Last week I wrote about what NOT to say. I wanted to follow up in this blog with
what NOT to say in regard to your client consultation.

This is an area of which many Technicians are intimidated by. I can certainly relate - in my prior years. However, as I become more educated and more confident in my approach, I understand if you follow a system, if you repeat the same steps always, and if you learn to communicate properly with your clients….your clients consultation can not only PYA, it can lead into a new revenue stream of income. Retail!

I have to give credit where credit is due. My knowledge that I’m about to share with you now, came from my daughter when she worked as a stylist at a Salon here in Florida. It was her early days of her career and the owner of the Salon she worked was very savvy when it came to selling retail.
I remember my daughter going on and on complaining about the push to sell retail and then being extremely excited when she “followed the system” and it worked.  In fact, she recently shared with me the very same situation at where she currently works.
For me, I firmly believe when we just take the time (as we should) to do a visual consultation on our clients, THAT step alone opens the door for us. You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t automatically justify why their feet are dry or cracked. This happens in every demo I do. It’s just crazy and it’s so easy.

To begin with, if you do NOT do a visual consultation on your client prior to placing them in the water….you are flat out wrong.  There are far too many risk for you and your clients these days.  We have got to take as many precautions as possible in order to protect ourselves from liability and your clients from infection.  Ladies and gentlemen.  We are living in a completely different world today.  The saying PYA has more meaning today than it did when I learned it 30+ years ago.  

Knowledge is power

What does a visual consultation do?  To begin with it instructs us as Technicians whether or not we should even be touching our clients feet.  Severe fissures and ragades must be managed differently than just basic dry or rough skin.  

2nd, I know I sound like a broken record, however….we are many times the 1st responders.  Looking at our clients skin AND their toenails for anything out of the ordinary is part of our job now.  NO, I am not suggesting you diagnose.  I am suggesting you be aware of what you see and refer your client to a medical professional if necessary.  

3rd, when looking at your clients feet, you aren’t just looking at what you can and can not do to them.  You should be processing in your own mind, what product you need to recommend to them for at home care.  

While performing your visual consultation, verbal consultation is just as important.  We know to ask the basic questions regarding health (I hope). Do you know what other questions need to be asked and the proper way to communicate those questions?

Listen to your clients

Let's look at this one scenario...

Mrs. Smith…….”do you like your feet”?  NO, says Mrs. Smith

Or

Mrs. Smith…..”tell me something you like about your feet”.  I like how small they are she says.

Then

Mrs. Smith…. “Tell me something you don’t like about your feet”.  Well, I don’t like that they are dry, and cracked especially in the winter time.

The point here is you have started a conversation. 

Asking a closed ended question, leads the conversation no where. 

Let’s look at some do’s and don’ts of proper communication in our verbal consultation.

Don’t

  1. Ask a closed ended question-ask questions which will force your clients to tell you their story
  2. Let your client believe that all can be solved in 1 session.  If they are severely dry and cracked, it took more then one day for them to get that way,
  3. Wait for your client to ask what they need.  However, if you are communicating with them properly, they will want to know what you would suggest for their problem to be solved.
  4. Overwhelm them.  If they are cracked AND dry, manage one problem at a time.

Do

  • Ask what they are hoping to achieve today?  This is a very important question which I bet many of you don't ask.  Do they want softer skin, or do they just want to relax and  care less about their skin at all?
  • Ask what their life style is.  How much time do they take in caring for the skin on their feet.  This question alone will help you determine which product might be best for them

If they are a daily maintenance person, a product for daily use is perfect.  However, if they are a "whenever person, a product which requires less application will work bets.

Remember.....we want them to use the products, we don't just want to sell it to them.

  • How do they feel about the condition of their feet?  If they say I don't care, it's your job to share with them why they should care.

Maybe your client doesn't even realize how their feet are.  Some clients have lived with dry skin their whole life....it just is.

It's important to note in our discussion with our clients, to be gentle with our conversations. Don't just say, "hey Mrs. Smith.....you're feet are really dry".  Ask?  "have you noticed you have a crack on your heel?"

You can then follow that up with your recommendation.

The art of communication is not your only gateway to selling products.

Product Knowledge allows you to demonstrate your brain power and leave no doubt or question behind the value of your own education.

Product knowledge also allows you the opportunity to explain professional products vs. store bought and/or professional services vs. home remedies.

If you are able to give them solutions to the problems you have identified in the consultation. You build credibility and you have a client for life.

If you skip this part, you can bet that when this client reads about ‘putting coconut oil on their skin daily, or Vicks vapor rub to cure fungus.....they will believe it.

and finally....

Great consultations are the best way to avoid salon complaints

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny. — Chinese proverb, unknown author

CJ Murray, President

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