Here’s a powerful telephone tip from body language experts which is oh-so-effective for hooking new clients.
It needs a bit of practice to get it spot-on, but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll love it. And so will your salon reception team.
What’s more – it’s free marketing.
Let’s me show you:
Mirroring builds rapport
You’ve almost certainly heard body language experts talking about ‘mirroring’. It’s a powerful tool to build rapport and trust with people.
You probably think of mirroring as copying another person’s movements and facial expressions. And you’re right. They cross their legs, so do you. They smile, so do you.
We do it instinctively when we’re with someone we like and feel comfortable with. Watch two friends chatting and you’ll see them subconsciously mirroring each other’s actions. Psychologists explain that this mirroring of body language is a non-verbal way to say ‘I am like you, I feel the same way’.
But mirroring isn’t just about body movements and non-verbal signals. It’s can also be used on the phone to market your salon.
The key skill is listening.
Doesn’t sound too difficult, does it?
Verbal mirroring boosts new salon client conversion rates
When on the phone simply make a mental note of the key words and personal phrases the other person uses. Then replay (mirror) those words back.
The easiest way to explain is with an example. Here’s a potential new hair salon client telephoning reception.
The conversation goes like this…
Potential new salon client:
‘I’m looking for a friendly, experienced hair stylist. I need someone who is particularly good with colour, although I don’t want anyone too expensive. I do need an appointment urgently. Thursday after work would be ideal for me. And any chance I can have my nails done at the same time?’
To use the verbal mirroring tool your salon receptionist needs to listen, and note the keywords and personal phrases used. Then simply replay them back to the new client.
Let’s compare these two possible replies:
Salon receptionist A:
‘We do have Katie, who is a senior hairdresser, available. Although she is a colour expert, she doesn’t cost too much. We are open late on Thursdays if you need an appointment quickly. And yes, you could have a manicure at your appointment.’
This sounds friendly and helpful, and seems to answer all the questions the potential new salon client has.
But, if the receptionist listens then uses verbal mirroring the conversation becomes so much more powerful. And the caller is much more likely to feel comfortable and go ahead with the first visit booking.
Remember, verbal mirroring on the phone means playing back a few keywords and personal phrases. Note the words/phrases I’ve highlighted in italics in my second example below.
Salon receptionist B:
‘Katie is one of our most experienced hair stylists and very friendly. She is particularly good with colour and isn’t too expensive. I understand you need an appointment urgently and we can do Thursday after work for you. And yes, of course we can do your nails at the same time.’
Phone skills to convert callers into salon clients
Receptionist A uses words with similar meanings. But not the same words as the caller.
Whereas Receptionist B echoes the caller’s exact key words.
So Receptionist B says:
‘experienced stylist’ not ‘senior hairdresser’
‘particularly good with colour’ not ‘a colour expert’
‘expensive’ not ‘doesn’t cost too much’
‘urgently’ not ‘quickly’
‘Thursday after work’ not ‘we are open late on Thursdays’
‘do your nails at the same time’ not ‘have a manicure at your appointment’
This repetition (mirroring) of her exact key words and phrases makes the potential new client feel more comfortable and feels the receptionist understands her needs and concerns.
It is mirroring her personal vocabulary and makes her feel she is getting exactly what she has asked for. Most importantly, she’s much more likely to book that all important first visit.
Mirroring is an easy telephone skill to learn and a great way to get new salon clients.
Interested in learning more about how body language can help your team make the best impression? This blog looks at how we impress (or otherwise) clients with our non-verbal signals and body language, and this one includes a great video which I really rate.
And for more ideas on salon receptionists try these 15 tips ensure your front-of-house is a valuable marketing tool, not an expensive luxury.