The definition of an expert is “someone to whom other people go to for advice on problems, needs and desires”. When I first heard this at a seminar on creating success I thought that this exactly describes stylists and therapists who spend years studying to gain the skills, knowledge and experience all for the single purpose of giving their clients the best hair and skin they can have.
They are selling an intangible thing called well-being.
I then wondered why stylists and therapists do not earn the kind of money that recognised experts in other fields do. The most overwhelming reason is because stylists and therapists do not see themselves as experts in their fields and are not focused on selling solutions to their clients.
Consequently they are not seen as experts by their clients.
To be successful one has to learn to become an expert in three main areas – Art, Science and Well-Being
Much of the work we do involves working with physical form – hair-types, length, volume, skin types, face shapes, fashion, suitability, manageability and most importantly, the client’s image. Stylists can be likened to picture framers. A mediocre picture in a really good frame is so much more appealing than a good picture in a bad frame. This creative aspect of our work is individualised for each client so don’t forget to tell them so!
This is where our work becomes interesting and also where it is extremely important that clients understand that their hair and skin are being continually traumatised by pollution, the sun and wind, seawater and swimming pool water, hairdryers and styling irons and of course, shampoos, cosmetic coloration, perming and relaxing – the list is endless.
Like the pharmaceutical industry product suppliers spend a lot of time and money to give the salon industry products that help us be creative in our work whilst offering protection for the hair as well as the ability to restore the integrity of damaged hair. Educating clients about the science behind your work will make them recognise your expertise.
And if this is not enough, remind them that many of the chemicals we work with on a daily basis are actually banned from aeroplanes!!!
We all know how nice it is to go to a five-star hotel or restaurant or to fly first class. It’s just something about the way you are treated that makes you feel so important. If you want your clients to come back again and again and to spread the word about your business make sure it includes the level of hospitality and not just about a good haircut.
This area of expertise requires consistency to be really effective. Be sure it is a main focus of your salon’s success culture.