Hello there, talented hairstylist. I’m your free and unsolicited beauty blog advice-giving business coach. One of the most iconic books that every girl boss, independent hairstylist and beauty entrepreneur, like yourself, should consider reading was written by none other than Dale Carnegie. Since you’re short on time and busy with running your hair salon business, here is a quick run-down of a few principles outlined by Dale Carnegie applied to beauty industry!
Say my name, say my name…
Dale Carnegie insisted that a person’s name was one of the most important sounds to them and boy was he right. Have you ever called someone the wrong name? Have you ever asked your repeat customers their names again? What can be worse than not recognizing your repeat customer by name!? Learn and use your customer names not just in the beginning of the interaction, such as ‘Hey, Julie, so happy to see you!’. But also repeat his or her name mid-consultation or mid hair appointment. How are we doing, Julie? Would you like another refreshment, Julie? I know, Julie, cats are so darn cute, how many do you have yourself? Trust me, this will make a difference in your reviews, recommendations and tips. Taking this further, make sure you use client names in digital interactions as well. If a client writes you on social media or finds you on Sizarz, type in their name when greeting them. The importance of one’s name is not limited to just physical interactions.
Whether you’re greeting your very first customer or saying hello to your returning clients, smiling is essential. A genuine and warm smile tells your guests that you value their business and you’re happy to see them! It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Now, don’t forget about the power of a good smile when it comes to your social media and #sizarz profile. Make sure that your photo icon and photos of yourself depict a smile so when clients find and want to book you, they feel an immediate welcome from your digital profile, just like they would in real life.
Become a good listener.
Listening skills are one of the toughest to develop. Good listening begins with genuine interest in your clients and their needs. Speak less and allow your clients to speak more. Don’t talk over them and don’t forget to ask open-ended questions so you can understand their needs best. Leading questions or close-ended questions that limit answers to yes or no may not be the best way to go, especially with new clients. Instead of asking, “Do you want to go chestnut for the fall?”, ask instead “Tell me more about the look you’d like to achieve this fall.” Listening doesn’t just happen in your chair at the salon, it’s also important to encourage people to talk about themselves when interacting through text, chat and other digital media. Display genuine interest, ask questions and inquire to see photos that inspired them this time around. Don’t assume — ask and listen! Your clients will absolutely love you for this.
You are not in the business of criticism.
One of the toughest skills to learn is to avoid criticizing people and complaining about things to customers and coworkers alike. This rule takes several forms in the beauty and hair care industry. For one, never criticize your customers! Let’s imagine that your new customer followed a YouTube tutorial on how to balayage at home and now they’re green and patchy like a Christmas tree. What they need is empathy, education and your help, not your criticism and judgment. Don’t complain about them damn YouTube DIY tutorials and don’t condemn customers for going DIY over coming to a professional. Carefully explore the reasons by letting the customer speak, display empathy (perhaps the customer is on a tight budget due to a job loss, or she simply overestimated her skills). Be a friend, not a critic! Educate without sounding condescending, help them, get them looking like a million bucks and send them home with your card and samples.
Now, don’t ever complain about your clients in front of others. Even if your clients themselves engage in ridicule of your patchy green-haired customer who just left, don’t ever engage into these conversations; remain polite and be an advocate for your clients. This will earn you respect and you’ll be known as the PRO, not the complainer or the critic. People will flock to you as they won’t be scared to be schooled by their stylist. Be the person who says, “It’s okay, we all make mistakes, now let’s see how we can make you look great and avoid this in the future.”
Become interested in your clients.
When working with people, you’ll notice that remembering details about your customers, like names of their children or pets, vacations they have planned, and more, can earn you a great caring reputation and excellent tips. The skill here is to become genuinely (not superficially) interested in others. Let your customers speak and tell you stories, don’t turn the appointment into a monologue and talk about things that you care about and not them. Write down things that you can follow-up on next time in small talk when your client comes back. Did your client tell you about an upcoming vacation to Mexico? Ask her how it went next time, and be genuine about it! Ask for details, be interested, inquire to see photos, and just show that you care. This is a people business and showing interest in your customers is a great way to succeed in this tough and competitive climate!
Did you enjoy this article? Would you like us to cover the rest of Dale Carnegie principles applied to beauty industry? Let us know on our Instagram @keepitstyled.
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