Client and Stylist relationships can be a tricky one. It’s easy to get off topic with those who are repeat guests that we have grown to know and love. Often, we become so close that our role becomes confused with their therapist role. So how much over-sharing is too much? And what are the rules when it comes to “small talk” when you and your client are in that new “getting to know each other” phase?
Getting to know one another and building trust!
When communication flows easily and opening, a level of comfort and trust forms. Even though you may discover you have similar views and ideas, doesn’t always mean it’s a professional topic. Building relationships is important, but your professionalism is too. Conversations you share should be positive, interesting and most importantly, appropriate for the salon setting.
Remember, there may be other ears listening in on your conversations. That particular conversation could be offensive or hurtful to someone else.
Topics to Avoid
So, what are these topics that can lead to a negative experience or hurt feelings?
Personal Life– A common mistake is to overshare information about our lives in hopes to make our guests feel comfortable around us. This can do more damage than good in some cases. It’s unprofessional to unload your problems and other major events in your life to a client. Keep in mind, they are coming to see you to have positive and relaxing experience. Focus on helping your guests and making the most of their time by redirecting the conversation to how awesome their new look will be.
Politics & Religion– Heavy and deep personal beliefs can sometimes clash amongst others. Passionate topics such as these can bring on debates, high emotions and honestly, they just never end well. Make it your mission to redirect these topics to something else.
Gossip– theirs, yours, the salon’s… it doesn’t matter who’s gossip it is, it’s toxic! We are all guilty of getting sucked into dishing the dirt but just remember, that’s not your job. The worst gossip you could possibly discuss to your client is any Salon drama. Not only have you portrayed your entire business as an unprofessional setting or dysfunctional environment, but you have also spoke volumes about your own reliability to the team.
Money– The topic of money comes off as desperate or braggy and most people are not comfortable with it anyways. More than likely, you and your client are not close enough to speak opening about personal finances, so don’t even let the conversation go there.
Positive & Professional topics
Ask your client to list 3 things they like and don’t like about their hair. Not only is this beneficial for how we assist them, it also allows the client to open up, talk about themselves and their lifestyles.
From here, you can discuss lifestyle-related topics. Just avoid getting too deep or personal. Some clients like to vent and when this happens, simply redirect the topic back to how updating and changing their look will have such a positive effect.
Our industry is all about positivity and making others feel good about themselves. Don’t let any topic drag you or your client into a negative space. Your client is there to feel like they are the center of your attention and they are there for a positive experience. Do not let yourself get distracted with any drama.