Continued from Part 1…
And second…you must build trust
You will hear this time and again and it’ll never get old. “People like to do business with people they know, like and trust”. Even if you are at the beginning of your career or in a brand new place you can do very specific things to instill with people trust in your abilities and build your authority. And, if you’ve been doing this a long time…don’t rest on your laurels. Stay fresh and committed to doing your best every time. Your clients’ trust in you is a precious commodity.
What I find helps:
Active listening with open-ended questions
Have you heard you were given two ears and one mouth so that you would listen twice as much as you talk? This is sound advice! Ask your clients something other than yes or no questions and pay attention to their answers. If you’re not clear about what they said, ask another question. Repeat back what they said to you to make sure you’re on the same page and then decide on a plan for their hair, skin, makeup etc.
Scripts and consultation tools
I am a big fan of any kind of tool that makes my job easier. Spending money on fancy equipment will only get you so far if your communication skills are lacking. Scripts sound scary and stiff but they are simply a road map to help you get through the conversation. With practice, they become your own words and will roll off your tongue effortlessly. Having a list of questions to read off or a form to fill out can help if you’re nervous or afraid you’ll miss something (doctors do this all the time!)
Ours is a visual profession and I love it when clients bring in photos they aspire to. It makes a great starting point for creating a plan (for today and the future) or breaking down the completed look. I love using my iPad (or you can use any tablet or your smartphone) to inspire my clients, break down a colour process, craft a haircut or up-do or blend a few make-up ideas to create their perfect look. Showing your portfolio of work is even better!
Breaking things down into steps
This is a good practice that benefits both you and your guests. When you outline the steps of service, it not only helps you organize yourself but also impress upon your clients that you are a professional who has attention to detail. This is extremely valuable when you are consulting about services that require multiple steps or a maintenance program (like hair or lash extensions, corrective colour, highlighting and contouring, etc.). It is also effective in helping to explain pricing!
Solid pricing strategy
Don’t skip this part! Have your prices displayed and make sure they are communicated so that your clients are not surprised at the end of their appointment. It will help bolster your confidence and your guest’s confidence in you when you stand behind your prices. Make sure you are setting your prices to cover the real costs of your business and also to account for a healthy profit. Stay tuned for my strategies for charging what you’re worth in a future article.
Authentic and authoritative speech, posture and body language
While I’m not a total believer in the whole idea of “fake it ’til you make it”, there is something to be said about setting yourself up for success. So much of our success and general happiness in life has to do with our mindset. If you can get your mind around the idea that you know more than your clients and can speak with knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm, you have a very attractive cocktail for establishing trust. Be real, be you, but be the best version of yourself when you speak to your clients and put their fears to rest. You are there to take good care of them and everything you say, how you stand or sit and hold yourself should reassure your guest of that.
Know when to say “Not today”
As an industry, we aim to please. I don’t like saying “no” to my guests either. So I have come up with many other phrases (just like I did with my kids) to never have to. And I give them a good reason why “not today” and I have gained so much respect from my clients, because they know I am speaking as a professional who has their best interests at heart. I have also established reasonable boundaries with my guests about my time so that I never have to apologize for taking time to rest or be with my family. They encourage it! I am never demanding or rude and wouldn’t accept that from a client either.
Admit your shortcomings and mistakes and make them right
I don’t claim to be an expert on everything. After 25 years in the beauty industry, I have done just about everything and so not much intimidates me. I know my strengths and preferences. I have pretty much stopped doing services I no longer enjoy, so my days are filled with a lot of satisfaction. There were times, however, when I did services that weren’t my forte or sometimes a colour service went sideways and was not what the guest wanted. So I always took responsibility and made it right. A problem handled well, is not a problem after all.
Consistent branding and messaging
I saved this one to the end because I think it is important in establishing trust but isn’t often linked with consultations. However, half the battle of really connecting with your ideal customer is creating an authentic brand that attracts them to you in the first place. You will have an easier time consulting with someone who already has a sense of who you are and what you stand for. It helps to attract the kind of work you want to do, on the people who share your sense of style. They will be drawn to your message and your colours and your purpose.
These are just a sampling of what we get clear on when I work with my coaching clients. If you want to take your beauty business to the next level, hiring a coach can accelerate the process exponentially. I have been a hairstylist, esthetician and makeup artist and salon owner and I still work behind the chair, so I know everything you’re going through and can help you get where you want to be.
Book a FREE strategy call with me to see what the next 90 days could look like in your business.
I'm Sharon. I help beauty entrepreneurs style a life they love by teaching them how to make 6-figures (and beyond!) through my proven online and off-line strategies. Join me as I share my 25-year entrepreneurial journey to becoming unstoppable in beauty, business and life.