If you had to define one key difference between an appointment with a new client, and one with a regular client, what would it be? It’s all in the amount of listening required with a new client vs. a regular one who you may know well.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t listen to repeat clients – of course we do! But when it really comes down to it, it’s the crucial first meeting and treatment with a new client that defines your entire routine and client-therapist relationship from then on.
What Do They Want?
When your client tells you what they are looking for in their treatment, make sure you do all you can to show them that you are not only listening, but taking everything in. Maintain good eye contact, summarise and repeat what they say back to them confirming you know what they want before you even get started.
What Do They Tell You?
Often, when we first meet a new client, there are a whole series of things they’ll tell us about what they want and what they are looking for – and then on top of that, there’s a load of other things which they tell us without even realising. These are called client ‘cues’, and they’re the things which allow us to get to know WHO our clients are and what we can do to elevate their experience to another level.
- It could be the kind of mood they are hoping to get from their treatment – i.e., do they tell you they feel stressed and need to relax?
- Is it a specific issue they are wanting to combat through treatment – i.e., do they draw attention to something they don’t like and wish they could change?
- It could simply be that they are looking for an outlet and somewhere to be themselves – i.e., do they seem like they are looking for a chat as much as a treatment?
How To Make Sure You’re Listening
It’s your job to stay focussed on your client. Don’t get distracted by what’s going on around you. It can be hard to focus when you’re running an entire salon and want to keep an eye on things. However, if you look and/or act distracted while you’re with a client, not only will you miss things they say, but you will leave them feeling unimportant – and whatever it is they’re looking for through their treatments, it’s unlikely to be a feeling of unimportance. So listen close and always be engaging – it’ll make sure your clients return well into the future!