How to Build a Clientele Part 2
Updated: Nov 9, 2018
Do it all with intention or not at all.
I hit on the very first steps of getting comfortable behind the chair and promoting yourself in Part 1.
Unfortunately it doesn't matter if you get people in your chair once...you've got to get them to come back!
Now, we are going to dig into a method that I use with all of my clients. I use this formula if I have been seeing you for 5 years, or if I have just met you.
I have to be honest, my new client retention rate is pretty high..am I that good at doing hair? I mean I'm experienced and I love it, but is there someone out there better than me? Um, YES! So, why do they come back? So glad you asked, I'm going to tell you!
5 Steps to treating every client experience with intention: (can we all just shed a little tear that I tried so hard to come up with an acronym, but it just didn't happen...unless we wanted to make "mepf" a thing, I could be totally down for that)
First impressions last! Meet your client, shake hands, offer them a drink, show them around the salon...in other words, make them feel at ease and comfortable from the moment they are turned over into your care.
2. Manage Expectations
Hello consultation! This is where you can execute the perfect consultation. This is also were as a new stylist you can confirm that you are in fact up to the task the client is asking for...if you're not (get the heck out of dodge) you can bow out very professionally and gracefully before going any further. Shoot, new or not new at this you have to bow out sometimes.
So, incase you haven't noticed I'm a total weirdo. I somehow have the memory of an elephant (they have good ones if you didn't know) and I am telling you, I can see a client 6 weeks later and remember what they were cooking for dinner last time they were in. Weird. But, people are always so blown away with the fact that I take time to remember such minor things about them.
Guess what?? It's not about the meatballs they were cooking, I am sending a direct signal that I am engaged with what they are saying. I am interested and their time with me is 100% about them.
Not everyone has a memory like that (believe me I have plenty of weaknesses to back up that one strength) so what can you do. Handy dandy notebook! I'm not even kidding. Whatever you use to keep your color formulas in, keep little snippets of your convo in that space.
Example: Mary- 6NN 20 vol 40g Base. Glossed with shades 06NB for 15 min at the bowl. Really wants a ponytail so we are working towards a shoulder length look. Her son started playing soccer and she is going to vacation in NYC in two weeks.
*BOOM- I just typed that up in less than 60 seconds...take the time! Take those extra seconds you may or may not have between clients and do this extra step...it will pay off!
Make a plan for your client! Break down the products you used even down to the curling iron and round brush size, so they are armed with the knowledge on how to recreate the look at home.
Don't ask if they want to rebook...huh?
At the end of their service let them know when their next appointment should be around in order to keep up the look they have achieved during the visit...remember the maintenance requirement should also be discussed in the consultation. Once you let them know that, offer to find a spot within what you have recommended, 9 times out of 10 they will say yes!!!
5. Follow Up
If you are working for someone else, this might be a little tricky because you don't always have access to clients numbers. If a client is following you on Instagram follow them the heck back, and you can communicate that way.
If you work for yourself this is as simple as a text. I continually follow up with my clients after appointments, but especially after their first visit. It doesn't have to seem pushy or like a telemarketer...
"Hey Mary! So nice meeting you today! I hope you enjoy your new do, you looked awesome!" You guys, people love this! It makes them feel seen and important. You also might be the only person who is complimenting them on their hair (since we all know husbands are not the most observant of creatures). I was listening to an Instagram live...I wish I could remember who the heck it was that said this so if you know tell me...it really struck a chord and went something like this...
" A client isn't 'your client' until they have been in your chair at least 3 times"
THREE TIMES PEOPLE! Really, in my opinion even after that, every appointment is another audition for who is staring in the role as "their hairstylist".
Do NOT get comfortable. Do NOT think that since someone came once they are guaranteed to come back. DO the extra steps to get those clients to stick around. Pretty soon you will be so booked you're not going to know what to do with yourself! #hairstylistbusiness #howtogrowyourclientele #hairstylistbusinessblog #lifestyleblog #successfulhairstylist #professionalsalonowner #hairblog