Several years ago, nail technician Elizabeth Kessler wrote a letter to the editor of NAILS asking why some clients don’t leave much of a tip. Now, with four years of experience under her belt, Kessler is well-respected and in constant demand. In fact, now she’s in a position to give advice to others. Read on for Kessler’s surefire tips to increasing earnings and building your clientele.

  • Professional dress is of the utmost importance. I suggest conservative, office attire- a skirt or dress with pantyhose.
  • Full makeup completes the business look. If you’re unskilled in this area make an appointment with an experienced makeup artist for a hands-on makeup lesson. This is an investment you won’t regret.
  • Get a great haircut that is easy to maintain and makes you feel good. If you spot someone on the street whose hair you really like, ask her who does it. Chances are she’ll be more than happy to tell you.
  • Take the time each morning to put yourself together properly. When you look in the mirror, you should see an attractive professional. You should exude the confidence and authority suggest a product or service or give advice to a client.
  • Keep jewelry and designer watches to a minimum. Clients may believe that if you wear a lot of gold or diamonds you must not really need the money.
  • Be pleasant to be around. Be someone your clients look forward to seeing again.
  • Talking about personal problems with clients is unprofessional. Keep your conversation light and avoid touchy subjects like religion and politics.
  • Treat your clients with care and sensitivity. Each one should feel special. Make sure that your client is comfortable and always offer a beverage.
  • I feel that trip jar is tacky. Instead, provide simple white envelopes that say: Gratuity Envelope, To:____ From:_____. Place them at your workstation along with your business cards and at the front desk. Clients know want to do with them.

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