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Consultation Do's and Don'ts 2

In my last post I spoke about the minimal requirement of the stylist when it comes to a consultation. I went over the basic (and my not so not so basic) expectations you should have of your stylist.

The one aspect that I left out was the discussion of cost. It is one of the most important and least discussed factors in and around the consultation process.

Why is that? Well, there are many factors in play, so lets discuss!

The first factor can be the nature of the transaction itself. We are a service industry, period. Yes we sell beauty products and tools, but we are NOT a retail business that just sells widgets. We sell a service that includes our experience and expertise. I know this seems obvious to most but you could not imagine the number of times I have people come in and try to bargain down the cost of their service, like they would at a car dealership.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about clients who ask about cost and how we can adapt a service to their budget, that is a perfectly acceptable conversation to have and I have them every day behind my chair. I'm talking about the clients who, when given a quote, keep trying to wheedle, bully, or guilt-bargain me down to what they want to pay. I always stand my ground... I have 30+ years experience and thousands of hours training behind me, not to mention my responsibility to the owner to help them pay the bills ... but some stylists don't feel as secure in their experience and have a hard time with these conversations.

So please don't be afraid to talk to your stylist about your budget. I always have the budget discussion with a new client or someone who wants a lot of work done. My regular clients are so comfortable with the discussion that they will tell me if they need me to adjust their service because of budget restraints. If your stylist is reluctant to talk money, or is inflexible, then get ready for a couple of predictable scenarios.

First scenario- The dump and run. What is that you ask? This is when a stylist says yes to everything you ask, doesn't explain the cost, and dumps the (usually very large) bill at the front desk and runs to the back room. Sometimes this leads to client sticker shock, and always leads to front desk frustration at having to explain service costs to an angry client.

Second scenario- The "I'm your friend and will give you a discount because I like you." This may sound great in theory, but don't expect that stylist to be working at that salon for long, or for that salon to last long. That scenario is basically thievery and is not sustainable. I love my clients and I would consider some of them friends but... not one of them have ever asked for a deal or a discount. They respect me and my work. I respect and will adapt my schedule to accommodate them, do promotions suited to them, but they do not expect me to take a pay cut in the name of friendship.

So please ask about cost... even if your stylist doesn't bring it up. We all have a budget and that shouldn't stop you from having great hair!!!

Viv is an award winning stylist with 30 years experience, constant training and a passion for style and service!

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