Effective 1-on-1s: Stop parenting, start teaching


John Palmieri


John Palmieri: There’s the clap.


Chris Sulimay: There’s the clap! Which means what?


John Palmieri: It means it’s time for us to talk about something fun.


Chris Sulimay:That’s awesome. Because I’m up for something fun. Yeah. So, hey, everybody. Welcome to 124 Go, the website. Obviously, you’ve reached our education spot, our free education spot. John and I are sitting here. We’re ready and willing, [00:00:30] and really happy about sharing this conversation with you. Yeah?


John Palmieri: Yeah. Today, we’re going talk about one-on-ones.

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Chris Sulimay: Awesome.


John Palmieri: I think that’s something that managers often struggle with sometimes. They know they’re supposed to do them, “sometimes we don’t. Sometimes it gets boring really fast. I don’t know how to make them effective, the staff doesn’t like doing them, but we do them because we’re supposed to.” So I think we can kind of talk about those today.


Chris Sulimay: Yes. So it’s a great topic and one that we’re both excited about. I don’t know if passion is the word that we use but we believe [00:01:00] in and it’s something big. Maybe if somebody clicked on this video and they’re listening for the first time, and they don’t really do these one-on-one things, these salon meetings with people. What is this thing and why do we do it?


John Palmieri: So a one-on-one, specifically, is an opportunity for us to sit down with our team and spend some quality time with them. I know we kind of overused that phrase, but that’s really what it is. It’s an opportunity for us to sit, spend 15-20 minutes, maybe sometimes a little longer to [00:01:30] really connect with our staff, find out what’s going on with them. But it’s not just a social conversation, it’s what’s going on with them. How’s their development going? How’s their career path going? If you’re a level salon system or you’re just looking for development as a stylist, what coaching can I provide for you? What feedback can we share? And how do we get that personal development that we want our teams to have?


Chris Sulimay: Sure, fantastic. And so that’s what it is and why would we [00:02:00] do this as far as- or what benefit does it have to the stylist? For me, it’s about developing a relationship with my stylist. What’s the benefit for them, kind of long term? 


John Palmieri: There’s a couple of benefits. I think one of the biggest benefits, and probably one that isn’t always so obvious, is I think more often than not, we tend to give members of our staff, we’ll call them the “squeaky wheels,
we always give the squeaky wheels the most attention. There’s always a challenge with attendance, there’s always a challenge with [00:02:30] performance. Who knows what the challenges are. I mean, they’re endless sometimes, yet they’re the ones that get all the attention.  And there’s nothing worse than having really amazing team members who show up every day on time, better yet they’re early. They sell retail, they’re rebooking their clients, they have great consultations, the numbers are awesome, but they don’t cause any problems. They don’t cause us any challenges. We’ll go months without talking to them. And then one day we’re really sad and hurt that they left.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. That’s the truth, right?


John Palmieri: So it gives you an opportunity to connect [00:03:00] with those team members that otherwise wouldn’t get any of your time, which is kind of sad. It allows you to build a cycle called a “meeting cycle.” It allows you to build a meeting cycle of accountability. So for those stylists or team members who are a challenge, meeting with you on a regular basis to see that we’re actually moving through on the things that we talked about, the things that are important, the things that we need to see change. Touching base on a regular basis is important. And I think the third thing is, and you have those [00:03:30] new stylists or those stylists who are trying to grow. Where’s that coaching? How do I get there? Because

we’ll sit here all day and go, “You know, Chris, you need to sell more retail.” “Yeah, but I don’t know how.”


Chris Sulimay: Right. “How do I do it?”


John Palmieri: “How do I do it?” 


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Absolutely. 


John Palmieri: And it’s just a great opportunity for all three of those, I think, are the big reasons to have one-on-ones.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. It’s a beautiful thing. And so, when we go into one of these conversations, obviously, if you’re brand new to one of these, it could be scary if you’re a salon owner. Especially, if you’ve not done these, right?


John Palmieri: Just like what do I say, [00:04:00] what happens if they don’t agree with me?


Chris Sulimay: Right.


John Palmieri: Right.


Chris Sulimay: Fantastic, there’s my favorite word [laughter].


John Palmieri:Your favorite word. You know what, we should start a pool how many times Chris says fantastic in this podcast. Can we call this a podcast? It’s a videocast.


Chris Sulimay: This is a videocast. You’re probably watching us on video, but you might hear this on a podcast form as well.

But here’s what I know about you, John. And here’s why it’s just so powerful that you’re sitting down having this conversation is because [00:04:30] I know that you spend a great deal of your time not only going through coachings and one-on-ones with stylists, but you do this with managers and even higher level leaders of owners of salons and organizations, and that sort of thing. And I know that when you do this you’re not- well, you have a lot of experience, we all have our experience, you’re not shooting from the hip. So you sort of have a format. There’s actually a little form here of a piece of paper that we’ll put up on the screen here.


John Palmieri: Sure.


Chris Sulimay: But I know that you walk through a process [00:05:00] and this process helps you really to take the coaching in the direction that it needs to go. And it helps guide the person towards growth. Towards not just, “We didn’t just have a conversation and then nothing happened.” But we had a conversation we both knew what we agreed to, we both know what the follow-ups are going to be. And we know what success from this conversation looks like and moving forward stuff.  Share a little bit about that.


John Palmieri: Well, nothing that I’m going to share [00:05:30] with you today is something I personally created. What I do is, like all of us, I think we kind of find a little- it’s like haircutting, You take a little Sassoon, you take a little Tony and Guy, you take a little Jack Assange, and you kind of create your own. And that’s the same thing for coaching with me, a little bit of what Google teaches, a little bit of what brain-based learning creates on, some pivot point education. When I worked with a consulting company and kind of take bits and pieces and put it together. But what I know is there are basically [00:06:00] four parts to a good coaching program. There’s four parts to a good education program, there’s four different personality types. I mean, you can spend a lot of time going over the applications where four of something shows up. 

But anyways, to the point, I like to break things down into why, what, how, and what if. There’s another coaching method, it’s called GROW. Google tends to use that a lot. That stands for goals, [00:06:30] reality, opportunity, and the future. And so, I really like that. And kind of like I said, put all those together and kind of come up with something that I’m comfortable with. And I call it the why, what, how, and the what if. The why, is to me, probably, the most important part. Because if I’m going to have a sit-down with you, if I’m going to have a one-on-one. Yeah, I have why we’re going to sit down. We have talked about the numbers, but that’s [00:07:00] why it’s important to me. Why isn’t about why it’s important to me, why is why is it important to the stylist.


Chris Sulimay: Absolutely.


John Palmieri: And for that, there has to be a connection between you and your team. There’s got to be a little rapport building. And so, I like to start off, especially with a new hire with is, “Why are you a hairdresser? Why did you come work for us? Why is this important to you?” I’m trying to figure out why they’re in this industry, why they choose this career path, why they choose to work for us, because I want to fulfill [00:07:30] those desires. So I spend a lot of time on the why. And the thing about creating a really good why, is that any goals that we create later, connect to that. So for instance, not only do I like to do the- what I call the “big why”, not only do I like to do the big why when we first hire them; but I like also kind of revisiting this process and doing a big why whenever there’s a big life change.


Chris Sulimay: Sure.


John Palmieri: “I am buying a house. [00:08:00] I am getting married. I’m going to have babies.”


Chris Sulimay: I’m getting divorced [laughter].


John Palmieri: “I’m getting divorced.” Because at that time when there is that life change, your why changes. Your goals are going to be aligned differently. So if I’m just about having a baby, I’m going to have this conversation with you. And I’m going to say, “Hey, you know what Janet, what’s different now? What’s important to you now?” An example might be, “John, I really like my job, but I know I’m going to have to cut back on my hours. [00:08:30] But I want to make the same amount of money that I always have.” ” So now that I’m really clear on what your goal is, what your why is, anything we talk about after this, what I call the “smaller why’s”, connects to that. So if I’m going ask, “Hey, let’s work on selling retail.” I need to find a connection to that and helping me work less hours but make the same amount of money. If I’m talking about rebooking, if I’m talking about services per client, if I’m talking about average ticket. Whatever we’re talking about [00:09:00] next, if it doesn’t connect to that, then, why am I sitting here? And I think that’s the part that managers forget, is we forget that we think these things are important because we think they’re important, a one-on-one has to be about you, what’s important to you and how do I help you get there. And of course, I always think of a salon and a stylist relationship as a partnership. I’m helping you grow and in the end, it helps us as a company grow. 


Chris Sulimay: And it’s interesting that you say [00:09:30] that because when I go in and speak to groups, and I’m talking the shop talks stuff or we’re just talking about growing referrals and return client, all the basic things that we’ve all heard. I know the salon has goals but I always like to start out those conversations by saying, “Look, I get it. The salon has goals. That’s the job of a business, we have to have goals, right? But what’s your goal?” And that’s what it is. And do you feel like this is a missed… Do you feel like people, some salon owners might think of this as namby-pamby. [00:10:00] Like, what’s your why? And how do we really help a salon owner make a connection to why this is so strong for them?


John Palmieri: Right. I think to be transparent, when I first tried to learning and become a coach myself, the why people-


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. You thought it was namby-pamby.


John Palmieri: I thought it was namby-pamby. I was like, “Listen, just do it because I told you. I know better. I’m the owner. I’m the manager. I know more than you. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years, blah, blah, blah.” I hated this part, because to me, it took too much time [00:10:30] and I just wanted to get to it. But as time has gone by, and hopefully I’ve gotten a little wiser, at least my beard tells me I have, you really realize the importance of making that connection. That people understand that you’re looking out for them, you’re looking out for their best interest. That you’re trying to help them reach their goals and when their goals and your goals align, it’s magic.


Chris Sulimay: Dude, that’s beautifully said. 


John Palmieri:Thanks.


Chris Sulimay: That’s beautifully said, awesome. So we spend a little time [00:11:00] in the beginning. We connect to the why. Do you have any good key questions or a little bit of advice, kind of digging into that conversation?


John Palmieri: If it’s a brand new stylist, my favorite is, “Why are you a hairdresser? What brought you to this industry?” And the second thing I want to know is, “What made you come work for us?” Because there’s a reason you work for us.

And to jump ahead, very often why stylists leave us, because we no longer are the people they thought we were when they first joined up. An example, “I came here [00:11:30] because I heard the education was great.” Fast forward five years later, and your education program’s in the junk and they left. Well, they left because the very reason they joined your team-


Chris Sulimay: Is no longer a thing.


John Palmieri: No longer a thing. So I think that’s really important. And then I always think it’s important at change of life stages to revisit that. Because the reason I work for you now may not, and often isn’t, the same reason I worked for you when I first got here. And I think [00:12:00] we forget to have those conversations.  I think it’s important to remember that conversation, what I call the “big why,” does not happen every month. You’ll bore people to tears.


Chris Sulimay: Absolutely.


John Palmieri: ”So, Chris, why are you a hairdresser? Why did you join our company?” Oh, please. Are we going to do this again? Put a poker  in my eye.

It’s that’s life-changing events when you first come up, that’s why I call it the big why. It’s not every conversation. It’s a once in a while, maybe two or three years before we even have the big why conversation again. But [00:12:30] there’s always the little ones.

So to get to your point, the little whys are, “All right. What are the goals you have over the next 2 to 3 years? Heck, six months. What the goals you have for the next six months? What are you trying to achieve with your career? What are the things you want to get involved in? What’s important to you? If you could do anything, and time and money wasn’t an issue, what would it be?” So at that point, most people will tell you, “I want a promotion. I want do more education. [00:13:00] I really wish I could do balayage but I don’t know how.” Most people know what they want to achieve and what they need to move forward. It’s the how part that they struggle with.


Chris Sulimay: And so we’re going to move into that for just a second. But I’ll tell you to you a point there, it’s really interesting. One of the things that I’ve observed, and then have been experiencing lately myself even, is I always know that if I’m not getting feedback from a person inside of a coaching [00:13:30] or a one-on-one or in a conversation, I always know that’s because they may not trust me yet. I need to take a little bit more time inside of this why piece and dig a little deeper, and just allow them… It will come out over time. I guess my last point I want to make is I’ve seen you in situations be very patient into getting to this point. So my final question on this I guess is, how long can this take sometimes to get?

John Palmieri:It depends. [00:14:00] I mean, I think when you first start doing this, that understanding of where people are in the middle of that conversation, isn’t always apparent. But over time and with practice, you start reading people’s faces, you start reading their body language. But I’ve just learned to become very, very patient. I think sometimes we struggle with silence. And this is a little off topic but I think it’s an important part of coaching, sometimes it’s okay for it to be silent [00:14:30] for a minute. And I think for most of us, 15 seconds of silence is so uncomfortable we have to say something. Sometimes sitting there and I’ll wait you out, I’m really good. And I’ll sit here for 30 seconds until you think it’s time for you to say something because you’re tired of waiting for me to say something. I’ll wait you out. I’m not saying that to be mean or to say this is a contest, I’m saying that because [00:15:00] you obviously need that time to put together your thoughts and think. Because you’re sitting there going, “Should I say that? Is that okay for me to say that? Is that going to get me in trouble?” And if you fill that space with your conversation, you’re not allowing the person to go through that critical opportunity.


Chris Sulimay: A hundred percent. So we got the why, we’ve had the conversation. 


John Palmieri: Now I go to what. Or for the GROW model, for those people who may google that a little bit later, I want to know what you know. “So I want [00:15:30] to be part of the education team. Education is really important to me.” “All right. Well, tell me what you know about that?”

“Well, I know that Chris is in charge of it, so I have to go ask him.” “Okay, great. What do you think Chris would look for in an educator?” So I’m going to spend some time figuring out what you already know about the situation and what you think you need to do about it, because I can tell you all day long… And you’ve seen these things before, people remember 10% of what they see, 20% of what they [00:16:00] hear, 30% of what they read. The numbers are all over the place.

But I do know this, when somebody thinks of it themselves, they’re way more likely to remember it than me telling it to you. So I need you to think of the answers and so I’m going to ask you critical questions, “What do you know about this?” “Oh, I know I have to ask Chris.” “All right. If you have to ask Chris, what do you think Chris would look for in order to say yes?” “Well, [00:16:30] he probably wants me to be really good at what I’m doing.” “Okay, good. What do you think about your technical skills right now?” “I don’t really think they’re that good.” “All right. So what do we need to work on?” “I need to work on my technical skills.”

I didn’t say a word, you came up with that. Because you understand what it takes to get there. And you need to let people take that journey and too many of us rush the process. “This is what Chris needs. Chris needs you to be better at balayage because you kind of suck. [00:17:00] And when you get better, I’ll tell him.” “Okay, great. When is that going to happen?” 


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Such a tough skill and it’s really very synonymous with being in a consultation and the client says one word, and you go off on the recommendations. And so how do you pull back a little bit? What are some things that you do inside to keep yourself from just wanting to-


John Palmieri: Well, it’s funny because I had this conversation a half-hour ago with one of the managers. [00:17:30] And I was coaching them on how to deliver a really good one-on-ones. And she did a really good job, when we were done though, there was some feedback I had for her. In that feedback, what I said was, “You’re giving too much information, doing too much telling. You’re not helping them through the journey.” And the great part was she acknowledged it and she said, “You know what, that’s the parent in me, I’m trying to parent this person.”  And she goes, and this is on her own, she said, “I need to teach him.” [00:18:00] Because she was also before she joined our industry, a teacher. “So I need to approach this from a teaching perspective, not a parenting perspective.”

And I think that’s golden because I think what we do as leaders is we try to, even if we’re not parents, we try to parent our stylists through the process. And it’s not about parenting them. It’s about teaching and teaching often, again, I believe, if they think of the idea themselves [00:18:30] or go through the process of figuring it out themselves, they’re way more likely to be engaged and remember it.


Chris Sulimay: Well, in some adult learning training that I’ve had in the past that I use all the time-


John Palmieri: And I know you’re a big fan of adult training.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, 100%. Well, because I didn’t learn to learn until I was an adult [laughter].


John Palmieri: All right. It works for you.


Chris Sulimay: I spent most of my childhood in the principal’s office. And so being in adulthood when I really found that I grabbed onto something that I’m ready to grab onto which was hairdressing. And what I can share from that is adults [00:19:00] need to see and hear something. So we use a tool, this tool will be on the screen. Inside of that tool they’ll get to see, they’ll get to hear, you’ll have conversation. But then the other piece that they need to do is to do and review. So see, hear, do, review. And that’s what this grid is kind of taking us on. 

John Palmieri: And it’s four.

Chris Sulimay: It’s four.


John Palmieri: Brain-based learning, always for some reason, comes up in the four corners. 


Chris Sulimay: And I think of the review piece [00:19:30] as when they speak it themselves. And if you really think about anything valuable that you’ve really learned, yes, there are times when somebody says something and it clicks. But when it connects, is when you cut that perfect bob “Oh, that’s the horizontal line.” And so we believe that it’s your job as the leader and the coach to be patient enough to wait for that experience to happen. And

it happens through them, not us.[00:20:00]


John Palmieri: Exactly.


Chris Sulimay: We lead them there through questioning. So what are some of the what’s that you might be coaching too?


John Palmieri: Well, the what’s specifically, I’m going to use the example that I used in regard to a person who wants to be part of the education team. “I want to be part of the education team, that’s my goal over the next 3 to 6 months.”


Chris Sulimay: How about if I just want to grow some money behind my chair?


John Palmieri: Sure.


Chris Sulimay: What are some of those what’s?


John Palmieri: I’m going to ask you. “All right. So you want to grow some money behind. Why aren’t you doing it now? What’s holding you back?”


Chris Sulimay: “Well, [00:20:30] I just, really, I’ve been in a rut. I really haven’t been focusing on it. I don’t know… Yeah. I’ve been in a rut. I’m not feeling it.”


John Palmieri:“I’ve looked at your numbers, Chris. And over the last three months, we tracked your client visits per month and your client visits per month have been pretty much exactly the same all three months. So I would agree you’re in a rut, you’re not growing at all. Now you’re not going down so that’s a good thing. But you’re doing 75 clients a month in the last three months in a row.”


Chris Sulimay: “Got it. So my clients [00:21:00] keeps on growing.”


John Palmieri: “So your client- well, we disagreed. You kind of said, I’m kind of- So if your client visits per month aren’t changing, what do you need to do to get that up? How do you think that needs to change?”


Chris Sulimay: “Maybe referrals? Maybe I need to work on my referrals.”


John Palmieri: “Those are great, I love referrals. What else you think you could do?”


Chris Sulimay: “Well, I could get more active, maybe in my social media. Maybe I could start to work more on that.”


John Palmieri: “Have we done that at all up until now?”


Chris Sulimay: “Not lately.” [00:21:30]


John Palmieri: “Okay. So let’s work on referrals and let’s work on your social media. Is that great?”


Chris Sulimay: “Yeah.”


John Palmieri:“So at this point, we’ve got an agreement. Your why is, I’m trying to put, ‘I want more money in my pocket.’ One of the things I can give you a little bit of feedback on is your client count hasn’t changed. Which goes to your point about being stagnant, you’re not growing. And then I’m asking you what can you do about it.” Now here’s the thing, sometimes people struggle with that. Chris just said, “Oh, I need more referrals. [00:22:00] And I guess I could work more on my social media. And both of those things are true. But sometimes people get stuck. Right? And so I’ll give them little hints. “So how do we get more new clients in the door? What are you doing now?” “Well, I guess I really don’t do  anything. I’m just hoping people will come in. I mean, we do a lot of advertising so I’m hoping people will show up.” “Okay. Well, I think we can both agree that it’s not really working for you right now. Right? So let’s think of some other things.”

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. And oftentimes, [00:22:30] we’ve also found they could be in a creative rut. They literally are making- sometimes I made the same offerings to my same clients, I’m not having a great consultation again. So there’s a million answers inside of that based on the situation and the person. But I got to lead myself to the answer and it felt more real in that regard.


John Palmieri: But the great thing now is that I also set you up for accountability now. You said, “I need to work on my social media.” You said,  “I need to get more [00:23:00] referrals.” It wasn’t  my idea. It was yours. Now, I’m agreeing with you, but my job as a coach now is you’ve discovered what your challenges are. And most people will figure that out. And a little bit later on, we’ll show you how we get there. I now have something to hold you accountable to and not in a negative way but a positive way, I’m here to help you. Just like a personal trainer is going to hold you accountable with your exercise regime. Just like a dietician is going to hold you accountable to your diet. [00:23:30] I’m not here to hold you accountable because I want to find a way to punish you. It’s the complete- in fact, if you use this as a weapon, you’ll kill it. Because the whole point of developing a one-on-one in the coaching program is not to use it as a weapon. It is to use it as a positive reinforcement reactions that they’re taking and the changes that’s happening in their career.


Chris Sulimay: Great. So we covered the what and we kind of started to get into the next topic which is the-


John Palmieri: The how. So I’m going to ask, now, this is the part where I get to do a little bit [00:24:00] more coaching. This is the part where I’m going to get involved. So I may say to you, “So Chris, you agreed on referral cards. How is that? How are you doing that now? Have you passed them out?”


Chris Sulimay: “Not to everybody.”

John Palmieri: “Okay. Why don’t you pass them out to everybody? Why does that happen?”


Chris Sulimay: “I probably just got out of the habit. And sometimes I feel a little kind of like I’m pushy, maybe a little bit, I feel a little embarrassed.”


John Palmieri: “Let’s do this then. Let’s talk about who you’re going to give up these referral [00:24:30] cards to. Let’s talk about verbiage because maybe I could help you with that. Is there anybody that does really good at referral cards in the salon? Have you seen them?”


Chris Sulimay: “I think KD does a great job with referrals.”


John Palmieri: “Do you ever hear what she says?”


Chris Sulimay:“Yeah. She’s really- she talks about it a lot more than I do.”


John Palmieri: “Yeah. She’s your next station over?”


Chris Sulimay: “Yeah.”


John Palmieri:“So maybe we can use some of her verbiage that she uses? I’ll share things that I’ve used that are successful and then other stylists I know that have used it are successful. [00:25:00] But let’s talk a little bit more we’ll go into detail about what that sounds like. You’re out of the habit so we’ve got to create a habit. All right. Let’s find ways to do that. You know what a great habit is? Is that when you go up to the front desk to close out with the referral cards. We have this program where we have the front desk staff ask clients before they leave whether or not they received any referral cards today. I’m going to give you that feedback. [00:25:30] And let’s kind of keep track of it, like on a percentage basis. Like if you did ten clients today and five of them got referral cards, that’s 50%.”


Chris Sulimay: “So I can choose who I give them to because I really don’t feel like I want. I kind of feel like I want more balayage type clients.”


John Palmieri: “So here’s the thing, let’s talk about that, because, yes, I think it’s important to choose who you give referral cards out to. But you know, I was talking to Janet the other day. And Janet was telling me how she doesn’t [00:26:00] really like to give referral cards to the moms that bring their kids in, because all she does is kids.”


Chris Sulimay:“Yeah. I don’t want to do a lot of kids either.”

John Palmieri: “So she stopped giving referral cards out to anybody that was a mom. Well, here’s the challenge, yes, she stopped getting kids. But she stopped getting half the women that she usually used to get because half the clients are women. So we have to be careful of how we filter this. Yes, balayage clients are important and you want to do more. So that’s perfect. But what other [00:26:30] parts of your business do you want to increase also? And you can over filter so let’s be careful not to over filter.”

Chris Sulimay: “Right. Maybe just hair color in general.”


John Palmieri: “Yeah. You know what Michael does that I love is, he says this when he passes out referral cards to a client, he says, ‘You know, I just did a beautiful balayage, I love doing blondes. It’s like my favorite color. Here’s some referral cards. If you have any friends or family that want to be blonde, that want a balayage, please [00:27:00] send them to me.’ Because here’s what Michael knows. The minute you walk out of this room and you go see your friends, they’re going to be like, ‘Man, that blonde is beautiful.’ And what does that client going to say? They’re going to say, ‘My hairdresser loves doing blonde, you should go see him. Heck, I got a referral card.’ Now Michael just doesn’t pass up cards to balayage clients. He loves pixies, he loves bobs, he loves men’s haircuts.” 


Chris Sulimay: What I love about what’s happening right now is [00:27:30] we just, literally, just, based on the role-playing of the questions were able to go down a path that felt- for a minute there I felt like I was actually in a coaching. And in essence, that’s what this process does. It leads you authentically to the answers that- there’s only a few ways to grow your business, right, as a hairdresser.


John Palmieri: Yeah. There’s only five or six real KPIs that you can address and say this is going to grow my business. 


Chris Sulimay:Yeah. But [00:28:00] it’s through the questioning that leads us there. And, I mean, even in a roleplay, it’s like, all of a sudden we’re having a real discussion about it. And that’s the how. And you know how, you’re a salon owner at home you know how to do this. 


John Palmieri: You know how to do this.


Chris Sulimay: And so once you’re connected with that person and you ask enough questions and they’re enrolled, you can kind of see how this process just sort of, it takes you.. It organically starts to take you down the ordeal. So now we’ve got the why, now we’ve got the what, now we’ve got the how. So what’s that last piece?


John Palmieri: The last piece is, [00:28:30] and this works both with a GROW model and a model that I use, which is W, which is what if.  So what if this happens? And at this point, I’m actually going to set numerical goals. “So Chris, if you’re working on referral cards and you’re passing them out to the clients the way we just kind of shared, maybe you’d have a little conversation with KD and she gives you some pointers, how many referrals a month do you think you can get?”

Chris Sulimay: “Do we know how many I’m getting now?”


John Palmieri: “Yeah. You’re getting, if I look at your sheet here, [00:29:00] you’re getting an average of five a month.”

Chris Sulimay: “Oh, man. How many, maybe, ten?”

John Palmieri: “Well, let’s do this. As I look at your numbers, look at your sheet, you’re doing about 75 clients a month right now. What I know is this, when you get a promotion, and I think that’s one of the things we’re targeting, you lose about 10% of your clients.  So you’re going to lose 7 to 8 clients with your next promotion.  We’re going to get 7 to 8 back on your calendar. [00:29:30] 

Chris Sulimay: “And if I’m going to grow, I’ll probably need a little more.”


John Palmieri: “So right now, your new client retention rate is about 50%. Which means half of the clients that come in, you keep. So if I need eight, so we call it eight.”


Chris Sulimay: “I need to keep eight, I need 16 referrals.”


John Palmieri: “Right. And you want to do this over the next three months. So 16 divided by three, is approximately seven. A little over, almost eight. So let’s go for eight clients [00:30:00] a month. How do you feel about?”

Chris Sulimay:“I think I can do that.”


John Palmieri: “I think you can too. Now, you’re doing five so it’s only three more. You can do this. So our goal is for the next three months, you’re going to get do eight new referrals a month. Of course the important part is, you got to keep the retention rate at 50%. Because if that goes down, then, you might need more like, 10 or 11. So let’s keep your new client retention rate at 50% and let’s get you eight new referrals a month. All right?”


Chris Sulimay: And you just shifted to pull back out of the out frame. I feel like you very much shifted [00:30:30] now. And of the first big portion of the why and the what if, or the why and the what and how, you did a lot of questioning, a lot of asking, a lot of listening. And now I feel like you’re almost setting the stage and giving a big teaching piece. And so that felt very different than the conversation a few minutes ago. But I felt totally engaged with it. And I guess I’m sharing that because I don’t know that I actually intended to feel engaged. We sat down to shoot this video. [00:31:00] But, it’s just such a powerful process when you can walk through a conversation like this.


John Palmieri: And now, if I’m visiting you once a month, I like once a month for new stylists specifically. All right. If you’re one to two years in, I like visiting you once a month. For stylists that had been with me a little bit longer, once a month can be a little much. But I don’t like going much beyond two, three at the most. [00:31:30] We have some senior stylists who’ve been with us for 15 years. Once a quarter’s good for them. Because, generally speaking, they know what they need to do, they’ve been in the business for 15 years. But I still want to touch base with them on a quarterly basis. Because they’re still trying to grow too.

And then for those mid-level stylists, five, six years, maybe do it every other month.

And then for those new stylists, one, two, maybe even three years, I will do it every month. And sometimes, if there’s a big transition with somebody, [00:32:00] and they’re really trying hard to work on a target, like, with you, I’m going to do seven or eight referrals a month, I might touch base with you every month. Even if it’s for ten minutes.


Chris Sulimay: That’s right.


John Palmieri: “Chris, how’s it going?” “Oh, I got nine.””Awesome!”


Chris Sulimay: Right. So it doesn’t have to be an hour-long conversation. Once that trust is built, once we know we have a track record, this can very much feel like a check-in.


John Palmieri: Yeah. Because the staff member needs to know that you’re keeping an eye on this. Because if it’s not important to you, why should it [00:32:30] be important to them? And they really need to know, one, that you’re keeping an eye on the process. Because they need to know you have their back. And if you turn this into, “Chris, you only got five referrals this month. The heck’s wrong with you? We talked about this. You dummy”

Chris Sulimay: Then I’m going to stop on it and go show up to leave. 


John Palmieri: Yeah. You killed it.


Chris Sulimay: You know there’s a piece on here that as I’m listening to you, and I watch you operate all the time, and so, [00:33:00] that if I were to add one sliver to or one kind of piece of feedback to this session for you at home, it’s the follow-up piece. I guess I want to ask you this final question. What happens if I go through this process and then you never hear about this conversation again? 

John Palmieri: Give me more about that one.


Chris Sulimay:So I’m a stylist.


John Palmieri: And you never hear from me again?


Chris Sulimay: Yes. So, we had this conversation, I’m going to go get referrals. And now you’re the owner. You go back home, you get busy. [00:33:30] And now-

John Palmieri: All I have to say is, “Shame on you.”

Chris Sulimay: Right. But why?


John Palmieri: Well, because- let’s go back to the very beginning. The very beginning is we talked about trust, this is trust. The biggest issue for trust with salon managers is not, “Am I going to get paid this week?” It’s not, “If I leave my wallet in the back room, it’s still gonna be there. Am I going to get my tips at the end of the night?” We’re not talking about that kind of  trust. We’re talking about the kind of trust [00:34:00] that comes from, you did what you said you were going to do. That is the biggest piece of trust that managers lose with their team. And it’s not purposeful, we get caught up as you just said. You start getting busy. There’s a lot of things going on. It’s not in your mind, you forget. And guess what? Chris isn’t a squeaky wheel. He’s fine. The problem is, you will quickly erode any trust that we just built through this process. Because you didn’t follow up. Because you’re not checking in on me. [00:34:30] And you basically forgot about me.

So what I’m going to say to you is, you can’t.  Put it on a calendar, write it down. When I was just in my salon by myself, I put it in the appointment book. That’s an appointment and we’re not moving it. Because if you move it, you just told them it wasn’t important.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Love it. Fantastic. Any closing thoughts on the coaching grid?


John Palmieri: No. I mean I laid it out in a grid format because that works for me.

You can do it in [00:35:00] box format, you can do it in lines, it doesn’t really make any

difference how you do it. But the point is, this board just thinks sections, call them what you want. There are different models out there, coaching models. Google them and

you’ll find 20 different ones.

Chris Sulimay: You’ll also have this particular PDF will be down below this video. You’ll be able to click and download it. 


John Palmieri: Download it. Yeah, absolutely.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. Great session. Glad we had this conversation.

John Palmieri: Yeah. Thanks, Chris.


Chris Sulimay: Thanks, John. Thanks everybody for watching.


John Palmieri: Yeah. We enjoyed you being here. Thanks very much and look out for our next video [00:35:30] coming out soon.

Chris Sulimay: See you on the next video. Bye, guys.