5 Tips on How to Approach Consultations with Longtime Clients


Consultations for new clients should be an absolute given, but consultations with longtime clients seem to fall by the wayside. You know their hair, their favorite cut and tastes, so why the need to rehash?

If you’re not giving these longtime clients the consultation treatment at least once a year, you’re missing your chance to shine as a hair authority. These consultations are good on two fronts: to offer insight on what you think would work well for them and to learn about their needs.

Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas on how to transition into consultation mode.

1. Give a compliment

As the saying goes, flattery gets you everywhere. If you have an idea for a change, start with a compliment that will connect with your suggestion. Example: “You have beautiful eyes! Have you ever thought about trying this color? It would really make them pop!” Approaching it this way gives a reason for your idea while also making it seem like a change that will accentuate a positive feature, not fix a negative problem.

2. Keep a file or Pinterest board of inspiration

Every stylist has at least one client whose hair they’d love to completely revamp, and you probably already have an image in mind of what exactly they’d look like when you’re done. Just like when a client comes to you with a picture, be ready to come to them with one. Start collecting those images and other inspiration to have on hand for appointments. Tear out pages from magazines. Print out photos from beauty sites. Or start a series of Pinterest boards by style type, color type, or hair type that you can have ready to show when you want to want to discuss ideas.

3. Ask them about  changes in their life

Change often leads to more change, especially when it comes to hair. Get a feel for the changes in their life. If you’re close, you might  already know about their  job transition, wedding, or new baby and can dive into that topic for conversation. Then ask them if their hair routine is still working for them, or if there are any problem spots. Chances are you’ll be able to jump into action with solutions or suggestions.

4. Bring up a recent style-driven event

The Oscars, The Golden Globes. Pretty much any awards show known to man are style hot beds that leave people swooning for celebrity style, and they’re also a good transition to talk about hair changes. Ask if they saw the show or coverage, and bring up some of your favorite picks. Then ask whose hair they’ve been eying. It’s a good way to segue into asking about changes they might be open to trying on their own hair.

5. Ask  what they like and don’t like

It’s a simple approach, but too many stylists fail to ask their clients these basic questions. Hair changes through the years, as does life, and while they may have liked those long flowing locks a year ago, they may find that the drying time is more bothersome now. Or maybe they’re facing changes like thinning or increased grays. Getting a feel for their relationship with their hair will prime you to suggest the right cuts, right colors, and right products.

Consultations with longtime clients are key to continued relationship building and excellent service. They’re also a great opportunity to turn them on to products and make a sale.

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