed:

1. Listen & Observe

We’ve often heard that the most important part of good communication is listening. While that’s true, I argue that it’s equally important to observe while listening. When you ask a new client what you can do for them, if you listen and observe, you’ll be able to learn so much more by not just what they say, but also by how they say it. What’s their tone of voice? What are their facial expressions while they talk? Do their words and actions match? Do they appear confident in the look they want or are they unsure? Do they make eye contact with you? Are their arms crossed in front of them? Or do they seem relaxed? Or are they just scrolling their phone and not really giving you any information at all? There are so many important clues you can gather during this part of the consultation when you look and listen.

2. Ask

Be prepared with your common questions so you have the information you need to provide the best service for your new client. It’s a good idea to prepare a cheat sheet of questions when you’re new and still learning what questions to ask. Another idea is to create a form with questions for each new client to fill out before or at the first appointment so you are prepared. The goal is to get the client engaged, and the best way to do that is by asking open-ended questions. You know, questions that can’t be answered merely with a yes or no response. Questions that start wi