You say you want more clients, but are you driving them away with the kind of conversation you are having with them?  Many hairstylists hold their client hostage with their banter, irreverence, insincerity, or nonstop talking.


Do you leave them feeling they need to cleanse their energetic field versus letting them be with your caring hands and heart, and professional nature?  In this blog post you will discover how to grow your client list with more focused dialogue, and set a tone that will keep them coming back.


I recently attended a parenting workshop, and this marriage and family counselor had many points of wisdom, that I felt renewed in my role as a mother.  One of the things she said that I’ve been pondering ever since is if you hope to be on the advisory board of your child someday, then your job is to keep the channel of communication open.
In other words, when your child begins to open up and tell you something, you must keep your reactions, responses, advise inside.  Your new word is two letters, “Oh.”  That’s it!.  So easy, right?  Wrong.  But worthy to uphold.
What if we implemented this concept with our clients.  It may not sound very sophisticated, but if we could hold in our own responses, other than “Oh.”  When they are giving feedback on their last haircut, or need to tell you about their latest escapade.  You will be amazed at how profound the results are with these two letters.  This allowing dissipates whatever may be going on in minutes.  The result with this practice is your client will feel heard.
It’s not some contrived way of speaking, or I’m not asking that you be a robot. This is an action of a stylist who is interested in growing and learning about themselves, and truly interested in a positive client experience, and creating loyalty.  I want you to be the advisor on their board, the stylist they return to because they know you care.
Your language is vital in manifesting your life, your career, your dreams.  Think about all the times you speak about yourself in a way that confirms the story you tell yourself about your life.  Does it serve you?  Does it allow room for your story to change?  Or does it keep you stuck in a self-fulfilling, no win situation?
The next time a new client asks you about yourself, after you’ve so carefully listened to her, there are any number of answers.  Which will you choose?  You don’t need to go into the painful past, or what you did last night.  How about something positive that you are doing in the industry?  Did you just learn a new technique?  What are you excited by in the industry?
Keeping the focus on how you are growing within your industry, lets them know you are a leader, that you care about your craft, your business, and ultimately, your concern for them.
Can you start to feel this powerful shift in attention, and get a glimpse of how it might change your interactions, and how you show up in your salon?
Okay, I know it’s hip, but really?  Listen to athletes when being interviewed, listen to all kinds of people being interviewed, they usually don’t say ‘Dude.”  It is too easy to slide into slang behind the chair, and there is nothing that will call attention to your lack of professional demeanor than by saying things like, “Dude,” particularly a client.  Try not using it, and see if you the level of respect for you goes up, and the type of clients you start attracting change.
We need to change the perception that still exists in our communities about hairdressers and our profession.  It is up to us to show them when asked what have you been up to.  One of the ways you can do this is to read the paper, online news, twitter, you tube, Ted Talks, wherever you wish to find news.
Educate yourself on all things.
Tell them the books you’ve read, the art show you went to, the music concert you attended.  Listen to all kinds of music, broaden your understanding of the world and how it works. Expand your knowledge base, and all the beautiful richness will inform your language.
The words you use to explain a technique, doesn’t need to be complicated, or said with attitude, but with confidence you know what you are talking about.  Sometimes when we are trying new things we fumble though.  So give yourself time.  Being articulate is an art, and it can be mastered.
[Tweet “”Language determines the experience” REBECCA BEARDSLEY”]
I have a client that for many years showed up every weeks with the SF Chronicle folded up in her bag.  She’d pull it out and begin to “educate” me about what topics were in the news.  I knew nothing about sports, as I didn’t care.  I basically boycotted the news, because the travails brought me down.  I wanted to keep my mind fresh, I told myself.
Maybe it was the way she did it, and how she made me feel, but I somehow I felt stupid when she left.  Over time, I started listening to news, I read twitter for news soundbites, and click to read more articles on all topics because of it.  I am an avid Warriors basketball fan now, my family can’t believe it.  I learn about opera, I curate articles for my business.  Basically, I read a lot, and am comfortable speaking on many areas.
The other day, that client brought her paper, and there it sat on the counter next to her bag. Our conversation flowed from one topic to the next.  The experience felt like two people practiced at dancing.  When we finished, she said, “Aren’t you smart!”  I replied, “Thank you.”
We can evolve our industry one conversation at a time.  Listen and learn from your clients about what they need, about the world.  I didn’t go to college, my learning comes from conversations, and reading.  My clients are people whom I never would have met, had it not been the amazing profession I have chosen.
But follow their lead.  Let them remain in silence if they are feeling quiet.  You will grow your client list with more focused dialogue, and keep them coming back for more.
Log on to Ted Talks, and choose three subjects you shy away from, and see what happens.
Watch this fascinating video by Steven Pinker.
Question:  What are you conversing about with your clients?  Leave your response on Facebook, or Twitter.
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