The clock says 10:55. Their appointment is at 11. The sweaty palms set in and the butterflies begin to flutter. This guest is new. All you know is their name. Questions race through your mind- Are they going to be nice? What kind of style will they want? How old? Will I be able to make them happy?
Author of “The Fear Project,” Jaimal Yogis explains the first heart flutter might cause someone to think negatively about an outcome. But as a person’s heart rate and fluttering increase, the thought becomes excitement and positive anticipation. He encourages readers to wait for those nerves to progress and think, “I’m prepared.” “This is going to be fun.”
We have all been there. I know I’m still edgy every time a new guest is on my schedule. I begin to question all of my hard work, my education and skills that I show off every day in the salon without a second thought. Why should this guest be any different?
The answer is they shouldn’t. But the fear of the unknown takes over and we have to overcome it everyday to retain clients, sell retail and market ourselves. I’ve been in the industry long enough to do it without noticing anything happened. I am simply confident in the time and effort I have put into my craft.
This concept sparked a thought. What is the new guest thinking? They are trusting a new place and a new person to maintain and/or transform their outer appearance. They might ask themselves questions-Will they be nice? Will they know what they’re doing? I wonder if they know how to balayage…
Well, don’t fret. They are just as scared. The owner of my salon once told me she heard a statistic that more than 50% of women are more scared to see a stylist for the first time then a new gynecologist. The Urban Dictionary has even dubbed the term, tonsurephobia, to mean the fear of haircut or getting your haircut.
In most cases the phobia is most likely caused by a previous hack job or nightmare color gone wrong to make the person think all hairstylist must be incompetent. We must show these types of new guests a calm demeanor and worthy confidence. They need to know we aren’t frantic and inexperienced- even if we are!
The bottom line is we are the experts. We must figure out a way to marry the technical, social and professional aspect of cosmetology in every service provided. Happy guests tell friends and word of mouth is the best free advertising and brings in…new guests. Let the sweaty palms commence.