Do You Have A Strategy For Filling Your Chair? — STX Software

Do You Have a Strategy for Filling Your Chair?

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One of the biggest challenges to newly minted stylists and seasoned veterans alike is filling their time or their chair. Having a guest in the chair is the only way we are successful as stylists, colorists, nail techs, masseuses, etc., so it’s important that we have an action plan to make that happen.

The first question I always asked someone wanting to work at our salon was, “What are you going to do to get busy?” Too often the response was “Don’t you have a lot of walk-ins?” This was not at all the answer I wanted to hear. Or sometimes a newbie would say, “Well, I’ll get busy through word of mouth,” to which I’d respond that they didn’t have any clients who are going to talk about them. What I was looking for was someone who understood that they needed to be proactive. That’s someone I can work with and teach how to fill his or her chair.

Speaking to both friends and strangers about their hair is one of the best ways to start attracting business for yourself, and how you go about it is important. Too many times I’ve heard hairdressers start a conversation with something like, “Who does your hair?” while asking in a rather derogatory way. This is quite simply one of the worst things you can do. Never — and I mean never — put down someone else’s work.

The approach I developed worked very well and I’m happy to share it:

“Speaking to both friends and strangers about their hair is one of the best ways to start attracting business for yourself, and how you go about it is important.”

I’d go up to every person I saw and introduce myself by saying, “Hello, my name is Jeff and I work at Hair Etc. Salon and Spa and I just had to tell you your hair has so much potential.” Then I would immediately compliment them by pointing out something I liked. For instance, I might say, “I love the length of your hair.” I would then tell them about a haircut and refer to it by name (always name your haircuts). For example, I’d say, “There’s a haircut called ‘Freedom’ that would look amazing on you. What it would do is give lots of volume throughout your hair. We’d do a bit of piecing around your face that would really accentuate your cheekbones — and you have the most beautiful eyes, so we’d open up this area a bit by creating some framework to show off those gorgeous eyes. How does that sound to you?”

At this point I had their complete, undivided attention and would take out my mobile device and book an appointment right there on the spot. I carried $5 Looking Good cash coupons I would give them to use during their first visit.

Our salon software also sent an email confirming their appointment. My close rate while building my chair was 90 percent, as I was able to track every person I spoke with about their hair.

If you don’t have software that allows you to book an appointment on the spot, then at least have your card and promo ready so they call the salon to book the appointment. Write the name of the haircut you told them about on the back of your card.

I guarantee you will have a full book within six months by being proactive and knowing how and what to say when approaching a new friend and soon-to-be client. You will then be raising your prices because you are “booked solid.”

FAQs about Chair Filling Strategies

Q: What are some strategies to fill my chair at the salon?

Some ways to fill your chair include proactive networking, using a friendly and respectful conversational approach, providing on-the-spot bookings, and offering incentives like coupons for new clients. Understanding the customer’s hair potential and suggesting specific haircuts is also valuable. It’s all about taking initiative and engaging potential clients in a positive way.

Q: How can communication help me attract more clients as a stylist?

Clear and respectful communication is crucial. Speaking to both friends and strangers about their hair in a positive and non-derogatory way can attract potential clients. It’s important to introduce yourself professionally, highlight the client’s potential, provide a positive comment about their hair and suggest a named haircut that would suit them.

Q: How can I book appointments on the spot?

You can book appointments for clients on the spot by using salon software or mobile applications that allow immediate booking. If you do not have such software, you can give your business card to the potential client and encourage them to call the salon to book an appointment.

Q: What approach should I avoid when trying to get more clients for my salon?

Avoid negative comments or criticisms about the potential client’s hair or the work done by others. Such remarks can make clients uncomfortable or upset, which is not a good start to building a relationship.

Q: Can word of mouth alone help me attract more customers to my salon?

While word of mouth can be effective, it’s important for new stylists to remember that they don’t have clients yet who will talk about them. Being proactive, taking the initiative to speak to potential customers, and using other marketing strategies alongside word of mouth referrals can enhance client attraction.

Q: How can I attract more business to my salon?

Beyond personal conversations, improving your salon’s online presence, encouraging online reviews, exhibiting at beauty shows, updating your website, and having a social media strategy can also attract more clients. Offering exceptional customer experiences and making the most of local SEO can also be beneficial. 

Q: How can I turn potential clients into actual salon appointments?

Engage them in a meaningful conversation, subtly highlight their hair’s potential, suggest a specific, named haircut that could enhance their looks, and offer them an immediate booking. Having a business card or promotional materials handy for them to take away can also be helpful.

Q: How effective are promotional offers for attracting clients to my salon?

Offering incentives like cash coupons for new clients can be an effective strategy in attracting more clients to your salon. This approach not only provides a financial benefit but also creates a positive impression that encourages potential clients to book an appointment. 

Q: Is there a specific way I should approach prospective clients about their hair?

It’s best to approach prospective clients with respect and positivity. Start by introducing yourself professionally and compliment them on something specific about their hair. Then, you can suggest a particular named haircut that would enhance their aesthetics. Refrain from negative comments or criticisms as these can deter potential clients.

Q: How can I increase my close rate for building my chair at the salon?

To increase your close rate, ensure you track conversations with prospective clients, have an effective follow-up process such as email confirmation of appointments, and consistently deliver high-quality services that will make clients want to return and also refer others to your salon.

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