Debate: do beauty therapists need to do less of the small talk?
Small talk is the cornerstone of any great client-therapist relationship, however, what your team must not do is focus too much on gossiping, losing sight of the need to return a profit for the business.
I visit salons on a regular basis – announced and sometimes undercover as a secret shopper – and I see the above happen all the time. So, now it is time for your therapy team to get the balance right.
As a therapist it is not your responsibility to worry about the customer’s budget (making an assumption that they do or don’t have money to spend) as, quite frankly, that is none of your business.
However, it is your job to advise and educate them on the various services available in your salon and what they might need for home use. Without your direction, the all-important client cannot make the best choices.
If there are any services on your price list that they need, tell them. If there are any products on your shelves that they need, tell them. It is time to watch your small talk and focus on selling.
Think about it, what is your client’s favourite topic of conversation? It is them, not you. So stop boring clients with details of your personal life, which are none of their concern, and instead use this time wisely to include professional advice and information about the salon business you’re representing.
How do I balance the two?
The thing is, you can’t have one without the other. It’s easy to balance chit chat with professional communication, but too often therapists get the small talk right and forget about the business objectives. You need to listen and focus on your client’s needs, wants and desires first, with the small talk happening in between that to create a great overall experience.
Good communication should canvass feedback on your current services as well as finding out what might be needed in the future, interspersing this with great skincare and beauty advice that is linked to retail sales and repeat bookings for additional treatment services.
Your role as a beauty therapist is varied, covering: providing services that clients request and book in for; building a client base, filling a column so you become a financial asset within the business, selling the client the appropriate home care products, listening for buying signals and then closing sales; and rebooking, upselling and cross-selling services. You need to focus on all of this as well as being a good talker.
If you’re a financial asset to the salon then this becomes a win-win for everyone – the therapist runs a highly profitable column; the employer can meet the running costs of the business comfortably; and the client will be thrilled because, believe it or not, the more they spend with you, the happier they will be.
Do you agree with McKeon? Leave a comment below.