new-client consultations

SCENARIO: A new client walks into your studio, and they show you an inspiration picture from Instagram or Pinterest. It's a beautiful picture of a copper balayage with sun-kissed ends. While this style would normally be vey doable, there is one problem. The client has never been to a professional hair stylist, and they recently used permanent black boxed hair dye. Surely this scenario isn't new to my fellow stylists. If it isn't permanent black hair dye, then it could be excessive bleaching or extremely dry hair that just doesn't want to hold color. Or on the flip side, maybe you are the client in this scenario in need of a dramatic hair transformation, and you don't understand why you need to spend money on a style that will soon require another visit to perfect it. Stylists, how do you satisfy new clients without discouraging them over the fact that their inspired hair style will take more than one process?  

SOLUTION: Establish trust, under promise, and schedule follow-up appointments.

Consultation is key to a loyal clientele.

Once you develop a trustworthy relationship with your new client, and you are understanding of each other, they will follow your instinct and become loyal to you and your work. Honesty is the most important aspect of a good relationship with your client. If the style they want is going to take more than one visit, tell them that at the beginning of the consultation. 

Avoid over promising.

I'm always realistic and honest.  I under promise because I never know how my new client's hair will react to color change or how well it will lighten. By being upfront at the start of the appointment, you establish trust and respect from your client, and they will come back in for multiple services to achieve their end goal.

let them know they fit into your schedule.

Once you and your new client determine that their style will take more than one process, be sure to emphasize that they fit into your busy schedule. If they cannot easily make a follow-up appointment with you, they are less likely to stay loyal to your services. Once I take in a new client, I let them know to contact me within a week for a simple retouch. But If they need a full color service, they contact me four weeks in advance to book an appt. 

How to give a consultation:

  1. Ask your client when they last colored their hair and what color they used.

  2. Ask them to describe and provide a picture of their inspired look, color, and style. providing a picture is highly recommended as it ensures that you and your client are on the same page.

  3. Advise them on what will complement their skin tone. (i.e. For darker, olive skin: Beige, Ash, neutral tones are best. For lighter, pale complexions: warm-gold-chocolate-copper-red tones are best.)

  4. Walk them through the different color sessions they will need (if more than one).

  5. offer your professional opinion on what will look best for their skin tone and overall hair integrity. 

Trust is built with consistency.

How do you handle new-client consultations? I would love for you to share your experiences, comments, and questions below!