Inspiration can come at the least suspecting times in the least suspecting places.. I’ve gotten ideas for my articles sitting in an airport, hanging by the pool, talking to clients, from a commercial on TV or the radio, from my dogs…..the list goes on and on.

I think about that a lot, because I remember when I first starting writing for a magazine several, several years ago. The Magazine director told me the first article is always the easiest. "It’s the ones that follow that are extremely difficult".
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just blessed with the gift to gab. Maybe I’m still a sponge and I just soak in everything around me. I don’t know, whatever it is I feel blessed. And sometimes, I just give myself a high five because I once again was able to turn an experience into a learning adventure.

I’m in CT combining Business with pleasure.  I’m excited to be able to attend the open house of one of the great brands I carry while being able to visit with my Daughter at the same time.  Not only do I get some one on one time with my daughter, but I’m finally getting some pizzaz put in my hair after 6 long months of waiting.

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Salon she works at. Salt!  It’s so New England like.  Loving it.  It’s a Hair Salon only.  No waxing, no nails, no pedicures. There are 7 hair stations, 6 sinks.  It’s clean, it’s spacious…very tastefully done.

However, it’s what I’m witnessing watching the team of Salt and their interaction with their clients which, brings me to writing this article.

It’s not the first time I’ve shared my thoughts on offering the proper client consultation.  And, I know many of you still don’t even do one.

We talk all the time about the needs of the clients. We talk about what we should or shouldn’t do. We base their needs off of the condition of their skin and we perform their service based primarily on their health condition.  Or, at least we should.

What I’m witnessing here today however, is an entirely different approach.  Brilliant….I love it….it’s certainly a goose bump moment.

SMILE

Let’s start with the reception

  • The receptionist greeted each client (5 within a 10 minute period) with a warm yet professional greeting
  • She either knew their name or asked
  • She confirmed who they were scheduled with
  • She offered them something to drink

For me…it was the consistency.  Every person was welcomed in the same manner.  This is so important.  I can’t tell you how many times I go into the Salon I have been going to for years….and it’s hit or miss.  Sometimes the girls (including the receptionist) say hello, sometimes they offer coffee and sometimes even my Nail Tech is so busy she barely says to words to me.  I don’t always feel welcomed nor appreciated.

It doesn't matter how long your client has been your client

She/he should be treated with the same greeting as if she/he were new

The phone call

I heard the receptionist talk with a new client over the phone who was booking an appointment.  She was so detailed.  She wasn’t so interested in how she found them, she was very interested in what her hair concerns are.  Details!  Length, color, condition.  In addition to   inquiring what she’s expecting.  What doe SHE want.  Also in the conversation she requested a picture to be emailed…..while she was on the  phone.  I love it!  She took her time on this first initial phone call to  find out exactly what the need of the client is.  How do you think the client feels?

In addition, by doing this, she knows exactly the amount of time to book out for the Technician.

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These were all goosebump moments for me.  Professionalism at it's best

However, what I witnessed next was really what got me excited

The 5 clients who came in were now at their perspective Technicians stations.  Every single Technician was sitting in a chair next to their client having a conversation.  One on one - face to face contact.  I couldn’t hear all the conversations but what I did hear ranged from a simple “how are you doing?” To “how did you like your hair since your last appointment?”  “Would you change anything?”.  What I loved was the personal touch.  It wasn’t rushed, it was calculated, measured and served to perfection.

Now, I happen to know the team at Salt do not double book.  They spend 3-4 hours with their clients and they are with them from start to finish.  The clients pay heavily for this…wouldn’t you?  Undivided attention, detailed from start to finish meticulous, welcoming, knowledgable…..simply amazing.

Using this system in our Pedicure rooms is not far fetched.  I have clients all the time send me pictures of their clients feet wanting to know what they should recommend.  Why not do request the same from your new clients during the phone call conversation?

Are you taking the time to talk with your already existing clients when they come back in?  Or, are you so casual with the routine you just sit them in your chair and start them soaking?  Do you even know if they were happy with their last service? Do they feel any improvement in the skin on their feet from the last pedicure?  How long did they feel the affects from their pedicure?  Have they been using their at home care products?  Is there anything they would change?  Maybe the shape of their toenails, the length of the massage or maybe they don’t like the callous debriment process.  Any and all of the above is going to affect the way they feel when they leave your chair.

So maybe you have to add 15 minutes to the time of your booking.  Charge accordingly, but make it worth it. When you charge what you are worth not what you think you are worth….life changes drastically.

How do you begin?

To start with, know your questions.  Take the time to devise exactly what you need and/or want to know from your new potential clients.  Write the script.

Once you write the script make sure “everyone” follows it.  Do you have a receptionist?  Or, does anyone and everyone answer the phone.  Regardless of who it is…..make them follow the script and stick to it.

Get pictures…I’ve said this before, I think the idea (which got from Salt) is a fantastic idea.  How many times have you scheduled time for a client, only to find out you need more?  By seeing a picture of the skin of their feet prior to booking the appointment YOU, as the Technician have the ability to advise them it will take longer than a typical pedicure.  Customize your service.

Be personal.  I don’t mean ask about the husband and the kids…I mean get down to the gritty of why are they there? Do they have interest in solving the concerns with the skin on their feet? Will they commit to at home care products for maintenance?  What do they like?  Do they want you to talk during the service or would they rather lay their head back and relax.?  These are just a few…..seriously customize the service.

Lastly…charge- charge - charge.  Okay, maybe you don’t feel you can go that route with your existing clients.  I get that.  However, start NOW with your new clients.  I guarantee you, once you get started and offer a personalized service, pricing accordingly becomes natural.  And….take the time to make your client aware….if they use their at home care products, your job won’t be so difficult and their next service would cost less.  Well, maybe not use the word difficult, but you know what I mean.

The final touch…..Salt has a menu from their local restaurant.  Not a huge menu, just offering a few tasteful items.  If you order from the menu, it goes on your SALT bill and you pay everything in the end.  Salt pays the restaurant for the food.  Convenient offering at no cost to you.  Brilliant!

Get inspired.  Go visit other Salons.  Watch, listen learn. Allow yourself to feed off of what other people do well. Turn these inspirations into positive changes and from this, watch your profits soar.

CJ Murray