As a talented stylist, you know that your creative skills and professional abilities know no bounds—there’s nothing you can’t accomplish, right? As a professional in the service industry, though, you also know that you need to be upfront and direct with your clients in telling them that creative skills and professional abilities don’t always come cheap.
This point is especially prudent when it comes to hard-core transformations and serious color corrections (especially when you’re correcting work that isn’t yours).
No matter how hair or business savvy your clients are, the fact remains—intensive transformations (bye-bye brunette and hello platinum blonde) and life-saving corrections (those not-so-well-done fringe bangs that hit high on the yikes-o-meter) are both time-intensive and often expensive.
And the reality is, not every client is going to fully understand those factors.
Sometimes, clients see your skills and infinite talent and think, “oh, sure, that’s a no-brainer for them—they can handle this in a pinch.” That doesn’t always coincide with time, effort, or cost, though. You might the world’s best hairstylist, but the fact of the matter is, it’s neither realistic or cost-effective to go from a deep raven black to a platinum blonde in one session (or even 2)—in fact, it’s super unlikely that could happen. Same goes for color and cut corrections, extensions, and specialty styles.
The reality is, these things take time, effort, and sometimes, a few extended sessions (which, you know, costs money.)
So, how exactly can you go about sharing this news with your client without scaring them away?
How can you make them understand that you’re totally capable of helping them attain their hair goals, but that it might take longer or be more expensive than they initially planned?
Have no fear—we’ve got you covered. We’ve laid out a few tried-and-true methods for how you can explain cost, time, and effort to your clients so that they’ll have a better understanding of the process at hand.
In other words, here’s a tactful, professional way to nip those unrealistic expectations in the bud and get your clients the hair they want in a realistic manner!
This is, above all, the best advice we can possibly give you for any and every aspect of your business—be direct.
Shoot it straight with your clients, especially in this regard. Make sure you’re being as transparent as possible. Have your prices for each service listed (especially for color corrections, extensions, and timely transformations) in areas that are accessible and visible.
Make it easy for your clients to find. And furthermore, be as up-front with them as possible about why something costs money, why something takes time, and why you’ll have to charge differently or book more sessions than they initially thought.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your clients about the real reasons you’re charging more or taking more time—they deserve to know why these processes cost more and require more effort. Be direct, be transparent, and talk to your clients about your pricing. They’ll appreciate your honesty and openness.
Create a Streamlined Explanation for Each Process
If you offer services that require extra time, money, or effort (think extensions, dreading, color color correction, intensive transformation, etc.) that fall out of the normal price and time range, make sure you’re crafting a dedicated, streamlined explanation for each process.
Think of these as your little elevator pitches—your go-to spiels to explain why something takes time or why something costs more. The better these pitches are, the better you’ll be at explaining your process and your reasoning for your prices and session requirements. This educational process can really help your client see where you’re coming from, acknowledge you as the expert, and even gift them a little extra hair education they never knew they needed!
Establish Policies (and Stick to Them)
A great way to really dive into money talk with your clients is to have established prices and policies that are already accessible—put these on your sites, your social media, in your salon, and more.
If your clients are already familiar with these prices, they won’t be surprised when they come in to chat with you about a transformation or a recovery mission. Do yourself a huge favor and don’t just post these policies, stick to them firmly. They’re called policies for a reason, right?
Walk Through the Entire Process With Them
Some clients, as you know, might require a little hand-holding. And you know what? That’s totally OK.
You’re the professional and the customer service provider, it’s pretty much your job to help them understand. Don’t be intimidated or annoyed if you need to walk through entire processes with your client to help them grasp why you’re charging what you’re charging or why your session will take so long, etc. Be as thorough and direct as you can, but anticipate the need to be creative in your explanation.
Cut the Clients Loose Who Won’t Listen to Your Expertise
Sometimes, no matter how much you explain to a client that no, you can’t take their purple hair to platinum in one session despite extra money they might give you, they’re not going to take your answer as fact.
That’s just part of the business, and it’s vital you learn to be OK with it. Our advice?
If you have a client who won’t grasp what your saying, has unrealistic expectations that you’ve been trying to set straight from the start, and isn’t taking your expertise to heart, you might want to cut them loose and refer them to someone else. Odds are, they’re likely going to be disappointed in your work no matter what the outcome is because it’s not exactly as they anticipated it (despite the fact that you explained it time and again).