One essential discipline you need to know is – “Know your client!”
You think you know your clients already – their likes and dislikes, how they like to be treated, and you definitely know what pleases them. This knowledge may be working to some extent, but not every time, and definitely not long-term.
To be able to pull off know your client you first have to know.. yourself!
You really don’t know yourself at all. Not how every client sees you anyhow.
It’s Time To Take A Long Hard Look In The Salon Mirror.
We all wear many hats on a daily basis- in front of our friends, our family, our colleagues and peers. As a therapist this personality changing can be called for every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on which clients come in, how they are feeling, how their day has been etc.
So How Does This All Work?
Know my client?
Let’s have a look at an example;
A new client comes in for hair removal or maybe an eyebrow treatment. This interaction or we can call it relationship will last only 15-30 minutes.
You are looking to make a good impression and see a smile on her face when you show her results in the mirror.
From her you will be looking for positive feedback and you will definitely be hoping for re-booking.
This is all very nice and is how any relationship starts, but to understand what the client is thinking about you throughout these crucial moments is the essential part for this relationship to have real win-win connection.
Here comes the difficult bit.
You have to know, and be ready for the negative thoughts the client will be having about you.
This is her first time in your salon! She doesn’t even know you…
Even if she has heard great reports, she has to keep an open mind and find out for herself.
You do it too…..when you go to a new hairdresser, therapist or any practitioner, it is always in the back of your mind – “Are they going to mess this up?”
It’s just human nature, and it’s nothing personal.
The key is to flip this around, be ready for it, view it objectively AND be still able to use it to your advantage.
The hard part is they won’t be telling you about their negative thoughts. They are still trying to battle them in their own heads.
How do I handle this?
By standard definition you are a brilliant therapist, you know it, but she doesn’t.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Ask yourself what might she be thinking. This is a private interaction between two individuals and like any first meet she is going to be sussing you out.
She WILL be having some negative, preconceived perceptions of you. This is what any new client could potentially be thinking of you:
Is this lady well practiced on the treatment I am about to receive? Where’s her certificates, I can’t see them on the wall?
Does she look tired? I hope she doesn’t mess this up?
OMG she is beautiful; I hope she doesn’t think I look a complete mess?
I don’t feel comfortable here, it’s too fancy for me.
I hope she doesn’t realise I haven’t been to a spa in years!
I don’t think she likes me?
Is her smile fake?
How long is this going to take as I have lots to do?
I hope she is quick. If not she must be still learning
“Is this going to hurt? ” Lol.
She WILL be thinking good thoughts also, but to be able to have a real connection factor from the offset you have to be able to quieten doubts in her head.
She is being fussy, nervous or quiet for a reason. Spot it!
She may have suffered some kind of trauma or sadness that day. Sometimes clients need more from you than just great massage or treatments. Tune in to this and help out, help her to be new again. Watch her body language, read her thoughts, squash her doubts and worries and replace them with delight!
Lavish her in great service and professionalism and win her round.
* Know how that client may feel during this first relationship experience you are going to have together.
* Remember a good 50% of her thoughts may unconsciously be negative; don’t take it personally when you are trying to figure out what these thoughts may be.
* Concentrate on squashing them – Think how you look to her, how your salon looks that day. Be extra kind and extra attentive.
* Chose your conversation wisely based on her mood, her age, her demeanor, and her attitude.
* Tweak your personality slightly for her if you feel you need to. If she wants girly/chatty, go for it. If she wants intellectual conversation proceed and look interested.
We could go on but you get the picture….
None of this is deceitful in any way and is not wrong or hard to do. We do it all the time in our daily lives in order to fill the need of significant others.
Through all of this remember one last thing. You can change your persona slightly with each client, but it’s important not to change your core values. Keep your integrity always, and remember your own image and your salon’s message.
Be that person your client needs you to be, but don’t change so much that you are totally unrecognizable
The version they will like of you is you.
Let us know in the comments below how you work it in your relationships with your clients and how it works out for you.
I think this is a very interesting and informative article. I can really relate your example of the salon client with the visitors to my website. “Know your client” applies equally to “know your website customers.” When someone visits my website, I want to make a good first impression (like the hair stylist or therapist) so they will return and maybe tell others about a positive experience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this key success factor.
Thank you. Wishing you continued success in all your business endeavors.
Interesting article, i feel you should just let your personality shine through, even though you may have a tough client.
You’re in an industry where you help people, and if they are not responsive, don’t worry. Some clients will come back, some won’t. You can only do your best, and if they don’t love your help, don’t worry. That is how i would approach it.
Yes, This is what we teach our beauty givers at SalonSupremacyPro. If we are confident we have have done our best and gone with the flow conversation wise during any given treatment, we can hold our heads high knowing we have adapted to that client’s personality, yet remained true ourselves and our business. That’s what the client will remember too.
Great article. It really gives me confirmation on things. I often try to know my clients, but don’t ever think that I know everything. I feel it is rude to assume we know everything about a client, even the regulars that don’t typically stray from the usual service. Plus, you’re automatically cutting yourself off from potential extra money. I arrived at this thought from my own feelings when I am a client. I appreciate a servicer that knows me, but still like to be offered the option for something additional before receiving the bill.
Would this count as your “know yourself” strategy?
Most definitely. Looks like you have the correct mindset already.
I feel it is important to have regular pamper sessions of our own to remind ourselves how it feels to be the client.
Of course as well you are reading your clients correctly when you can see that a large percentage of them will be looking for something else, whether it be a treatment they have been too shy to ask for, or possibly a product they didn’t know could help them.
Great work and I appreciate your comment.
Hi Tracey, I like your perspective. This an an excellent post on one of the most important keys to success in business – know your client! I like that you also think it’s important to know yourself as well!
The CEO of the hair extensions company that I am a distributor for tells us the exact same thing. I will use some of your suggestions as I start to visit potential stylists and customers for my hair extensions products and services.
Indeed, as I was reading your post, I could not help but think about my last couple of visits to a nail spa that I started patronizing several months ago for brow, lip, and chin waxing. I have been paying attention to what they do to try to attract new, regular customers.
Again, thank you for your helpful information. I will be checking back for more ideas.
Thank you for following. It is always interesting to be in the client’s shoes. Wishing you much continued success with the hair extension business. Such a busy and fun market.