It’s safe to say everyone craves feeling understood, right?
It took me a long time of working as a hairstylist to realize that the biggest factor of my success was my communication.
And when I say that I mean, learning how to communicate. It wasn’t something I was ever taught or something I knew to be important. I just assumed (that’s a scary word to use and something I’ve learned I should never do) that people knew what I was talking about and if they didn’t it wasn’t my fault, it was theirs for not understanding. I never stopped to think that maybe I needed to learn how to communicate better.
After many years of rushing consultations and trying to understand my clients needs in three minutes or less I have found what works best for me and my clients is true connection and communication.
When I had my aha moment of realizing that I needed to take more time to communicate in life, but especially at work when I started carving out more time for my consultations.
If we don’t get it right then, then what’s the point of the rest of the appointment? If my client and I aren’t on the same page then there’s no point. And that’s where so many of the unhappy clients come from. Not making sure both stylist and client are envisioning the same outcome. Or understanding what is possible in that appointment.
Communication is just as important as the service itself.
That’s why for me and my biz I require 30 min paid consultations before I take on a new client. Before I even touch their hair. I have crafted my custom consultation form.
And if you’re thinking to yourself “That’s crazy!” don’t worry I’ve gotten plenty of hate mail for it, but not from clients only from other stylists.
Funnily enough, not one client has ever complained about it. It’s actually the opposite. They come because they love that someone is going to sit down with them (yep, that’s right. I sit down across from them. None of this standing behind them and talking over them. That doesn’t build trust and connection). So many of my clients have never had that before. Having me truly listen to them and say back to them what they just said so they know they are being heard and validated. That’s huge.
I make sure to hear them out and then let them know what I believe is achievable and realistic. Plus I get them to sign off on it all.
My consultation form is 5 pages, carefully crafted together so that by the end of that 30-minute conversation we not only understand each other but are excited for what’s next.
And the best part about this whole process is that it weeds out those clients that aren’t the right fit for me. Because their consultation appointment is an investment they do their research on me first and find out if my work and the way I do hair is something that aligns with them.
So what am I saying you should do? Sit down and think about what works best for you and your business. Is it carving out some extra time at the beginning of every appointment? It is having mandatory consultations for new clients? It took me trying out a couple different options before finding what fit best for my business.
So be inspired that you can change the way you do things and that you can learn to communicate more clearly. It’s possible, and I know you’ve got this. Don’t be scared to try new things and if it doesn’t work, use it as a learning lesson for the next time.