How to: Talk to your clients and spark engaging conversations in beauty
Do you have a therapist who struggles to converse with their clients? Send them this!
To be a great beauty therapist, you need to do more than provide quality services. It's about the entire experience. Sparking engaging conversations with your clients will keep them coming back and boost your service and retail sales. So how do you navigate a great conversation? Let's dive in!
Keep it relevant
Make your conversations relevant by keeping them beauty-focused. Ask your clients about their experience with other beauty services. What worked? What didn't work? Get to know their concerns, so you can start recommending solutions.
Use open-ended questions
The key to keeping a relevant and engaging conversation going is asking open-ended questions. An open-ended question requires more than a one-word answer.
What are you currently using on your skin?
What other brow treatments have you tried in the past?
How would you describe your dream lashes?
What are your current skin concerns?
What kind of texture do you prefer in a moisturiser?
If you could change one thing about your skin, what would it be?
Open-ended questions give your client the opportunity to share details about what they're looking for, their concerns and key likes and dislikes about past experiences and products. Sharing these details can be incredibly valuable when it comes to building rapport and trust and, of course, recommending relevant products and services.
Follow the 80/20 rule
80% of the conversation should be about your client.
20% of the conversation could be about you.
Sharing a little about yourself will encourage your client to open up more about themselves. For example, you could talk about your personal experience with acne and how it affected your confidence. Being relatable and sharing vulnerable experiences will help build rapport and trust.
You can also use this rule for topics of lighter conversation. For example,
"I went to the beach on the weekend, and the weather was beautiful. What did you get up to on the weekend?"
Sharing a little about yourself will encourage your client to feel more comfortable opening up to you. What you don't want to do is spend the entire appointment talking about your night out on the weekend, leaving no details spared. Always bring the conversation back to your client.
Be a good listener
- Don't interrupt your client
- Don't try to finish your client's sentences
- Don't assume what they are and aren't interested in
- Do clarify your client's goals by repeating back the concerns they've expressed
- Do offer solutions to their concerns
- Do ask lots of open-ended questions
Pay attention to your client's body language
If your client has their eyes closed and gives you short answers, this may be a sign they want to keep social conversation to a minimum. However, if your client is looking around the room, take this as a sign to open up a conversation. Always pay attention to your client's body language and adjust the conversation accordingly.
Be aware of your body language
Presenting yourself to your client is just as important as presenting a product or service. When talking to a new client, use body language that makes them feel welcome and comfortable.
When possible, speak to your client at eye level. Avoid standing over your client in a consultation. Instead, sit down with them. Sitting at eye level shows your client you're interested in what they have to say and helps them feel more comfortable talking to you.
Avoid crossing your arms. Crossing your arms can make you appear defensive or closed off from what the client is saying.
Smile! A smile can go a long way toward making someone feel at ease around you—and we all know that feeling comfortable is essential for building trust and rapport.
Recommend another service
Another way to engage with your client is by recommending other services. The worst thing you can do is assume your client isn't interested. A great way to lead into other services is to offer a complimentary skin analysis while doing a lash or brow treatment. Open up a conversation about their skin and recommend accordingly.
And vice versa, if you're doing a facial, you could say something like,
"You have such beautiful long lashes. Have you ever had a lash lift?"
Or keep it super simple and broad,
"While we have some time today, feel free to ask me any questions about other services. Did anything else catch your eye?"
Recommend another product
Get into the habit of recommending every client a retail product, even if it's a simple aftercare product like an exfoliation glove. The more you talk about retail products, the more comfortable you will get with the idea of retailing.
When your client is checking out, instead of saying,
"Would you like to buy the AHA Power Exfoliant?"
Say something like,
"Okay, so for your brows and the AHA Power Exfoliant, which is really going to help with that stubborn congestion on your forehead and leave your skin super smooth and bright, your total comes to $119. How does that sound?"
Top tip! Don't think of retailing as sales - it's all about education. Simply educate your client on how a product will better their concern and how they should incorporate it into their routine. Only recommend products that are relevant to the concerns your client has expressed.
Other topics you can discuss to get to know your client better
Some of your conversations with your client will be less about beauty and more about getting to know them as a person. Talking to your client about their passions or finding common interests will build rapport and trust.
Where have they been?
What places do they dream of visiting?
What do they like to do on the weekend?
What are their interests outside of work?
What's their favourite restaurant?
Do they like to cook?
Are they watching any good TV series at the moment?
Do they like going to the cinema?
Topics to avoid
As a beauty professional, it's important to be able to talk about a variety of topics. However, there are some subjects that you should keep off limits.
If your client engages in one of these topics, use your conversation skills to direct the chat back to a more suitable subject.
We all know we should write notes for every client about the treatment we performed, their concerns, and recommended products and services. But you should also utilise notes to keep track of social conversations.
For example, if your client tells you they're going out to dinner on the weekend for their birthday, write this in your notes and ask how it went at their next appointment. Your client will be super impressed you remembered.
Use this same tip for products. You could say something like:
"How is your skin feeling since you've started using the Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser?"
"It's been about 6 weeks since you stocked up on your Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser, which means you're about to run out. Would you like to grab another one while you're here today?"
That's it! You're ready to start sparking engaging conversations with your clients. If there's one thing you take away from this, it's to ask questions. Asking lots of open-ended questions encourages your client to open up and share key information about their expectations, concerns and goals. Use this vital information to recommend other products and services and get to know your clients better.