how to make a good first impression


A new client walks in for their appointment.. how do you approach and act in a way that will have them coming back to your chair over and over again? Getting new clients in your salon means absolutely nothing if you can’t figure out how to retain them. Step one in retaining clientele? Make a confident, expert impression. I’m going to tell you how to nail a confident approach and have your clients feeling like you’re the exact stylist they need in order to look their best.

Your body posture and language can be the defining factor in whether someone trusts you or feels apprehensive right away. I’m going to give you some tips on keeping your body language open, communicative, and effective so that your clients immediately trust that you’re an expert in your field.

  • Eye contact

    The first thing you should practice is making direct eye contact with the client. If looking someone in the eyes makes you nervous, practice looking at the center of their forehead right between their eyebrows. This is a good starter and makes it appear as though you’re making direct eye contact. Don’t stare them down in a competitive way, you don’t want to scare them off - but don’t have dodgy eyes either, that doesn’t feel safe or secure to anyone.

  • The back

    We all know that slouching is an issue, and most of us do it. (I mean, I definitely do..) But I make it a point to try my best to stand tall with my shoulders dropped and back - especially when I’m first meeting someone. Not only does this give off a confident approach, but it’s necessary for us to practice this with our career choice so that our body doesn’t completely deplete itself by age 50.

  • Open and visible hands

    Studies show that people tend to feel safer and more welcome when the other person has their hands visible with their palms up. Practice keeping your hands out of your pockets and away from your back. This creates a space of softness and safety for the client.

  • Feet and legs

    If you want to come off as more confident, practice a power pose by widening the stance of your legs. Crossed or unsteady legs give the appearance of being closed off or insecure, while an open and slightly wider stance makes you appear more sure of yourself. In the same manner, your feet should be pointed towards the client. People who have their legs and feet turned away from the person they’re conversing with give off a “i’m trying to leave” vibe which is never comfortable.

  • Keep it kind.

    Speak clearly, confidently, and with kindness. Smile genuinely and listen intently. This seems simple, but I often see stylists talk over their guests, and shoot off rapid fire words that cause confusion or discomfort. It’s pretty simple for us to dive in head first with our guests as if we’ve been friends for years, but we need to slow it down - especially for new ones. Remember that they are a guest in your space, and that confidence means nothing unless it comes with a heavy dose of humilty and kindness.

Your first impression is typically formed in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone, and like other people say “you never get a second chance at a first impression.” Nail your body language and you just might have more clients than you know how to deal with!

Esther ChapmanComment