Posted in News on September 23rd, 2011 by Reagan
Tags: salon stories
My friend, Jana, did a mini interview with me about my job a few months ago. One of the questions she asked me, was how to avoid sounding rude if you want to get your hair done in peace and quiet, instead of chatting with your stylist the whole time you’re in the chair.
I only wrote a few sentences when answering Jana’s question, but it was really such an important one. The personality and social part of my job is a big chunk of it. If I’m not memorable to my clients, they might call the salon when they need a clean up and say “give me anybody”. But I also really enjoy talking to my clients. There are times when I look at the schedule and see a specific person that I love to talk to, and it makes my whole day.
So, I try asking a few questions at the beginning of the appointment, and depending on how they answer, I’ll know if they are chatters or not. I’ll say “What do you do for work?” and they might say “I work in finance” if they aren’t a talker. And if they ARE a talker, they might say “I work in finance. I work downtown at _____. I specialize in _____” and then go on from there. Usually I try out two or three questions and if they are still just ‘yessing’ or ‘no-ing’ then I think they probably want me to shut the H up. But if it’s been 5 minutes and I already know where they went to college, how many roommates they have and what their favorite Italian restaurant is, they are probably chatters.
If you’re not a chatter, my best advice is to bring a prop. The best props are a book/magazine or a laptop/phone. You can just pretend to be busy with those guys even if you’re not. I used to blow dry Joy Behar’s hair, and she would bring in several of these items. Newspapers, her blackberry and a little note book to write all of her ideas in. She has the hair of pretty much 6 adult people, so she really needed all that material. I think we only said 10 whole sentences to each other ever. She is friendly and sweet, but very busy. She was a pro at getting her downtime without any mixed signals.
I had two experiences recently with this. One girl at the end of her haircut said “I love it! Plus you’re a talker, so I’m for sure coming back to you.”, and the other pulled out her book while I was getting her a tea. I didn’t say a word to her until I needed more information about how she wears her bangs.
Most people aren’t so obvious with whether they want to talk or not, so I’m curious, what do you like? Do you come to the salon excited to catch up about your vacations, kids, work/love life? Or do you want to close your eyes and have your hair combed and snipped/blow dried in peace?
[Photo: Jacob Breinholt]