Professional Nail Tech or Backyard Mechanic?
How would you feel if you went to see a Lawyer and she gave you advice without asking a few questions about your particular legal situation? What about an interior designer who didn’t take the time to find out what your favorite colours are? Would you trust a doctor who prescribed medicine without diagnosing your symptoms first? If a Lawyer, Interior Designer or Doctor didn't do a consultation, you would probably consider them to be a "Back Yard Mechanic!"
The same is true of Nail Tech's who don't do client consultations.
If you want to build a long-term business relationship with your customer, then it starts with you delivering a Professional Nail Technology Consultation. In the Beauty Industry, it is supposed to be standard business practice to conduct a Client Consultation when offering facials or massage. However, in the Nail Industry, Client Consultations are virtually non-existent. Think about this for a minute;
- you are probably not doing consultations on a regular basis.
- your competitors are definitely not doing consultations.
- consultations give you a massive opportunity to look like a professional and boost sales.
- consultations give you information that you will use to get more booking and make more money.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression
A Client Consultation is usually your first opportunity to show off specialized customer service and professionalism in a face-to-face environment. Consultations are not only useful for finding out about history, lifestyle, wants, and needs, they also demonstrate good customer service.
This is your first chance to be better than your competition. Let’s face it - Consultations are extinct in our industry. If you want to establish yourself as “the” Professional Nail Tech in the area,this is the perfect place to start.
I also believe that Client Consultations are one of the most powerful Marketing tools available. Rule #1 of Marketing says, "the more information you have about your client, the earlier it is to get your hands on her money." In my 12 plus years of marketing and business experience in helping Salons grow, I firmly believe that one of the main reasons why so many Nail Tech's don't make money is because they neglect consultations.
Consultations allow you to build a relationship with the customer and relationships are the foundation of business.They allow you to get the client to opt in to your marketing and customer communication strategy. If your consultations are weak, your marketing will suck. A proper consultation will also extract Competitor info and allow you to ask what I call “cover your ass” questions.
Before servicing a new client, what you would need to know is:
- What services have you enjoyed in the past?
- What would you like your nails, hands, or feet to be that they are not today?
- Do you have any medical conditions that could affect service options?
- Have you ever had any allergic reactions to cosmetic ingredients?
- How did you find out about us?
- What is your daily activity level like?
I believe that every client should have a consultation - new clients as well as old ones. Don’t just give a consultation on the first visit. Check the client card before every subsequent visit and add notes. Tailor your questions to the client and the service. Questions should be relevant to the particular service or procedure the client has requested. But the information should always be reviewed by the client and Nail Technician together, one question at a time, asking follow-up questions based on her answers on the page.” Keep your client cards 100% confidential. Take the same responsibility for these records as any doctor or dentist would.
Consultations - you are probably doing it wrong
I have found the the few Salons and Nail Bars who actually do consultations do it wrong. Here's how - when the client arrives at the Salon, they give the the consultation form to the client and and then ask her to fill it in while the Nail Technician makes the client a cup of coffee or gets the room ready. THINK ABOUT THIS - clients don't visit a salon because they want to fill in forms! They visit a Salon because they want to be served, they want to be pampered. Why should your client do your job for you? If you hand her the form and ask her to complete it, she will give you the least amount of information possible. Do your job and be a Professional - ask the questions and complete the client card for the client. This way, you will get quality information that you can use not only to deliver a better service, but you will get accurate information you can use in your marketing.
No consultation means Lost Income
You understand the basic premise of why you should be doing consultations. But have you thought about what you risk losing if you don’t do one? The risk of not doing a consultation is the risk of not realizing your full profit potential. Think about birthday and anniversary marketing. Did you know that the number one reason why Nail and Beauty Businesses don't do any form of birthday marketing is because they don't know when their clients birthdays and anniversaries. The Nail tech didn't bother to do a consultation and get information that could make them more money. That's profit slipping through your fingers!
The consultation should be an opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling. Many clients look at our menus and can’t begin to choose the appropriate services, so instead of asking, they just order up the simplest, most basic treatment. We need to help clients understand what services they might enjoy and why. But you can’t do this if you don’t offer a consistent, professional Nail Technology Client Consultation.
If you skip the client consultation, you are taking away your business’s ability to truly make a connection with the guest and build rapport. The consultation can make your professionalism shine and give you a greater opportunity for repeat business.
Take time to look closely at your client’s hands, nails or feet before you begin a service. Clients may have no idea that anything is wrong. If you notice anything unusual, such as suspected fungal or bacterial infections, skin conditions, weak circulation, etc gently point it out and as the trained professional make the decision if services can be provided at this time. If so, proceed. If not, guide your customer to the appropriate professional to make a diagnosis.
We are not licensed to diagnose or treat, but we can certainly make people aware there may be a potential problem. Clients will respect that you have their best interests at heart. If a client is unable to receive services that day, consider offering a voucher for an added bonus or a discount off services for another day. It is a nice gesture and encourages the client to return.
Download and use The Image Cartel's Marketing Members Client Consultation form below The idea is to gather information that will help your Nail Spa deliver exceptional service. Delivering service also includes finding out which methods of communication are preferable to the client and then using that preference whenever possible. If your client rarely uses her e-mail, then sending out bulk email newsletters won’t work. The point is to tailor your method of marketing communication to the client’s preferences.
It’s obvious the small investment of time we make in getting to know and guide our clients is well worth the effort. Clients come to you because you are the professional. If they wanted an amateur they could stay at home and do it themselves. They want you, so give them the best you have to offer and they will keep your phone ringing with repeat business and referrals for years to come.
So, are you a Backyard Mechanic or a Professional Nail Tech? A huge part of building a successful Nail Business is the ability to pay attention to your customers. What better way to pay attention to your customer than a Nail Technology Client Consultation? It is the simplest, cheapest most effective method of market research. My personal opinion is that most Spa’s and Salon’s marketing is ineffective simply because they neglect the client consultation process. Please remember that the consultation covers more than a first-time visit, the card must be out and updated every time the client comes in.
To help you conduct yourself like a Professional, The Image Cartel has created a client consultation form that we recommend you use for every client. This client consultation form is unlike any other in the industry.If used, it will help you provide better customer service, better nails and better marketing.
Members only Client Consultation Form
The entire consultation form can be customised to suit your unique business. It is downloadable in a Microsoft Word Format and is easy to edit. You can change the look, feel, colours and size of the document. In addition, you can also add your own logo.
To get access to any of our Members Only marketing Tools, simply join us at one of our Marketing Workshops for Nail Tech's where we knowledge and ready-made marketing tools to earn R1000 profit per day. Click here for course dates.