What makes a Great Salon Owner, Stylist or Therapist?
Technical skill is only a small fraction of what makes a good therapist or stylist, and what influences a client on whether they should return not. Salon communication skills are often overlooked.
Good communication skills can compensate for an average therapist or stylist. An average stylist or therapist with good communication skills will always out perform a technically fantastic stylist or therapist with poor communication skills.
If you want to be top of your game, you need to learn how to communicate, how to build rapport with a client and how to win a client for life.
But how do you teach communication skills to an 18-21 year old?
Whether it is a salon manager, stylist or therapist, teaching good communication skills is a must. As salon owners we invest thousands of pounds and hours of time in teaching technical skills but how much time do we spend in teaching communication skills.
A Course in Communication
What do we need to teach?
- How to ask open questions
- How to build rapport – how to get the client to like you
- How to listen
- How to be genuinely interested in other people
- What words to use
- What to talk about
- How we communicate
Lets know look at a couple of these in more detail:
How do we communicate?
The first thing we have to realise is that only a small part of how we communicate is verbal. Just 7% are the spoken words, the tone of your voice and your non verbal (body language) are vital for good communications. In other words, just saying the words is not good enough, learning scripts, or “going through the motions”. To be great at communication, you have to walk the talk and believe in what you are saying. With such a large proportion being non verbal, you can give yourself an advantage. LOOK THE PART – if you look and act like a professional and successful stylist or therapist you are already 55% of the way there. The words you can learn. And the tone will come from just enjoying and being interested in your work and clients.
What words do we use?
Words we can learn, phrases we can learn. How to ask for a rebooking, how to recommend an upgrade or homecare products. What are great consultation questions. Even though words are only 7% of the way we communicate, get it wrong and you will not succeed. Get it right at the results can and will be outstanding.
How to listen?
2 ears and 1 mouth. And that is the golden rule about listening, use them in that proportion. A problem a lot of therapists or stylists have is they know what questions to ask but they do not know how toy listen. So often they ask a question and because they are thinking about the next question they have to ask they find they didn’t listen to the clients answer. SLOW DOWN. Listen, hear, and consider the feedback you receive.
What to talk about?
This is vital for youngsters , it is unreasonable to expect a 16-21 year old to be able to have intelligent conversations with a 35+ year old and so left to their own devices it always reverts back to holidays, what are you doing at the weekend etc. It doesn’t have to be that way, just remind the yougsters why the client is there, and get them to talk about the hair or service, explain what they are doing, explain what products they are using and why, show and tell the client how to use the products for themselves. It is the professional way demonstrating their expertise and giving the client the confidence to return.
- Make sure your team realise the importance of being a great communicator
- Start teaching communications.
- Make communications fun
- At team meetings, role plays, games etc.
- Monthly communication workshops.
- Develop a book of Words and phrases
Great communication skills do not happen overnight, but I can assure you invest in communication skills as much as you invest in technical skills and you and your team will achieve amazing things.