Small Talk Tips to Build Relationships

The men who come to The Gents Place do so for the experience they receive. Obviously, they get a top-grade haircut and grooming service, but their time in the club is also time away from the stress of life. Making sure that their time is as peaceful and as relaxing as possible is a priority.

Part of ensuring that the outcome of a visit is a positive one is making sure that the club member feels engaged. That is where the art of small talk can pay dividends in return visits and requested services. Knowing how to strike up a conversation that lets a man feel listened to and cared about will go a long way in making sure the word is spread and recommendations lead to new memberships.

Read the Mood

One of the biggest questions that many stylists may ask themselves when they have a club member sitting in the chair is if they want chitchat or not. Not everyone wants to have a conversation. Some people just want to sit alone with their thoughts while someone else cuts their hair.

But almost everyone wants to talk about themselves.

So the key to knowing who you have sitting in the chair is picking up on some context clues. Did they come in happy and talkative? They’re most likely going to relish the chance to chat. Considering their mood and maybe asking a few probing questions can tell you a lot about what their level of engagement might be. 

You want the person to talk freely because that is when they will relax. Talking works with therapists, bartenders, and barbers. Get your client talking about themself and you will help them ease into a space of contentment.

Be More Than Average

Anyone can talk about the weather. Be different in your approach to striking up a conversation. Instead of asking how the member’s day is going, ask them questions that can get them excited. When you ask something different, you get remembered. Be the stylist that gets remembered, and then requested, and then recommended to his friends and colleagues.

What was the last book you read? That could be a good opening point. But what if you ask them about the book that has had the biggest impact on their life? One question is chitchat. The other question opens up a discussion. Lean more toward discussion pieces to help the conversation flow freely.

Once you get them talking, you have turned an otherwise quiet or maybe even awkward interaction into an experience that they will remember. They will leave TGP looking their best and feeling their best, and anxious to come back again to continue the conversation.

Know What to Avoid

While conversation can lead to a great experience for the customer, some topics should probably not be brought up to avoid the potential for tension. Things like politics or sports teams can have an adverse reaction on your client’s time in the chair, so knowing what to avoid is as important as what a TGP client wants to discuss. Keep in mind that even if you are on the same wavelength as your client, others right next to you might not be, which can then affect another stylist’s situation. Guide the discussion toward feel-good topics and you will stay away from any trouble areas.

Your goal as the stylist is to make the man return regularly and spread the word. Taking note of what they like to discuss, and being unique in the questions or topics you pose for discussion, will get you remembered and give you an inside edge on building a loyal customer base.

All TGP members come to the club for your help in making them look like the person they want to feel like. While the cut and the grooming will be the promised services that you provide, giving the client the extra benefit of time passing by without being noticed, and the feeling of a connection with someone instead of the mundane niceties, are the bonus benefits that will turn their Wednesday afternoon maintenance cut into a moment of their week that they will remember.