Are you giving off the right body language in your salon? It’s easy to become relaxed and unknowingly give off the wrong message in beauty salons; they’re often seen as friendly, social hubs where both customers and staff let their guard down.
Salon owners and management need to take note as their customers – predominantly women, are more sensitive to body language and more likely to notice when something is “off”. Receiving the wrong body language from a treatment provider can deter repeat business and impact on your reputation.
The wrong type of body language drives people away and drives down profits, it can cause clients to feel uncomfortable, or even ignored.
Simple changes in body language can not only serve to maintain the right atmosphere for staff and customers, but can improve their loyalty, satisfaction and likelihood to pass on good words to others.
What is your staff’s body language saying?
Our body language can often reveal how we truly feel; even if we might speak in a friendly manner our body language may be saying that we’re bored, anxious, distant or in a bad mood.
Sometimes over-friendliness can be a problem too, over-stretching the boundaries of the professional relationship between therapist and client.
Women are more perceptive to body language
Salons and spas need to pay attention to body language because the customers they serve are highly perceptive to it.
Research by psychologists at Harvard University has shown that women are more alert to body language then men; this means they’re more likely to pick up on differences between someone’s words and
their how they present themselves.
Most of the clients who visit salons, spas and clinics are women, so being aware how best to communicate with them is of critical importance to salon staff.
Start it off right
People often make decisions about people and places within seconds of first meeting them. It’s important to get your non-verbal communication off to the right start from the moment clients meet you.
Welcome clients with an understated confidence, after-all, they’re putting their trust in you so need to
trust know that you’re competent.
What is your face saying
It can sometimes be difficult to smile every day, but a genuine smile that engages both the mouth and eyes shows interest and pleasure – NOT displeasure to see a client.
Make eye contact:
Lack of eye contact is an easy way to make a client feel ignored and unappreciated. It’s especially important to maintain good eye contact during the consultation and at the beginning of the appointment, this is when you build rapport with the customer and gather the right information to best serve their beauty concerns.
The right amount of eye contact
Studies have shown that around 60-75% of eye contact in the first consultation is optimum. It’s about striking a good balance between interest and not being off-putting.
Show salon clients you’re interested in them
As a beauty or hair professional you understand the importance of listening to your client.
But you also need to show your client that you are actively listening to them.
Demonstrate you’re friendly, listening and interested by:
- tilting your head to one side
- leaning towards your client
These positive non-verbal signs reassure your client you’re engaged and attentive, especially during client consultations. Nodding can be particularly effective in showing that you agree with a client, or encouraging them to agree with you.
Avoid negative cues such as leaning backwards or keeping your hands in your pockets – both can signal a lack of interest, disrespect and even dislike.
The expert posture
Clients put a lot of trust in their beauty therapists and hair stylists; they want to be confident that treatments will turn out right, or they’ll think about going someplace else. For the client to have confidence in you, you need to have confidence in yourself and show it through your body language.
Even if you are anxious about meeting a new client, or you’re new to the job, you can still project confidence with the posture of an expert, this means:
- Standing or sitting straight
- Maintaining relaxed shoulders
- Distributing weight of legs evenly
- Keeping the head level and chin slightly raised
Hands and feet can be giveaways
Fiddling with your hair, touching your face and putting your hands in your pockets are all signs that you are uncomfortable, and this can rub off on the client.
A great trick for your hands is to keep your palms slightly up and facing outwards towards the client, this gives off the impression that you are open and friendly.
Crossing arms and legs:
A sure sign of closing yourself off to a client is to cross your arms or legs. This can often be a comfort to us but it can come across as defensive and it is an important thing to be aware of, especially in the initial consultation.
Our feet are often an outlet for stress and boredom, try to keep your feet still.
The right body language for tricky clients
When a client challenges us it can be difficult to keep our body language in check as we switch to the defensive. Show empathy with the clients concern and offer a solution. Ensure that your body language matches with what you’re saying:
- Show you’re listening by nodding and tilting your head
- Avoid frowning
- Keep eye contact but try not to stare
- Keep your breathing slow and deep
Respect personal space
It can be difficult for beauty therapists to find the right balance with client’s personal space. Often it’s required to get close and personal to be able to provide the treatment,
Be clear with the customer when and why you need to invade their personal space so they aren’t surprised all of a sudden. This is the time to be more aware of your body language as they’ll be more responsive to any cues you give off.
The right use of touch
Beauty treatments are tactile and relatively intimate. Choosing the right amount of touch is important as you do not want to invade a client’s personal space, but it can also create a stronger rapport which helps with client relations.
It can be difficult to know where to begin and end with touch. As a society we’ve become a bit touch-sensitive, so a general rule to stay safe is always keep to shoulders and arms.
Did you know? Being touched increase
ds the tips that customers leave their servers…
When to incorporate touch
- Guiding the client into the salon by gently placing a hand behind their shoulder.
- As you pop a towel around
onher shoulders, make her feel taken care of and secure by smoothing it down over her shoulders.
- A handshake or light pat of the arm strengthens the bond as the person leaves your salon.
Wrapping it all up
We often communicate far more then we realise through our body language. Being aware of how you hold yourself around clients can really pay off in increasing repeat business, generating important online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
If you’re a salon owner take some time to monitor your team’s body language, could it be having an impact on the relationship with clients? And in what way? What would be the most impactful thing they could change?
Of course you don’t want to be over-conscious of your body language. There’s a lot to think about and it can be difficult to get it perfect from the off. Take it easy and approach your body-language with a calm awareness that allows you to decide to act in one way or another.