Let’s face it – it is easy to initiate in small-talk, but to lead a wholesome conversation is an art. Hairstylists are expected to possess the gift of ease in conversation, as they constantly work with numerous clients who come to the salon to look great and relax. Most people consider visiting their favourite salon as a form of therapy, so a good discussion plays an important part.
However, not every hair artist is blessed with the gift of starting interesting discussions, and even the most skilled experience the horrible moment of mind-blanking from time to time. What are the characteristics of hairdressers that clients want to talk to?
Good conversation starters
Before we begin analysing how to get a good hair salon conversation going, let’s ask ourselves – when to talk? Not every client wants to engage in chit-chat and that is perfectly fine. Some prefer to be left with their own thoughts, are too tired to talk, too shy and some even want to take a nap during the treatment. Observe their reactions and be empathic. If they answer you with short, generic sentences or look extra tired, just let them be. Your Booksy system for a hair salon comes in handy here, as you can easily note that this particular client favours silence during treatments. However, be attentive – it might have been just a bad day and your customer may get more talkative during the next visit.
Good topics for conversation starters
They are always a great idea and a very safe choice that works wonders for new customers. These hair salon conversation topics are personal, but not too private, always relevant and give you knowledge about your customer’s needs and preferences. Clients tend to like them because they make them feel treated seriously and with due attention.
You can ask, for example:
- What do you like/dislike about your hair?
- What do you feel takes up too much time in your hair routine?
- How do you usually style your hair?
- What products do you use? What products you do not like to use?
- Have you ever done XYZ before? Why or why not?
- Are there any treatments you have always been curious about?
- Imagine that during a treatment a hairdresser uses a product that fully resolves your hair problems, but is very expensive. Would you purchase it?
- What would your dream hairstyle look like?
Tip: Educate, never criticise. Nobody likes to feel judged, especially by a specialist.
Hobbies and entertainment
Pleasant, neutral and quite universal salon discussion topics. Who does not want to talk about their hobbies? Asking clients about their interests is a great starter because that kind of talk can go on and on. If they happen to do something they are proud of, they will be happy to talk about it. Who does not want to show off a little?
Favourite books, movies, shows and video games are another good catch. You can even find a common topic and spend the rest of the visit getting excited about the upcoming premiere of the new season of “The Bridgertons”. However, avoid delivering very harsh opinions and under no circumstances should you throw spoilers!
You can ask, for example:
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What is your biggest passion?
- Do you like creative activities?
- What is the last book you have read and did you like it?
- Is there a TV show you binge-watch?
- Is there a movie that always makes you cry?
- Is there a TV show or a movie you think is overrated?
These work for most clients and are great to establish a specific mood. Disadvantages? They are relevant only in time of upcoming events or holidays. Moreover, your customer may be from a different cultural group. Be careful and watch for any signs of indigestion or confusion.
You can ask, for example:
- How does your family celebrate Christmas?
- Do you have any funny childhood memories of Christmas time?
- What is the best Halloween costume you ever had?
- Do you like getting dressed and partying? Why or why not?
- Where do you spend New Year’s Eve this year?
Lastly, a group of nice, not intrusive questions you can always throw into the hair salon conversation.
- Do you have a pet? Tell me about it!
- What is your favourite meal/dessert?
- What is your favourite time of the year/time of the day and why?
- What are your plans for the weekend?
- Can you recommend to me a good restaurant/pub/café in town?
Conversation starters you should avoid
There is only one place worse to start a political discussion than at a family get together – and that is your workplace. Leave your opinions at home. When a conversation starts with a political statement, things are usually quick to go on a rampage. It may be hard sometimes to keep quiet when a customer expresses an opinion that deeply conflicts with your personal beliefs, but be patient and try to stay as neutral as possible.
Reconsider asking or commenting a client on their religious views, as this may look unprofessional and they might not be open to discussion.
Money makes the world go round, but talking about money makes the conversation go awkward. However curious you may be, never ask your customers about their salary. Avoid answering questions about yours either. While the customer is in the chair, the only numbers you talk about are the colours of the dye!
Following those rules will allow you to avoid controversial topics and help to gain the trust of your clients. It is smart to take notes, as some information may be helpful during the next visits of a given customer and you may not be able to remember them all by yourself. Booksy will help you to keep all the data safely and conveniently in one place!