The client/stylist relationship is often a tricky balancing act between friendship and professionalism. Some clients treat their stylists like therapist, while others treat them as friends. So where does one draw the line, especially when you share more with certain clients than others? Here are a few tips on dealing with clients who ask a few too many personal questions than you’d like to answer.
Change the Subject
Yes, this is an obvious solution, but many don’t take the lead on this. You’re in charge of what you divulge about your life. Changing the subject doesn’t have to be awkward or weird. Use their question as a segue to talk about something else. For example, if your client says to you, “What do you and your significant other fight about?”, simply reply, “Oh the usual. Speaking of significant others, have you seen the trailer for that new romance movie?”.
Of course you’ll form different bonds with different clients, but you still need to set boundaries. Remember that clients can talk about whatever they want, but you should remain professional. If a client presses you to talk about things you’re uncomfortable with, or gets too interested in your personal life, make sure you state that you’d rather talk about something else. You can use this tactic if changing the subject hasn’t been successful. Don’t be rude or snotty, simply say, “Do you mind if we discuss something else?”. If they ask why, simply explain that you’re not comfortable talking about said subject with a client or at work. Most people should understand.
Ask Open Ended Questions
Yes or no questions can dry up the conversation quickly, and often leaves an awkward silence in the air. Instead, learn to ask open ended questions. Instead of asking, “Do you like this band?”, ask your client what their favorite bands are.
Flip it to Them
Ask your clients questions. Just as you don’t like to talk about your personal life, imagine that they might not like to talk about theirs (they’re just nosily poking into yours). Especially great topics include travel, hobbies and entertainment.
If none of these tactics seem to be working, talk about their hair. After all, that’s why they’ve come to see you. Go through your process, let them know why you’ve chosen specific products for them, and how they can maintain their hair.
Remember, your personal life is not for other people’s enjoyment. It’s up to you if you want to share certain details, but ultimately it’s no one’s business but your own. Turn intrusive clients into mindful ones, and you’ll be much happier to see them the next time they come in.