Want to improve your salon retail? Start by remembering your clients’ names, says Paul Mitchell Global Artistic and Business Director Robert Cromeans

I have been asked many times, what is the one skill set that a hairdresser must have that isn’t hair-related. My answer is always the same: we need to practice our dialogue as much as we practice our craft.

Only 10% of what we say has to do with our actual words; 40% is how you say those words; and 50% has to do with how you look when you are saying those words. These facts bring me to Credible Fluency and what it means to be an authority in our businesses. When you are an authority on what you are recommending, from an in-salon service to a take-home product, even asking for a referral, your guest will say yes every time.

Learning our guests’ names is a non negotiable! Nothing sounds better to another human being than the sound of their own name; Starbucks built an empire out of it!

“CONSULTstation” is where we ask great questions and listen even better. ‘Because’ is my favourite word during a consultation…For example, I would say to my guest,  “Because you said you suffer from split ends, I’m going to recommend Marula Rare Oil.” By using ‘because’, you are forced to listen well to be able repeat what her hair ailment is and then with authority make a professional recommendation.

TRIM IT OR TREAT IT is great dialogue too! This one is mostly for those colour-only guests, where you can recommend to either TRIM it or TREAT it – they are sure to pick one, and both are an upgrade adding to the stylist’s average ticket.

Most women do the shopping for the whole household, meaning for their husband, their children, etc, so I like to ask my guests, “How many bathrooms are you buying for? What are you almost out of? How much did you budget for your hair today?”