How to Strike Up a Conversation With Clients
“How do you start a conversation with new clients at your spa, barber shop or salon? What are your go-to topics to break the ice?”
Marlo Beauty Supply took to the experts - those who connect with clients every day - to brush up on some conversation tips. In a recent #MarloAsks poll on Facebook and Instagram, Marlo Beauty Supply asked “How do you start a conversation with new clients at your spa, barber shop or salon? What are your go-to topics to break the ice?”
Beauty professionals from hair stylists to nail technicians lit up the conversation on social media. Here’s the expert consensus:
Make it about them
The first priority for most licensed beauty pros is to make their clients feel cared for and comfortable by turning the conversation to them - referencing their lives, wants, and needs. The majority of professionals use the words “them” (i.e. “Ask about THEM,” “Make it about them,” “keep the focus on them”) or “they” (i.e. “what they want,” “what they are looking for”). To ease into a conversation, tactics range from asking a simple “How are you today?” to “What kind of work do you do?” and “What are your favorite ways to relax?” Some beauty professionals (especially nail technicians, hair stylists, and make-up artists) use hobbies and work as a conversation starter, as well as a way to understand their clients’ needs for hair, nails and make-up.
Other approaches to get the ball rolling are: offering clients a beverage, asking them about the high points of their day, recalling previous conversations about family, kids, and relationships, asking about their pets, and inquiring about their plans for the rest of the day, the weekend, or the season.
Another easy and effective way to jumpstart a conversation is to make your clients feel special by complimenting their looks. This also is a possible lead-in to what the client is hoping to gain from their service and what features they want to enhance.
“What brought you in today?”
The classic customer service one-liner “How can I help you?” is a tried and true opener as professionals cater their services to the clients’ goals. One beauty professional stated that she asks clients “What would you like to see when you look in the mirror?” which allows her to implement the specific changes her client is envisioning. Others chat with clients about current beauty product usage, switching to better products, and at-home maintenance for their new style.
Keeping the focus on the client and their creative vision was also mentioned as an immensely important step. It also allows the professional the ability to react to what the client wants, and offer up expertise that aligns with the client’s specific needs, as well as temper unrealistic expectations.
Follow up questions from previous appointments can also make the client feel important (i.e. “How was your trip?,” “How are you kids doing?”). One hair stylist even follows up with her clients via phone calls to discuss their satisfaction and goals for the next appointment.
“How did you hear about us?”This seemingly simple question covers a wide variety of topics. Professionals can gauge how effectively their marketing techniques are reaching new clients, who may have referred the new client, and from what area their client lives in / has traveled. If the client mentions a personal referral, stylists can connect with them over mutual friends and interests. If the client is from the area, stylists can ask them about favorite restaurants, things they like to do, and where they work. Many professionals mentioned this question as an effective way to both make the client feel special and keep the conversation going through the session.
A range of beauty professionals, salon owners and gurus participated in the #MarloAsks poll, resulting in a variety of helpful tips at keeping the conversation rolling. Professionals with up to 32 years of experience talked about how they connect with new clients, recurring clients, and even nursing home residents and older men at their barbershop.
Look for future #MarloAsks polls on social media!