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5 Tips for Using Hairstyle Photos for a Consultation

by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, July 11, 2011

ivan zoot

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’s 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. Here, he shares his cutting and business-building expertise.

Clients frequently bring hairstyle photos to help visually explain the look they want and stylists frequently have stylebooks lying around, either professionally published or just a personal scrapbook. Using these resources can help to ensure a great experience for both the client and the professional.

Of course, one of the biggest disconnects in the industry arises from unrealistic expectations created by the promise in a discussion around an image.

To avoid this communication disaster, follow these top five tips for using hairstyle photos during a consultation.

1. Seek similar textures

A client with kinky curly hair offering up an image of a sleek, straight style will be setting themselves up for a problem — or setting you up for a big ticket straightening service and a pile of take home hair care products. One scenario is a win/win; the other is a lose/lose. Try to match images and expectations to similar textures.

2. Keep colors close

For the previous reason alone, and then some. The same haircut can appear very different when sculpted on different colors of hair. Issues of depth and dimension reflect quite differently across the range of hair color choices. Encourage clients to share hairstyle photos in target colors that you know can work.

3. Match facial shapes

Many stylists have the ability to imagine a style on different clients. Clients may lack this vision. Compare a client’s facial shape and bone structure to that of a target image. How well will the shape translate? Can you find an image of the cut on a closer matching facial shape? If not, explain your vision to the client and encourage them to seek alternative photos and examples.

4. Align for age

Share hairstyle photos of models of similar age to the client with the client. Female clients generally like to “shop” images only a few years younger than their actual age. Going too young puts them ill at ease with the consultation and change process. Sharing idea images of models noticeably older than the client most always meets with resistance, too. Creating a scrapbook of your work on your clientele’s average aged models will encourage them to choose more visual explanations and help you to give them exactly what they are looking for.

5. Mine Internet galleries

A fast Google search of hair cut length and style keywords reveals an enormous number of valuable image galleries. Other folks did the work of accumulating good shots to work from so use these galleries to build up your stash of images to share.

Update your image collection frequently. Adding new hairstyle photos is needed to keep things fresh. Deleting passé styles is important as well so as to keep clients from getting stuck in the past or from “going retro” before retro becomes hot again.

Remember, you are your client’s last line of defense. Don’t let poor communication and lack of vision ruin an otherwise great appointment.

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Business Building Techniques

Begin having frequent staff meetings and collaborate on business building techniques used by others that you work with. Every salon has success right inside. Get the top booker to explain how they do it. Pair the weakest with the strongest and let them work next to each other. They can learn from what they hear and see. Do the same with retail sales. Share the ways that the top stay on top.

With cross marketing other services, know who the salon leaders are and copy them. Your staff becomes a resource to each other and by sharing dialouge that works, we all win.

Geno Stampora, Stampora Consulting Inc.

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