As a professional cosmetologist, you talk with people during most of your job. For some stylists, this comes easily and naturally. For others, though, talking can be more of a struggle. If you fall into the latter category, how can you create better client conversations?
Here are four tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep the Conversation Light and Professional
Your customers' appointment is a chance for them to relax and rejuvenate. This is true regardless of whether they get a complex haircut or an enjoyable pedicure. Try to keep the conversation light and positive.
You can begin with casual, drama-free questions about the weather, your customer's week, their family, or anything that they're up to today. Try to avoid veering into territory that's too personal, gossipy, or likely to cause controversy.
Sometimes, clients can get off on a tangent that becomes negative. In this case, steer things back on to a positive track, such as by discussing the positive changes they're making to their health and beauty just by being in your chair.
2. Let the Customer Lead
People generally love to talk about themselves. Let them do so! You have a win-win situation for several reasons. The more your client talks, the more you get to know them and their preferences without appearing nosy. In addition, if you don't have to carry the conversation, you can focus on work and you avoid having to think of things to say.
If you get a sense that the client doesn't actually want to talk a lot, respect that wish. Some people may be uncomfortable in the chair, have a lot on their minds, or simply want to relax while you work. That's okay too, and showing that you can follow their lead will help you win loyal, repeat clients.
3. Use Open-Ended Questions
You have a few easy tricks to help move a conversation along and encourage people to open up. One of the easiest is to avoid "yes/no" questions. You can easily adjust your conversation once you become aware of it.
Instead of asking, "do you want short bangs?", ask the customer, "what are you thinking for your bangs?". You'll get to know your clients a lot better and get more direction from them if you focus on open questions.
The same trick works for casual chitchat too. If you ask what they do for a career, follow it up by asking how they like it, what's the most interesting thing, or how they came upon that job. Any of these questions will yield a longer response and relax the client.
4. Take Notes
After your client leaves, try to make a few notes about the visit. These notes should, of course, include notes about their cut, nail preferences, health or allergy issues, and future appointments. But you may also want to make note of what you learned about their family makeup, job, or personal interests.
This will make it easier to maintain a comfortable conversation the next time and make them feel like they're part of the family. Clients may not remember much about your conversation, but if you remember their dog's name or ask about how their vacation to Cancun went, they are sure to remember that attention.
As you progress through cosmetology school, take advantage of any opportunities to practice conversation skills using these few tips. You'll soon become more professional, more comfortable, and more confident. At Fairview Academy, we help our students excel in all areas of their future professional life, including creating the best atmosphere for all their clients.
Visit today to learn more about how we can aid you.