Drawing a Shy Client Out of their Shell

By: Rachel Carpenter

Outgoing individuals often find themselves wondering what it is that makes other people so shy. It can be easy to think that one way of being is better than another but in reality, everyone is geared differently. We’ve been talking about openness for the month of October, but we felt it is important to point out that there is nothing wrong with being more reserved. Over the course of your career, many different types of people will sit in your chair, with varied personality types: including those who are very quiet. It is your job as the stylist to learn how to accommodate those clients and still make them feel important.

Many clients will be willing to hold a great conversation with you., However, there will be just as many clients who don’t feel comfortable opening up at all. It is your job to respect their desire to keep things private, while still giving them the opportunity to talk if they want. Some people are never going to be free-flowing with words— and that makes them no less important of a client or person. There are so many reasons why someone may not be talkative and it’s not your job to change who they are. Maybe their appointments won’t be as lively and vivacious as others you may have, but all clients are equally valuable as human beings.

For every person on the face of the Earth, some days are better than others. You never know when someone could be having the worst day of their life. Your client may have lost their job, grieving the loss of a loved one, been involved in a motor vehicle accident— you name it. For some, bubbly chatter will not take their mind off the situation. They would much rather be left to their thoughts. Your client could also be a naturally reserved person. A great number of people in this world find silence comforting. For them, there is no awkwardness in air not filled with words. A person who is quiet by nature will most likely not take kindly to a stylist’s constant attempts to engage them in conversation. It’s just not who they are. They could be suffering from a mental health issue. Many people we know could be suffering from conditions like anxiety or depression and we have no idea. Talking about mental health with a client is somewhat difficult, as many of us have no experience in what they may be struggling with.

As you can see, there are so many reasons a client may not be vocal with you, but you can still make an effort to get to know them. It’s important to observe the client and ensure that your conversation and interaction with them makes them feel comfortable. There are a few different ways that we as stylists could attempt to engage with people like this. With these strategies, you could be someone this individual feels comfortable with. They may never open up completely, but being there for them in the event that they do is important. 

  1. Give them a moment to vent
          • Letting your client vent to you is one of the best ways to develop a connection with them. By letting them know that you are willing to listen to their problems and care about what is going on in their life, you are demonstrating a level of care that they might not experience with anyone else in their life. 
          • If they had a bad day at work, listen to them. Show them that their feelings are important. 

  1. Relate to their experiences
          • If you find something in common with your clients’ experiences, be willing to share. Finding something in common helps you to relate on a further level than just service provider to customer. You see each other as human beings, who have gone through similar things. Say the person is going through a divorce, and you have been through that, maybe you could relate to one another. Be hesitant to give advice, as every situation is different. But show them that they are not alone in whatever they may be experiencing. 

  1. Take notice of things they seem to like
          • If they always wear shirts for a particular band that you like or if their phone case has a certain sports team that you enjoy watching, mention it! People, in general, like feeling like they can relate to one another.

  1. Make jokes 
          • Laughter is contagious! Get a client laughing and watch the awkward silence begin to melt away. Finding a wholesome joke or meme can show them your personality and once again allow you to relate to one another. 

These simple things can really bring out a quieter client. A client should never feel like they must change who they are who because they are in your presence. Remember these are just suggestions and won’t work every time. If you try to talk with someone and they just won’t engage it’s ok to just let them be. You have done your part in reaching out and that’s the best you can do. 

Tags: reserved, quiet, clients, stylists, salon, beauty, industry, personality, Professional

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