Editor Hannah Lee explains what nail techs should practice, outside of just doing nails, that can help their careers.
I know it sounds cliché, but the more you do something (practice), the better you become at it (perfect). It goes without saying that if you want to do an amazing set of pink-and-whites, you need to sit and practice your smile lines whenever you have down time. And if you want your clients clamoring for your awesome nail art, you need to sit and work on your nail art strokes and your designs. Want to be thought of as the best gel-polish applier? That’s only going to come through intense sessions of gel-polish applications.
But do you ever think about all the other areas that you could benefit from practicing? Some areas of your job aren’t just about doing great nails, and maybe you need to practice those too. Here are a few areas where you could use some practice:
1. Your sales pitch. I know, I know. You’re not a salesperson, you’re an artist. A craftsman. A creative being whose soul dies a little each time you have to “make a sale.” But you’re doing your clients a favor (and extending the life of your professional service) by offering clients products that will improve their nails while they’re away from your table. A little practice of an easy, no-pressure sales pitch will help you feel more comfortable actually doing it. You already know what products your clients should buy. So come up with the wording and practice what you want to say. Start with family members. Move on to clients who you have a good relationship with, and ask for their feedback. With every client who you suggest products to, it will become a little easier, until it becomes completely routine.
2. Your rebooking spiel. Much like your product recommendations, your closing statement to all of your clients should be assumptive, something along the lines of, “Should we go ahead and book your next appointment before you go?” And the more you say it (practice), the easier it will become (perfect). Whatever your spiel is, keep it consistent, keep it brief, and just make it a part of your routine. Your clients won’t see it as pushy (unless of course, you are pushy) if they know that’s the norm. And then it’s their turn to practice booking ahead so they always have the perfect appointment time.
3. Your sanitation routine. Proper sanitation (implements and pedicure tubs) isn’t optional, but you could probably practice a better way of doing things. Make it part of the salon’s service protocol. And do it every time. This repetition (practice) will ensure that nobody slacks off and things get cleaned properly (perfect) after every client.
4. Talking about yourself. A lot of nail techs I know have no problem marketing their services. But some of you might be a little more reserved or shy. And when someone compliments your nails, you just say thank you. But you need to practice saying, “Thank you, I’m a nail technician and this is one of my most popular designs. Here’s my card if you’d like to come in for an appointment.” Practice handing out your card and talking about your salon and your amazing services. It will become so much easier the more you do it. It’s not bragging if it’s true!
5. Saying no. Yep. You have to practice saying no if you want to be good at it. And why do you want to be good at saying no? So you have some time to yourself, for starters. You know there are always clients out there who will take a mile for every inch you give. Set boundaries and let clients know you aren’t available at their every whim. It’s hard to say no, so you have to practice. And the more you stand your ground and keep to your schedule, the more your clients will appreciate and respect your time (perfect).
I’d love to hear from you about other areas of your job that have benefited from practice. E-mail your stories to me at [email protected] and I’ll include them in a future issue.