As a freelancer, I meet a lot of people who complain to me about their current hairdresser.
What are they complaining about? Pricing.
It's not that clients don't want to pay us; they just want more transparency in our pricing. The future of great business is complete transparency. We have seen the failure of Main Street occur because of the errors, secrets, and the closed doors of Wall Street. Before we can create a solution we must identify the problems.
- Lack of transparency: This happens when we as hairdressers do not discuss pricing during the consultation. There is no quicker way to lose business than when you client is checking out and is surprised by the price. You may have just made $300 but you don't expect them to come back. You have just lost around $2400 for the year.
- Inconsistent pricing: This happens when we charge our clients $100 the first time, $110 the second time and $100 the third time. This happens all of the time. Whether it's a miscommunication between the front desk and the stylist or just laziness from the staff all together. This is slowly breaking down your clientele's trust with you and eventually will lead to yet another lost client.
- Inability to afford upkeep: This happens when we start to up-sell our clients and though they may be happy and excited for the change, they can't afford the upkeep. Now they either have to stay with you and face the embarrassment of telling you they can't afford it or find another person who will do what you did for cheaper. They may also just go get a box and do it themselves just to avoid having to speak with you about their financial situation.
These three problems are killing your business and can be solved by asking one simple and painless question:
What is your beauty budget?
Most of us have been educated on talking about pricing during the consultation but quite honestly, it's not happening in a productive way. This specific sentence of "what is your beauty budget" truly solves the top three problems regarding transparency and pricing. This question is also non-threatening and allows your client to speak honestly about their finances without embarrassment. This question should be asked right after your client describes what they are looking for. Not only does it allow you to help create a plan for someone who only wants to spend $200 for their total services instead of $300 but someone might come in with a budget of $500 but you were only going to perform a service that costs $100. Not only does it allow you help your clients save money but it also allows you to make more money! This question solves transparency issues, inconsistent pricing issues and upkeep issues. Guarantee future business with transparency.
So let me ask you, what is your beauty budget?