One of the first things you learn in nail school is how to give a consultation, but unfortunately, it seems that good nail consultations are hard to come by in most salons.
Busy customers and busy nail techs result in customers telling professionals what to do. This arrangement, in practice, is backward. YOU are the expert and it is up to YOU to consult with your clients on what is best for their nails and their nail care needs.
Consultations are a reflection of your professionalism and your expertise. It is the best opportunity you’ll have to learn about your client, their habits, nail health and lifestyles so you can better personalize their services. One size does not fit all when it comes to providing nail services, which is why in the beginning it is important to set yourself up for success by offering thorough nail consultations to every single client, whether they’re recurring or new.
You are the expert- get comfortable with that idea and your clients will learn to trust your recommendations throughout the life of your relationship. When giving consultations, it’s important to take your client’s thoughts into consideration, but it’s not advisable you do whatever they ask of you. As the professional, if you think what they are suggesting is not good, don’t do it. Arm yourself with education, gently push back on issues you disagree with and recommend other services or alternatives based on your knowledge of products, anatomy, services and the client’s lifestyle.
A client sits down in your chair, passively tells you they are going on an African safari for two weeks and wants their regular weekly manicure. How do you respond? Without a proper consultation, you’ve potentially left money on the table. Naturally, you’d suggest a gel polish or some other semi-permanent service. If you are not having a purposeful exchange with your client about their nail care, you might miss important information and lose the opportunity to make some extra cash. The consultation is a great time to upsell services and suggest retail purchases.
If you’ve been slack on client consultations or have never incorporated them at all, it’s not too late to start. Take control of your table with these three tips:
Educate. Learn all the benefits of the products and services your salon offers and confidently talk to your clients in great depth about what’s best for them based on their lifestyle, health of nails, etc. For help getting started, check out this nail services chart.
Practice. Rehearse consultations with other techs. Practicing with colleagues will help you re-acquaint yourself with the benefits of your products and services and it helps you “nail” the best language to use to advise and sell.
Communicate. Before each service take two minutes to inspect your client’s hands and/or feet and talk to them about their needs. Learn to change the direction of the conversation by telling them what they need, based on your knowledge and assessment. Don’t ask them what they want - tell them what they need, after all, you are the expert!
In the end, remember, you are the professional, and the client depends on your expertise for healthy, beautiful nails!
Photo: Africa Studio
In this post, we discussed the importance of client consultations as a way of elevating your role as a nail professional through education and communication. We also learned consultations are a great opportunity to introduce new services and products to your clients. Here are two tools to help you “nail” your consultations every time with every client:
Persuasive Speech and Communication Online ClassNot sure how to do a consultation, no worries, this comprehensive online class teaches you everything you need to know from how to make a great first impression to conducting a Needs Assessment.
Make More Money with Nail Services Online Class
Eager to enhance your client’s experience? Take this online class to learn how to create value from the moment your client calls for an appointment until they walk out the door.
Tiffani Douglas is an author, speaker, beauty-marketing consultant and licensed nail technician with over 20 years experience in the beauty industry.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Tiffani worked her way through college as a manicurist to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a concentration in strategic marketing. After college, she went on to work in corporate America as a marketing and media maven, but ever passionate about the beauty industry, she founded her own mobile spa.
During that time she also began consulting other beauty professionals in the areas of marketing and branding, which sparked an idea to write two e-books, Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Beauty Professionals and Are You a True Beauty Professional– 7 Practical Steps to Being More Professional, Upgrading Your Business and Increasing Your Revenue. She recently released her first published book, Straight Outta Beauty School - 10 Things You Need to Know and Do After You Graduate.
Tiffani resides in Dallas, Texas where she continues to inspire beauty pros young and old by offering them the tools they need to grow personally and professionally.
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