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Why a consultation fee has become essential

For most of my 15 years as a Great Lengths hair extension artist, I have offered free consultations. This year, I decided to change this. This decision was sparked by a few different factors: one was an Instagram announcement I read by a fellow and very successful Great Lengths artist who had announced her decision to charge a fee for consultations. In the post, she explained why, and it immediately resonated with me. The other factor was the increasing amount of time spent waiting for clients whop had booked consultations and didn’t follow through with the visit in the salon. The time spent waiting for potential clients who would never show began to add up to hours of wasted time that I could have been applying Great Lengths for my existing clientele, or completing personal tasks. After some considerations, I realized there were a few good reason why I should begin charging a fee for consultations:

A Good Consult Takes Time

I don’t rush consultations. Consultations can take 15 minutes, or over an hour, depending in the client. While I do try to keep them to about half an hour maximum, some clients may require more attention. They may be nervous and have a lot of questions, which I tend to answer in great detail (and with a few drawings). I don’t like to rush consultations unless I have to due to a client’s time being constrained. I want clients to feel comfortable and informed. There are two factors involved here: If I book the estimated half an hour and a client does not show up, it can be incredibly frustrating, as I mentioned earlier that the time could have been spent with more productive tasks. And, if a client choosers not took book a consultation after an hour of time spent, it also become a problem.

No Shows

There is an alarming amount of no-show happening this year. This appears not only to be for Great Lengths consultations, but for services such as colours of blowdries..this I have heard from a few salon owners. This also seems to span into the restaurant industry. Sometimes, a cancellation phone call is often too close to the appointment time to reschedule someone else into the slot or in a few cases, there is not even a phone call and the client decides not even to show up. This leaves the artist or stylist waiting to sit for an amount of time that is completely wasted. Too many of these, and the time adds up.

Value

Most professional charge a fee for their consultations. Many professional who can offer a wealth of knowledge often will change for their time as they consider said time valuable.. Being paid for a consultation brings a value to the consumer and the professional. If one is being paid for they times they tend to do an even more thorough job.
This fee is almost always deducted off the bill for the first service, as is with the case with myself. If the client does not book, it is considered a professional fee and is kept for my time.
If the client does not attend her appointment, the fee is also kept to compensate for any time lost.

To Ensure Intent

A fee also ensures that clients who attend consultation as indeed serious about getting the service, and are willing to solidify that intent and interest with a fee.

How Much is the Fee?

I have set the fee for 30 dollars. this is a small fee and will be deducted off the first hair extension service and is not applicable to other service in the salon, like a colour. The fee is paid for by a credit card over the phone, or with a timely email money transfer.