Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Advice for Sisterlock Trainees and Consultants

This is a reply to RareJewel of NY in the LockItUp yahoo group. Dominica of the group suggested I post it to my blog. Good thinking!

Hello Jewel,
Put your trust in God and scared money don't make money. I wasn't looking to
get clients or become a consultant. I was just curious to what was being done
to my hair. I shared that I took the class on my blog and in here, but it was
the registry that brought people my way. People on a budget seized the fact
that I was a trainee and would need 3 qualifying clients to become certified.
They knew or assumed that I would offer a discount and I did. Some people will
not want to be your first client or even go to a trainee. There will be a brave
soul out there who'll be happy and proud to have bragging rights of being your
first of many!

A perfect first client, will be somebody who is not overly picky. Find somebody
who has done their homework and knows Sisterlocks, but is lenient to mistakes
and varying sizes. My first client was a doll! She wanted to be able to do her
own hair and wanted a large size. So, try to get somebody with a nice tight
texture that lends better to locking with shorter hair who might want large
Sisterlocks. Regardless to length, texture, or size, take your time and work in
short sessions. Let your client know that it will take a few days if you need
that much time.

Practice retightening your own hair so that you can at least say that.
Personally, I would give a side eye to a new trainee who didn't do their own
hair. It's harder doing your own hair. So when people DIY, I'm automatically
impressed with them and would let them do my hair. Your first client might even
be a retightening client, not an install client. Work on your mannequin so that
you don't forget the how to do the patterns. Do different sizes and work on
speed with her.

I took the class in September and December I installed my first client. At the
time I had two regular retightening clients.

As far as getting clients, get some business cards and or fliers, so when you
get compliments you can give them a card. You can ask stores geared to us if
you could leave fliers with them. Advertise in here. Join the Sisterlock
facebook page and friend other Sisterlockers. Join natural hair
groups in your area and go to natural hair events. Blog about your experience
so if they like to surf the net they can follow your journey. Have your
favorite blogs and resources to refer to them. I use blogs as a way to show
styles, sizes, and how they look from the very start, to a month, to years out.
I really like blogs because you start with the most recent pictures with it all
full and work your way back. When they see that Blaqkofi started off with the
scalpy look it's reassuring that their hair will fill out. Showing Dewdrop's
DIY videos helps the budgeting or hands on clients.

When talking about Sisterlocks, people want to know how they are done, can they
come out, what you can do with them as far as styling, and how they are
different than other locks. Be prepared. When telling them how they are
different - the pattern holds the lock not product, the woven technique, the
smaller size, strength, versatility - never ever put down another lock type.
There is nothing wrong with other dreadlocks. Plus, you never knew if they have
had other locks or if a relative has other locks.

Do not to look at this as a cash cow and take clients because the getting is
good. When you are on the phone with a person or during a consultation, listen
carefully to the person. People pick who they want to do their hair, so pick
who's hair you want to do. Some people say take the money and run. If you are
able to separate this being a partnership with your client, then take the money.
If you become attached to your work, then the head ache of an ill client will
make you want to shave their head and take your work back.

Answer your phone and return calls. People screen calls and won't answer to
numbers that they don't know and wait for them to leave a message. With numbers
I don't know, I always answer with 'Hello, MiMi speaking. How may I help you?'
Not the questioning 'hello'. In your message mention that you are a Sisterlocks
professional or trainee. Check your email daily because some people feel better
just emailing.

Get a bar chair with cushion, possibly a mat, and a wide salon chair. Get a
good pair of shoes that are comfortable. I like to switch shoes because after a
few hours they all start to feel like metal on concrete.

Keep your tools on you at all times. Get an apron or put it in your pocket.
Never leave your tools out of site. Keep it in a pouch or case and return it to
it when doing your own hair. People will come get their hair retightened, pay
you, steal your tools, and then say they do Sisterlocks and have your tools to
make it look legit. If one of your tools gets lost or stolen, call immediately
to get another one. They are cheap and Sisterlocks will ship those out fast
even when they take a while to ship products.

Become friends with other trainees/consultants. I have had to mail a tool to a
consultant and take a tool to trainee. You can partner with them when doing
natural hair meet-ups/expos and the Sisterlocks events. It's also
nice to have somebody to talk to who knows what you're talking about too.

I wrote too much to proofread. I did finish fifth grade even though it might not
seem like it.

Good luck to you and enjoy the class,


V @ Locks-N-Motion said...

Great Post.... Thanks for sharing.

Carmennc said...

I'm late. You're welcome & thank you V!

Latasha Pennant said...

Thanks for're a beast when it comes to installs. How did you get so fast? How long do your re-tightenings take?

Bajan Lily said...

I read this after you posted but never commented (shame on me).
I just wanted to say (what I thought then and still do) this is excellent advice for trainee consultants! Thanks and all the best

YaYa said...

So glad I found you Carmen!I am signed up for my SL training in Hartford in August. I plan on installing sisterlocks into my own hair after my training. My hair is relatively thin with a lose curl pattern about 10 inches long. What are your thoughts on doing ones own hair? Thanks so much for your blog! Blessings