Do Some Self-Appraisal

My friend, colleague, and fellow NAILS contributor Kristi Valenzuela asks, “Have you ever asked what makes your salon bigger, better and different from other salons? Are you the nail tech that’s one in a million or are you one of a million nail technicians?” Do we think about what kind of first impressions we are making when we initially meet a client? Do you know how long you have to make a first impression? Ten seconds, that’s it! You have only 10 seconds before a client sums up who you are and what you’re all about.


After four minutes those thoughts become their beliefs. If you have made a negative impression, it will take a lot of talking, actions, and energy to change these concrete thoughts. So what came make a negative first impression? What could create these bad thoughts about us before we even start the service? Here are a few things to think about before you even greet your guest.


Think about how you’re dressed. Do you look professional? Are your clothes clean, pressed, and fitting properly? Remember the first impression is usually based on your looks. It’s hard not to be judgmental, and unfortunately the first thing people look at is your appearance. You have to look like you want to make money; you need to look serious about your business. Do you ever notice the appearance of the wait staff, bartenders, and hostesses when you walk into upscale restaurants? They are dressed immaculately. The reason for this is because they know their customers are expecting more when they’re spending a lot of money. They’re not only paying for a nice meal and service, they are paying for the experience. The same applies to us in the salon. Our guests are spending money — they expect more from us and the service. Do you want to just perform a service or do you want to create a guest experience?


Back to your appearance, I understand that being a nail technician is physical work. So make sure that you are comfortable and that your clothes stay in place with movement. We are also a part of the fashion industry, so dress like it. Your clothes help to express your personality.


I just mentioned that we are a part of the fashion industry; we are also a part of the beauty industry. Does you look express that? Do you have your hair done often or are you overdue for color? Does your makeup look fresh? Are your nails done? It’s hard to promote pedicures when your feet are all jacked up! When a client looks at you they get ideas — are you wearing the latest color? Are you using the products you are recommending? How can you sell a foot file when you have heel crevices like the Grand Canyon? Make sure your look reflects the services that the salon provides. It’s difficult to talk about the services the salon offers if you haven’t experienced them yourself.


In order to take your service to the next level, you have to look like the next level. Invest in your appearance and you’ll receive the rewards. If you look like the rest, how will you become the best?


— Jill

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