Salon body language is an essential tool to master in your salon.
Why? because understanding and using appropriate body language enables you to build better salon client relationships.
By learning basic non-verbal communication cues, you can ensure your clients feel more comfortable during their salon consultations and treatments.
Furthermore, being able to identify these cues will give you better insight into how you are presenting yourself and how your client is feeling, enabling you to deliver a more personalised salon experience.
Plus, as we all know, an exceptional client experience in your salon leads to improved trust, loyalty, and ultimately better client retention. To read “The Top 10 Strategies to Boost Salon Client Retention”, click here.
What is Salon Body language?
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication in the salon that may or may not accompany words, but where an intention or feeling is conveyed.
Facial expressions, gestures, and posture are all forms of body language that reflect inner emotions, either positive or negative.
Even during periods of silence, the communication of feelings and intentions are possible via body language.
This form of social language is often more informative and revealing of a person’s actual emotional state.
Body language includes; facial expressions, eye movements, gestures, spatial boundaries, and touch.
Salon Body Language – How to Build Better Relationships.
If used properly, your body language can enhance your interactions with salon clients and help to form better connections.
Many studies have attempted to find out the ratio of non-verbal cues to the spoken word in our language. However, the exact ratio is still under exploration.
Some studies say body language is more than 50% of what we convey during a conversation, while others suggest up 75%.
Whatever the exact ratio is, it is safe to say that body language plays a significant part in our communication with our salon clients.
Fostering good relationships is the cornerstone of building a healthy salon business. Displaying confidence, genuine interest, competence, and empathy help to make your clients feel like they are getting expert treatment, are understood and that you care about the outcome.
On the other hand, understanding your client’s body language can help you to notice and reassure an anxious or apprehensive client.
People may not always tell you how they feel, but they will always show you, so pay attention!
The importance of understanding body language should be pretty clear by now. Happy clients make loyal clients, and more loyal clients increase client retention, improved client retention leads to business growth and business growth leads to increased revenue… well, you get the picture by now.
Types of Body Language.
Specific postures displayed can reveal the demeanor of a person at a glance.
Postive postures that display honesty and confidence include;
- Standing tall
- Shoulders back
- Open hand gestures
- Leaning forward
- Palms open
- Head tilted to the side
- Weight evenly distributed on both legs
- An average rate of breathing
Whereas, negative or apathetic attitudes are displayed by;
- Slouched position
- Arms or legs crossed
- Closed body positions
- Hunched shoulders
- Feet pointing towards the door
- Head down
Making sure you and your staff are displaying positive body language can help to make clients feel more comfortable and build better connections.
These tools are especially important to remember during consultations as body language experts agree; positive body language congruent with speech leads to a more trusting exchange between both parties.
Gestures are movements made by the hands and body, and include;
- Hand movements
- Fiddling with hair
- Lint picking
- Touching face
- Covering mouth
When chatting with clients, your gestures must match your words.
According to the experts, women are much more in tune with recognising slight differences in non-verbal cues and speech due to an evolutionary adaptation to child-rearing. Babies and small children rely on body language to communicate their needs, so this is a well-honed skill for women.
As most of your clients and staff are likely to be women, you must be aware of your gestures to appear genuine.
Can you recall having a conversation with someone who you don’t know, but you sensed something was a bit off? Maybe you felt a sense of unease or distrust. A mismatch between body language and the spoken word was likely the cause.
Subtle signs can be displayed that you are not consciously aware of, but your gut tells you to be wary.
Negative gestures during a conversation include;
- Shuffling feet
- Looking away often
- Blocking the body with an object or bag
- Wringing of hands
- Fast breathing
- Visible swallowing
- Red face, cheeks, ears or chest
“Your body speaks the truth, even when your mouth lies.”
Positive gestures to include when talking to your client may consist of tilting your head to one side and nodding. Add a smile to the mix, and you will convey a sense of interest and agreeableness.
Studies have indicated that a person is more likely to open up and talk 3-4 times longer if you nod three times, otherwise know as the triple nod.
On the other hand, nodding too fast can be a sign of impatience, and you are ready to interrupt.
The right amount of eye contact is a significant component in any conversation.
Good eye contact indicates interest and full attention. But what is the right amount of eye contact?
Research found that maintaining eye contact for around 60-70% of a conversation is comfortable for both parties. Don’t try to force eye contact but use enough to show you are engaged and undistracted.
Whereas, staring too long or intensely can unnerve people and lead to awkward interactions.
I’m sure you have all experienced a conversation where the other person is distracted. I bet you felt unimportant and annoyed. Your clients are no different. Constantly checking your phone, reading texts, or looking at yourself in the mirror sends negative signals to your client.
Your client deserves your complete attention and respect. Your actions speak louder than words, so put that phone away and make your clients your priority!
Spatial Boundaries and Touch.
The salon is an environment where clients are expecting to be touched and have a staff member close to their body, but it doesn’t mean they are comfortable with it.
In other everyday environments, our spatial boundaries are usually much larger. Close contact is often only accepted from close friends, family or loved ones.
As you are working closely with your clients, whether it be hair, face or body treatments, their spatial boundaries should always be respected.
Watch your client’s body language to get clues as to whether they are comfortable or not. Tell your client what you are going to do beforehand and always ask permission to start treatment in intimate areas.
Showing respect for your client’s boundaries can help to create a more comfortable experience for your clients. Always record anything you notice that makes your client uncomfortable on their fully customisable Konnect client card
However, there is a distinct advantage to working in such close contact with your clients. Have you ever noticed how quickly your clients open up to you about their private lives? You are in a unique position, as studies show the intimacy of your salon work builds a closer and more trusting relationship than any other business.
Mirroring is a subtle yet effective way to build great rapport with your clients. When conducting a consultation, make sure you sit opposite your client and give them your full attention.
Mirroring is a discreet reflection of your client’s speech pattern, gestures or energy levels. By mirroring your client’s posture in an unobvious way, you instantly communicate empathy and understanding.
According to Forbes, mirroring during a conversation results in a feeling of connection and increases your likeability. You can also tell if a client is responding positively to your suggestions as they will unconsciously mirror your body language.
Mirroring is shown to encourage a more comfortable conversation and helps your clients to open up more, helping you to understand what they want.
Mirroring is also a fantastic tool to use with your staff also as communicating empathy will ensure a more collaborative and cohesive team. Watch this quick video to learn more about how to use mirroring in your salon.
The simple act of being aware of body language can help to build strong and authentic relationships with your clients.
Taking note of how you are presenting yourself via postures, gestures, or facial expressions during conversations with your clients and staff can result in the portrayal of a more genuine and empathetic attitude.
On the other hand, watching more carefully for non-verbal cues from your clients can help you decipher how they are feeling.
Mirroring is also a great tool to use during consultations with clients to show your understanding and to encourage your clients to open up.
Finally, as creating a stellar salon client experience is at the heart of building loyalty, using these techniques will ultimately lead to improved growth and revenue in your salon.
At Konnect, we love to educate our clients on how to improve their salon business in every way possible. If you have a particular topic you would like to learn about, feel free to comment below with your suggestion.
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