Equal time (almost) for longer hair
by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, May 10, 2010
Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.
We have spent a few weeks discussing the benefits and selling strategies of short and springy hair cutting. Let’s give the long hair lovers just a bit of equal time. There is opportunity in all markets. The long and curly one is big, but the strategies to maximize it are just a bit different.
Here are my top five tips for building your long and curly business.
1. Respect length—Long haired clients love their long hair. Nothing will drive them off faster than taking them too short… and remember, just a teensy bit too short is a LOT too short to many of them. Use all the consultation tools in your kit. Use pictures. Paraphrase what you hear the client say. Remember how much length curly hair appears to lose as it dries… this alone is a great argument for cutting curly hair dry… but that is another blog entry. You remember the carpenters’ rule…Measure twice, cut once.
2. Focus on conditioning—All that long hair is all about needing to be healthy. Daily care and conditioning is more important to the long hair client than cutting. They will do very little cutting over the course of a year. They will do a lot of cleansing and conditioning. Remember their focus is different from yours. Busy hair cutters perform dozens of haircuts in a day. Long curly-haired clients might not get a dozen haircuts in a decade! If you see them twice per year they think that is a lot.
3. Be a relentless rebooker—If you are to send them off for a long period of time with little contact they can get lost in the system and land in another chair or salon when it is time for the next haircut. It is essential that they not leave your salon without their next appointment on the books. My eye doctor does this. I only see him once per year but I make next year’s appointment every time before I leave. The busier you get, the harder it will be to get in when it is time. Rebooking is key. You will also need to find ways to interact with them between appointments. Again, this is fodder for a great column another week.
4. Sell take-home hair care product aggressively—If these longer-haired clients are all about care and condition and they will see you less frequently we can address two big concerns with one small but important skill. Sell. Sell. Sell. Get these profitable long-hair lovers on a home care plan. Suggest and recommend good products, ideally suited to their needs. Suggest big sizes. See to it that you are keeping their bathroom full with ongoing offers, discount club cards and other strategies to have them stopping in to shop product in between hair cut appointments. This keeps the relationship fire stoked and keeps dollars flowing in your direction.
5. Ask for referrals—You will need them. Long hair lovers love their long hair and the professional service providers who keep it looking great. Since they stay away longer you will need many, many more of them to keep your book and the shop full and keep your chair hopping. Leverage the passion in this market to your advantage. Keep in mind the family factor. Genetics will see to it that your curly client has a whole lot of curly family. Be sure to ask for and earn the business of all of them.
Long and curly is a great big market. Be sure to get your share. Please share your adventures in building business in this lucrative segment. Please share great images of your long and curly work too.