CLIENT CONSULTATION: Your Secret Formula for Salon Success

Beauty Biz Year 10 Issue 5

CLIENT CONSULTATION: Your Secret Formula for Salon Success

Does your salon tick all the boxes when it comes to client consultation? If not, you’re missing out massively … and so are your clients. The cornerstone of running a successful salon or spa business is the effort you put into making every consultation brilliant.

Let me explain, beginning with my recent “how not to” salon experience, not as a therapist, but as a client.

It all began when I called a local salon to enquire about having a facial, asking what treatment was the best match for my concerns: pigmentation, ageing and dehydration. I also mentioned my interest in having an eye treatment.

The receptionist was lovely. She explained what they could do and what results I could expect. When I excitedly booked for the following week, she confirmed she’d taken notes on our conversation and that, on the day, my therapist would do a thorough skin analysis, recommend the best-fit facial for me and prescribe appropriate
take-home products. Tick. Tick. Tick. All the booking boxes.

A week later, the lovely salon staff greeted and seated me as soon as I arrived. It was Friday and all I could think about was slipping under the warm blankets, getting spoiled with a relaxing facial before heading and heading home with a bag brimming with my new skincare regime. Sigh.

Boy, was I in for a shock!

“Come through,” the therapist beckoned. No introduction. No consultation card. No kind explanation of how to get into the bed (she had no idea if I’d even been in a beauty treatment room before). No questions about my skin. No questions about my concerns. No offer of an eye treatment (despite my interest expressed in the notes she hadn’t bothered reading). No skin prescription.

The kicker? When the facial was finished and I was back at reception, the therapist said, “That will be $115, thank you.”

Flabbergasted, I asked if she could recommend any products. She replied, “What do you need?”

Hands-down the worst experience I’ve EVER had in a salon. Not to mention the dollars the salon missed out on due to NO PRESCRIPTION. Unforgivable and totally unprofessional.

Do you know that you’re legally required to perform a consultation before EVERY beauty treatment, even for regular clients? When you don’t, you risk invalidating your insurance and potential debt disaster should a client make a claim against you.

Thinking you can skip the consultation for regular clients because you know them and they know you? Whoa! Rethink that thought. Knowing your client does not protect you when something goes wrong during a visit and they decide to sue you. Just imagine the damage to your reputation and potential ruination of your business.

It’s non-negotiable. You need to provide every client with a consultation before they reach the treatment room. Every client, every service, every time.

Think of each consultation as an opportunity to strengthen your client relationship, determine her exact needs and learn as much as you can about her. A brilliant consultation leaves her feeling reassured, that she’s in the hands of an experienced professional who not only cares about her but knows how to satisfy her needs today and plan for her future treatments. There’s no better opportunity to recommend products and add-on services.

As, Steve Jobs, Apple founder, said, “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

So, how do you go about showing them? Try diving deep with these consultation script-bites:

What are your three main concerns about your skin?

If I had a magic wand, what would you change about your skin today?

Let me help you with a plan moving forward to give you optimum results.

This is what I’d love you to take with you today to help with …

When you understand each client’s needs, making honest and meaningful recommendations is simple. Take notes and keep records of every visit to enhance the client experience and provide a useful resource for other team members.

Record details of recommended products and services, client goals and samples given.

And “closing the sale” bookends a brilliant consultation. Try framing it like this:

How are you feeling after your treatment today? You mentioned your three main concerns were dryness, pigmentation and ageing. This is what I’d recommend you take with you today to rehydrate your skin, this serum to reduce pigmentation and a course of peels and LED for ageing.

Pause here and let your client respond by asking a question or picking up a product.

Then you get to close:

Would you like me to work out the cost of your treatment and the products?

Give the client a sample of every product she chooses not to take home.

Rebook the future treatments and see her out with a beaming smile.

Look after your client and your client will look after your business, returning again and again.

These no easy fix for salon success but perfecting the art of client consultation sets you up to thrive. Right now, think about how long it’s been since you last trained, explained and put a consultation “system” in place in your salon. A system, you ask? Yes, a system that commits your team to a brilliant consultation for every client, every time.

Plan, prepare and wow the client from the minute they enter your salon or spa right through to the magical moment when your till rings cha ching!

For more salon wisdom email ZING Coach Marie Drever [email protected] or visit

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