I was 29-years-old when I made the decision to go to cosmetology school. Before that, I went to college that led to working at 2 different construction companies in 3 different offices over an 8 year period. And then I was laid off. After a few tears, a bit of soul searching and a conversation with a good friend who was making almost as much money in 3 days as a hairdresser as I had been making working 60+ hours per week, I decided to check out a new career path. The SECOND I walked into that cosmetology school, I knew I was in the right place. I was nervous, sure. What if I sucked? Was I crazy to take on MORE education debt when I still hadn’t finished paying off my Bachelor’s Degree? Could I survive on my severance package? In Southern California? For a YEAR until I graduated, got my license and started working?
Fast forward 5 years.
I had connected with a network of INCREDIBLE mentors and traveled the world as a trainer for Paul Mitchell. I had spent time educating at one of the best cosmetology schools in the world. My work had been published in beauty and consumer publications. I was in the company of beauty industry icons, on their teams, working on their projects. Hair shows, photo shoots. I was living the dream.
And struggling to build my salon clientele.
To be honest, five years after getting my license is when my salon career REALLY started. Before that, I was going through the motions of building a clientele. I was just another frustrated hairdresser behind the chair and I was done playing small. I packed up my tools and moved to a salon across the city.
Moving to a new salon was a fresh start for me and a chance for me to implement the connection skills I had on the road with my guests in the salon. I stopped trying to be the stylist I thought I was supposed to be and decided to be myself. I took a look at what I did best - connecting - and worked to focus that strength into building a successful salon business. In short, I focused on connecting.
In an effort to build my salon with a more localized clientele, I agreed to work with a third party marketing company to generate leads. The marketing company would cold call and offer a package that cross promoted with a local day spa and my new salon. Upon purchase, the guest would bring their voucher into the salon in exchange for one free haircut and one free treatment. The second that guest stepped into the salon, it was my job to do two things: 1. upgrade the services they were scheduled for and 2. make sure they fell SO IN LOVE with me that they couldn’t wait to come back and see me for additional services.
I knew that my ability to connect had never been more important. If I could just get the guests IN the salon, I’d be able to create a connection that would have them upgrading, rebooking and referring. I made a commitment to greet each guest like they were my best friend, with a big smile and nothing but positive energy. I asked them questions about themselves, performed thorough consultations and prescribed solutions for the challenges they presented. In short, I connected. Every guest. Every time.
6 months later, I was booked at almost 100% and squeezing in 5 new guests per week.
Looking around at other salons I had the opportunity to work with, I saw a lot of frustrated stylists. I realized that connecting isn’t always inherent. I saw that many stylists struggled with guest traffic, rebooking and referrals. They didn’t know how to connect with their guests and their businesses were suffering.
What if I could teach someone how to connect? What if I could create a system to help people get unstuck and increase guest retention and referrals? What if I could create a program that would ease the stress and anxiety a stylist experiences trying to get to know a new guest?