Setting Realistic Expectations With Your Clients

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When a client steps into your salon suite they’re likely feeling at least one of two things: Excitement or nerves. Hey, maybe it’s a mixture of both. They’re probably super excited for whatever service or treatment is in store, but if they’re trying something new, that’s when those nerves kick in.

As a beauty professional you’re used to this and do your best to put clients at ease. After all, you both have the same goalto make them look and feel their absolute best. It’s also natural if their nerves give you a sense of hesitation, wondering if you should advise them to hit pause on a beauty shake-up until they feel more confident about the request.

One way to make you both feel comfortable and good about the decision is to set realistic expectations with the client. Be upbeat and cheer them on—but be honest with your vision for the ultimate outcome. Here are some tips for making sure everyone is on the same page.


Use photos

If a client comes in with a celebrity photo to show you what they want in terms of a hair cut or color, talk it through with them. Particularly if their hair type is very different from said A-lister, show them images of similar styles that might be more emblematic of what their mane will look like as the final product. This helps them make a better call as to whether or not it’s something they want to pursue and you’re more likely to have a client smiling ear-to-ear at the end of the appointment.


Don’t expect them to speak beauty pro language

In the beauty biz we have lots of lingo and descriptors for different techniques we use every day. Even if your client is obsessed with beauty tutorials, that doesn’t mean they’re going to use the same words as you might to explain what they want. Take the time to really talk to them so that there isn’t any miscommunication. This might add a little extra time to their appointment, but it could mean the difference between a fairytale ending or a less-than-happy one.


Be very clear about potential outcomes

Let’s say a client comes in for a service or treatment that is brand new to them, make sure to carefully explain what they can expect after they leave your salon suite. For example, if it’s a skincare treatment that’s new to them, go over how their skin could look and feel in the days that follow, like if they might experience redness or a different texture to their skin. Make the explanation clear, without sounding scary. After all, these are services you perform every day.


Be open about what you can achieve

Whether it’s a nail design you simply haven’t perfected or a request you aren’t comfortable trying to achieve for any number of reasons, be honest with your client. Yes, that might mean they turn to another beauty pro who can give them what they want, but that’s a whole lot better than sending an unhappy customer out into the world with a look they’re unsatisfied with. There’s a greater chance the client will appreciate your honesty and return to your salon suite for the type of pretty pick-me-up at which you excel.


Get real about a new look’s maintenance

If you want to maintain just about any gorgeous look, there’s going to be maintenance involved. Share with your client any products that might help extend the life of a service or treatment, and the types of activities they should avoid to max out the results. If your client wants a cut that requires daily styling to look its best, make sure they understand that. Same goes for any other service, whether that be nails, brows, etc. Let them know when they should see you again and all of the things they can do in the meantime to continue loving their look.


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