If there’s one hallmark of success as a stylist, it’s having a dedicated salon clientele: People who love your style, your work, and your personality, and who are willing to pay you a fair price for your time and skills.
But building up your clientele can be tricky, especially when you’re first getting started and trying to establish yourself in the industry.
One surefire way of achieving this goal is to invest time and effort into building trust with your existing client base and improving their overall experience. By building trusting relationships with your clients, you’re creating an environment that will encourage them to refer others your way; by wowing them every single time they sit in your chair, you’re ensuring that they keep coming back.
Below are a few tips that you can use to build that all-so-important trust with your clients.
Building Trust for a Better Salon Experience
Don’t feel like reading? Listen to Episode 19 of our Hair Goals Podcast, where I talk about the importance of communication and trust-building as a stylist.
1. Communication is the most important step.
Communication has always been an important part of being a great stylist, and for pretty straightforward reasons. When you take the time to communicate your process to your clients—the steps you’re going to take to get them to their goal, or whatever it may be—you increase their level of trust in you. Transparency creates trust!
With this in mind, any time a client sits down in your chair, during your hair consultation before the treatment actually begins, it’s important to explain the technique that you’re using and why, even if that goes against their original request.
As stylists, we’re living through a time where so many people are hung up on certain trends. They see a video on Instagram that talks about balayage, for example, and then come in insisting that they want balayage. But while balayage might be the right treatment for them, it might not be, and it’s your job to educate them on what the right treatment would be. If you take the time to explain why foils might be better for their specific hair type, for example, you increase the chances that they’ll be happy with the final result, which in and of itself will go far in building trust.
Another scenario that also happens a ton is that clients may insist that they don’t want to pay extra for a gloss. This puts you in a tricky situation as the stylist: Either you give away your glossing service for free, because you want them to be happy with the finished result, or you let the client leave without a gloss. If you’re able to effectively communicate the value of the gloss, you’ll be able to not only make a happier client, but also increase your profits, and who doesn’t want that?
Trust is an important part of building your confidence. When you have people trust you (especially if it’s your entire client base), you’re naturally going to feel more confident. And you should!
2. Commit to your education.
It’s our responsibility as professionals to not only be able to perform a range of services for our clients, but also to be able to explain to clients why they need certain services and what could happen if they don’t get them. In order to do that, your education needs to be up to par.
The ideal form of education for you will of course depend on your learning style. You might, for example, do perfectly well by reading a book or watching a few free videos on YouTube. But if you need more hands-on training, there’s no shame in that: Online tutorials and even in-person workshops can all be great ways of learning new skills from really talented professionals.
3. Be confident in your abilities.
When your clients trust you, it’s easy to feel confident in your abilities. But it’s also important to realize that it works the other way around as well: Confidence inspires trust!
If a client has had a poor experience with a certain technique from another stylist, and you recommend that same technique to them, it can be challenging to convince them that you’re right. But remember, you’re the expert. If you can show confidence in your reasoning for recommending the technique, you CAN convince your client that you know best.
So go ahead and explain why you believe the technique is the best option to get them to their goals, explain your process for getting there, and show them photos of your work. And above all, be confident in your abilities! You’ve invested the time and energy and effort into becoming great at your technique; demonstrate that confidence and you’ll be amazed at the doors it can open.
Have you been struggling with your confidence when it comes to formulation? Building confidence in this area is the key to becoming a better stylist, empowering you to deliver the results that your clients are looking for. Sign up for the new Confidence Behind Formulation course with Christine, where you'll learn the fundamentals of color theory and real, tactical skills that will allow you to formulate with the confidence that you need!