Beauty Launchpad Magazine

JUL 2016

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54 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | JULY 2016 What do you do when a client becomes such a challenge the only option is to say good-bye? —KENDRA J. FREE Parting Thoughts GETTY IMAGES Y our pulse quickens, your muscles tense and you want to scream. It isn't the latest Hollywood thriller— it's that diffi cult client, the one who's always late and seldom happy. It's important to handle problematic guests with patience and professionalism; if left unchecked, they can be harmful to your business and personal well- being. We tapped several experienced industry experts to share their best advice. For business-related issues that can impact the entire salon—consistent lateness or bounced checks—it's a good idea to have policies in place to nip these problems in the bud. But sometimes there are intangible reasons you may want to part ways with your client. "There's a certain amount of trust between a client and a hairstylist," says Anthony Cress, Sebastian Professional Artist. One negative relationship can easily ruin anyone's mood, destroying confi dence and affecting relationships with other clients. "When it's necessary to break up with a client you just have to do it, like ripping off a Band-Aid," Cress explains. Occasionally you may have a differing opinion as to what is best for your client's hair health and look. Letting yourself be bullied into performing a service that you know will fl op can only hurt your reputation, thanks to online reviews, social media and good old-fashioned word of mouth, relates Justine Hornick, Wella Professionals Design Team Member and Education Director at Root Salons in Minneapolis. She recalls a situation: "I was not willing to put my name on a particular haircut, so I said I could refer her to someone else, or I would just continue to color her and not cut anymore, because I didn't agree with the shape and technique she desired." Ultimately, it's important to consider all issues before taking any drastic steps. Remember, everyone has the occasional bad day, so don't immediately rush to dismiss someone for a rude remark or last-minute cancellation. Instead, try managing the situation with a warning or heart- to-heart conversation, suggests David Stanko, Redken Master Colorist and Ambassador and Colorist at Licari Cutler Salons in New York. "My job as a hairdresser is to make people look and feel beautiful, and make money," Stanko says. "I don't have any interest in turning away clients if I don't have to." 1. DON'T LET EMOTIONS TAKE OVER. Try to have the talk in person, and remember that everyone is human, so be professional and stay calm. 2. BLAME YOURSELF. It's not you, but make it your fault by saying something such as, "It doesn't seem that I can please you, and I want what's best for you." 3. DON'T LEAD WITH "WHY?" Leading with questions like "Why are you always late?" or "Why are you always in a bad mood?" just sets you up for an argument, Stanko says. 4. OFFER REFERRALS. For example, a chronically late client could be steered toward a stylist with a more fl exible schedule. You could also off er a parting gift, such as a free blow dry, or a phone consultation with the client's next hair professional, Stanko suggests. Live & Learn/ Business Affairs MAKING THE CUT? Get the Ultimate Look Book for Hairstylists! Inspire 's latest volume 101 showcases m o re t h a n 37 5 g re at p h o to s o f to d ay ' s n ewe st t re n d s i n h a i r. Order your copy today! America's leading professional hairstyling books! 800.634.8500 or visit inspirebooks.com , beautyetcstore.com or email inspire@creativeage.com

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