How do you know if your prices meet your level of craftsmanship or professional skill set? Have you actually thought about it, or do you price your services based on what everyone else charges?
If you were to visit 5 different salons, they will all have different prices. In fact, sometimes the price difference can be extreme, one salon charges $50 for a shampoo and style and another salon charges $80. You wonder, where do they get this value from? If you think deeply about your value of services, should your prices be more or less?
There was a time I would speak about my pricing with hesitation when asked how much I charged for certain service because I was intimidated and not sure if it was okay or if I should charge this much or that much. I felt pretty confident that I was worth it, but I didn’t feel confident that someone else would think so. Or I felt like I wanted to save the world and accommodate anyone who was willing to sit in my chair, therefore, I would compromise my pricing. There was also a time when my pricing was at an entry level because I knew at that time I had some growing to do in my craft.
Either way it goes, from one extreme to another, I know what the value of my service is worth. I can justify my pricing, and to answer my own question, my prices should be much higher. I choose to be competitively priced and affordable because my work has become a greater purpose—my prices are more than just income-based. I view my customers from a “Client Life Value” standpoint. Additionally, I factor in a few other things–my time and what is fair for me. If I charged what the value of my service is worth, the people who need me the most would not be able to comfortably afford my services. The bottom line here is that I literally take the time to decide what I’m willing to leverage for my time and service. What about you?
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH?
Sometimes people will expect and want to pay less than what you may be asking, however, your duty as a stylist is to make sure your pricing is justified by giving service equal to or worth more than the monetary value of that service. This part is crucial. I find that even the most hesitant person will be willing to pay more for great service. After all, service is where the value lays. But lack of services and/or poor service is doomed, especially when it’s overpriced. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WORTH MORE than your asking price.
I have been doing hair for 25 years.
I have taken many extended classes over the years and continue to learn.
I have reached an expert level in my industry.
I am specialized in the services I perform.
You see, this and more builds value. Additionally, I take pride in standing behind my chair when my clients come for service. I work on one client at a time so that I can give top quality attention to each client that sits in my chair. I use professional high-quality products. Now although the list of four examples above are due to the many of years of experience I have, the service that builds value to it can come at any point in your career. And that is “giving more in service than you are charging the customer.” When you are willing to give MORE than your service price, you are working on becoming worth whatever you ask for. When you can’t give come up with a list of things that you do to earn your value other than the service rendered, you need to fatten up your value.
Here is a list of things to immediately add value to your service.
- Be prepared for your clients; take pride in a clean work environment.
- Stay abreast of industry classes, motivational seminars, written material. Study, read, and apply the knowledge.
- Use professional type of the line products when servicing customers.
WHAT IF THEY STILL THINK THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH?
What if they think the price is too high and decide to not sit in your chair? Well, you can always give a new client a first-time discount to show that you are worth the asking price. Remember that your price is not just about the hairstyle, it is also about the total experience. You are building long-term relationships that go beyond that first service; so, a new client discount is a perfect way to allow someone to see the value you bring to the experience. Imagine how impressive it is as a client to have an appointment, walk in the salon and see the stylist prepared and ready with a smile as soon as they come in. That is a sure way to get a repeat client! No two lists will look the same, you are responsible for giving more than the service you provide, and how you do it is up to you. I love this quote from an unknown author, “Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.’’
Eventually, I decided that my price is my price, and it is true people will manage to afford what they want if they feel it’s worth it. I still may give the first-time discount, not because I’m trying to win a new client but because I believe in giving back when I can. Now when I speak my price, I do not hesitate and usually it is firm. I do not often discount my services, however; I do believe in bulking up my ticket. In other words, I give more than the service I am charging for.
Here are some examples. I may do a takeout of a previous weave for no charge if you are getting a re-installment. Or I may cut or trim for no extra charge or apply hair color for free when multiple services are added. This is just a few things I often do to make my clients feel valued and appreciated not to mention I completely stand behind my work. I will redo anything if that is the only alternative to fixing a problem.
I reiterate, give your price without hesitation and show the customer not only are they getting a great value, they are getting more than what they are paying for. This advice is coming from someone who has taken time to master and specialize in my practice. I didn’t just jump out there and decide I wanted to be a high-priced stylist because I had a lot of overdue bills or that I had longevity in the business, no, I actually do the quality work commensurate with the prices I charge. And in the end, I also give back more in value.
BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR WORTH
Let’s take a step back and understand why I know my worth as a stylist and just what I measure that by. First, I am consistent with my work and I have built value and integrity behind my name. By that alone I justify my pricing. However, the key factor to getting your clients to see your worth is through your own confidence and integrity. I cannot stress enough the importance of integrity. Giving more back than the asking price is an excellent practice to incorporate into your services. I’ve already given some examples of how to do this. When you give more than you ask for, your clients will be your greatest marketing tool telling everyone how you take care of them and go above and beyond. People love getting things for free, and stylists love being paid what they are worth. So, it’s a win-win for everybody.
It doesn’t mean that everybody will be willing or able to afford our services—yours or mine. It does mean our prices are not negotiable. If you take the time to build in value, I am confident that your prices will be more than fair. Stand behind your work and be willing to do the entire process over if that’s what is necessary to have a satisfied client.
The problem most clients have with paying a stylist the asking fee is when the stylist isn’t performing and are just cash-greedy. It doesn’t work that way. You will lose every time when you give your clients watered-down services. Most of us can relate to poor service, and most won’t stick around long for that. Give high-quality service and always use the best products when working as professional charging professional prices. DO NOT be a professional stylist using cheap over-the-counter watered-down products. Make sure your skills are up to par even if you do build your value in other ways. The days of taking people’s money and not delivering are long gone. People have more ways to get the word out there that you are not worth it than ever before. You cannot just throw a price out and not back it up.
Before you factor in the charge and pricing that may be appropriate to the service, you want to make sure you can deliver what you are being paid to do. In this day and time, people are savvier about how they spend their money. For the sake of your name, you do not want to negatively affect your reputation via word of mouth and even worst the Internet for not being able live up to performing the services you are getting paid for. Believe it or not, clients are much more respectful of your willingness to learn and practice when you are honest and fair about it. Sometimes they will be willing to let you work on them even if you are in the learning curve, but don’t set yourself up for failure by not being honest and just trying to make the almighty dollar. Be sincere with your clients about your capabilities and be fair and honest about what it’s worth.
Ultimately your skills will play a big part in who is willing to sit in your chair and who will not. Your skills should also determine who you invite to sit in your chair. In this regard, all money isn’t good money–you must know what your abilities are. Be honest and fair, do not ruin your reputation by being overpriced and under-skilled. Most of all be service-minded, maintain a giveback mentality, build priceless value, and by doing so, you will always be worth more than your ticket price. So now I ask, “What are you worth?”