Failed Consultations

There's one rule of thumb that we don't discuss when it comes to consultations and it is this:

 

WHEN CONSULTATIONS LAST LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES, THE CLIENT WILL BE UNHAPPY WITH THE SERVICE.

 

Why is that?

Indecision, indecision indecision.  There is a difference between offering options to a client, and a client having too many ideas and is unwilling to decide on an option.  You will know these clients from their behavior:

  • Shows multiple pictures each with a different look.  Includes phrases such as 'I like this but I also like this.'

  • Needs constant reassurance about their choice.

  • Fusses with hair while talking, doesn't meet your eyes.

  • Indecisive even after agreeing to a look.

  • Might use industry terms to describe their goal but those words and what they want do not match up.

 

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What is the best way to work with these clients? Start at the beginning. Instead of asking for pictures, ask how the client wants to feel. Younger? More modern? Happy? Bohemian? Sexy? Who doesn’t want to feel sexier…

If the client doesn’t know how they want to feel, be assured they know how they DON’T want to feel. ‘I don’t want to feel like a soccer mom’ is a phrase we hear often.

Avoid industry terms. This client does not care or even know what amazing technique you just learned in class. Keep it simple. Use feelings, use names of hues (opal, buttery, wheaty, chocolate) instead of what level you want to take them to. Don’t use specific measurements in a cut, use ‘collarbone’, ‘below jawline’, ‘shoulder blades’. Why? You are a craft hairdresser. We don’t go into restaurants and tell chefs how to make their entire meal. We don’t tell doctors what treatments to use.

If the clock is still ticking down and an agreement has still not been reached, remember to stay in control.  Sometimes these clients will require you to reschedule their appointment.  There have absolutely been situations where the client is so indecisive that they talk their way through the entire color consultation and the next client is waiting.  Stay in control. Control can mean saying ‘no’. This is not the end of the conversation; know the skills of the stylists near you and refer the client to them if it is within their specialty or reschedule the client on your books at a different time. ‘No’ does not have to be the final answer.

It's not called being a hardass.  It's called being a professional and refusing to be bullied into services that wont work.  Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness, even the indecisive clients.  There is also a difference between being reasonable and being a doormat, and we give you permission to be open and honest with the client in your chair.


Kate Wright, lead blogger

10 Steps For Proper Netiquette

Dear Abby,

It has come to my attention that with the predominance of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as the primary means of communication in today's world, some people don't know how to behave.  Cyber bullies and trolls and even normal netizens with opposing opinions lead the users of these platforms to act atrociously at times.  What's a gal to do?

Sincerely, 

Sick Of Idiots ~ NY, NY

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Dear Sick,

Facebook doesn't offer a finishing school, so I get it.  As a society we have forgotten the old adage: 'If You Have Nothing Nice To Say, Don't Say Anything At All.'  People with extremist views can connect with ease to hype each other up.  The ability to do honest research is plagued with fake news sites whose content is swallowed as the honest truth.  The soapbox set-up these sites allow us to stand on and shout our views often lead to real world consequences and every time the original poster seems surprised.  To limit collateral damage to mental health and actual careers, I have compiled a Top Ten List of Behaviors to Strive For And Avoid on the Internet.  Good luck!

  1. Adhere to the same standards you would use when communicating in real life.    

  2. Don't post angry.  Posting when under extreme emotion starts flame wars.  Use your internal pause button and really ask yourself 'would I be ok if my mom/best friend/grandparent/child read this?

  3. Use proper spelling and grammar.  In a world that is dominated by words, using them correctly boosts your online image.

  4. Be forgiving of other people's mistakes.  Sure, the same question asked over and over and over again might be frustrating, especially with search functions in Facebook groups and Google searches for the rest, but remember: not everyone has the same user savviness as you.  It takes less effort to scroll past an annoying post than it does to engage in it.

  5. Social media should not be updated more times than the amount of glasses of water you drank today.  Feed hogs are usually annoying.

  6. Don't mass message people.  Included in that are don't create groups and invite every person on your list to it just to hock a product.  

  7. Big Brother is watching.  Don't go in industry Facebook groups and be negative.  Most likely there are higher ups/salon owners/potential mentors seeing you act like a shit.  You could (and we've seen it happen) lose business opportunities.

  8. Instagram has a ton of bots.  Get a rush of adrenaline when a quasi-celeb likes your photo?  Don't.  The likelihood is that it's their PR firm or a 22-year old in marketing re-tweeting while on the 405.  Strive for the real life compliment, not a like button on the internet.

  9. Don't Feed the Trolls.  Conversely, don't be a troll.

  10. Say 'Please' and 'Thank You.'  Seriously.  This goes a long way.