How to Perform a Client Consultation in Your Beauty Salon

by Lisa McQuerrey ; Updated September 26, 2017
Close-up of a young woman and her hair stylist

Establishing a profitable and ongoing relationship with salon clients involves getting to know each individual and what her beauty and personal care needs are. A one-on-one consultation should discuss expectations and provide suggestions and recommendations tailored to the client’s preferences.

Set Aside Time

A client who comes in for a quick haircut may only need a 10-minute consultation before proceeding, but someone interested in changing her entire look may need 30 or 40 minutes of your undivided attention to discuss the pros and cons of different approaches. Book appointments for consultations and prepare to give clients one-on-one time to talk about their lifestyle, budget and their overall goals for their appearance. Listen closely, ask questions and take notes on a consultation card. This allows you to make educated recommendations and establish a good client-cosmetologist relationship.

Be Honest

If a client comes in with numerous magazine pictures or screenshots of hairstyles and beauty regimes she likes, make an honest assessment of what will work for that person. Telling an older individual she can look like a 20-something starlet, for instance, sets unrealistic expectations. According to stylist Tabatha Coffey, focus on elements of style, color and texture the client likes and that fits with her hair and skin tone. If you use software that allows a person to digitally try on different types of makeup, hair colors or hairstyles, use it as part of your consultation.

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Talk Budget and Upkeep

Some beauty regimens require more costly upkeep than others. For example, extensions, multi-dimension hair colors and nail tips aren't just a one-time cost. Discuss with your client the cost for the initial work as well as timetables and future costs for upkeep and maintenance to ensure she's happy with the outcome. If you make recommendations about particular products or styling tools, explain how to use them so the customer is able to achieve her desired look.

Provide Samples and Discounts

At the conclusion of your consultation, your goal should be to book an appointment for the client. Provide samples of different products you've discussed or offer a discount on the first service as an enticement to follow through and establish an ongoing relationship. According to Entrepreneur, keep the relationship going strong by always booking another appointment after a service, recommending new products as they come available and providing exceptional customer service. Give extras like discounts for referrals to new clients or free services once a certain number of certain amount of money is been spent -- for example, 50 percent off highlights on the fifth haircut.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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