5 questions you must be asking during a client consultation
Ever looked at your consultation card and thought 'why is that question on here' or 'I feel awkward asking that, so i'll skip over it'? If yes, then this is the blog piece your clients need you to read.
Currently, we are performing average consultations, which almost don't even pass as a conversation. They're one sided, closed ended questions which only read the bones of the consultation card and don't go any further than what the client has completed. That is about to change my friend, because we want you to connect with your client and build a rapport. We want you to get incredible results and build lifetime returning clients who know, love and trust you.
How you do this? You do this by asking open ended questions which explore what the client is doing in their everyday life to contribute to their concern - the exact reason why they're in your space for a treatment in the first place!
Let's explore the 5 most common questions you're currently skipping over, which are actually the most important questions you should be asking!
1. Concern Timeline
When a client writes or comments on their concern, the first question we should ask them is 'when did you first notice *insert concern*' and secondly, 'where abouts on the *insert treatment area* are you seeing this concern?'.
These questions explore the timeline of concern development, and give you an idea of hormone or lifestyle influence at the time of development. Asking the client to show you either in the mirror, skin analysis machine or by drawing on the consultation card, will give the you an easily recognisable map of internal disruptions that can visually show on the surface. For example - the jawline area is typical of disruption in the ovaries, versus between the eyebrows which can represent the liver.
One question we don't see enough of on consultation cards is the clients occupation.
Generally speaking, people spend more time at work than they do anywhere else, so the conversation should explore factors such as; how they go about their day, their work environment and how much their work effects their stress levels.
3. Product brand and buying experience
The old 'are you using a creamy or a foamy cleanser?' question just doesn't cut it these days. Clients have been asked this question for decades, and quite frankly, they're tired of it!
Let's move beyond repetitive questions and explore their product routine a further, by asking about the brand of their current routine. The brand will tell us, what price point they're currently spending and too what their buying experience was in purchasing those products.
For example, a client using Clinique we can assume is spending approximately $80 per product, and has a counter sales service buying experience with very little education provided, versus a client using Synergie skincare where their spend is approximately $120 per product with a beauty or dermal therapist diagnosis and prescription.
This tells us to what level of education we should be providing the client today and too if they are currently savvy within the professional beauty industry, or if they're currently dabbling in the retail sector of beauty.
4. Eating Habits
Our consultation cards mostly direct our client into circling 'good, average or balanced' when it comes to asking about eating habits, which therapists often seem to skip because they don't feel comfortable asking about diets and food intake.
We can only get the entire picture of what the client is doing in their lifestyle, to contribute to their concern, when we understand their movements intimately. When asking about food, avoid the word 'diet' and switch for 'eating habits' instead for a less abrasive conversation.
Ask clients about their three main meals and if they're snacking, what their favourite snack is or if they have any particular cravings throughout the day. Coffee drinker - what type of milk are they having, and too how early or late are they starting their meals?
5. Stress Levels
Last but certainly not least is stress levels. While often it can be difficult to open up a conversation about what is causing the client to be stressed, we can ask about it from a more solution based tactic in asking 'what are you currently doing to manage your stress levels?'.
This will help us better provide them with future recommendations for relaxing massage or body treatments, or perhaps even referrals to a local yoga studio or your salons app with a relaxing song available for download on there.
Have the clients best interest in heart when asking this, which we ultimately know will lower their cortisol levels, reducing in tension build up for headaches, ance, pigmentation and accelerated aging!
So there you have it. 5 questions you probably look at every day and skim over because you don't know how to approach the conversation, all expanded out for your next client conversation.
If you try these questions and build a better rapport with your client, or are able to gain more insight into what they're doing to contribute to their concern we would love to know! Comment on the thread you viewed this post on, or head over to our Mentoring sessions and book Tamara to come into your space for therapist communication and consultation training!