How to Be a Good Listener

In the blog post “Is a Career in Beauty for You?” one of the main personality traits of a beauty specialist is being a good listener. This is important because clients don’t go to a beauty specialist just to feel beautiful. They also go to relax. To feel relaxed a client needs to trust the beauty specialist, and once that trust is establishes, they usually feel comfortable talking about themselves.
Why Establishing Trust is Important for You
Once you have a client who trusts you, you have a client who will return for your services again and again. Whether you work for a salon or you work for yourself, this has major benefits. Your employer will hear good things about you from clients, which gives you an opportunity to ask for more money and a promotion later on. Or if you work for yourself, a repeat client means a consistent income.
The Definition of Good Listening
According to the Cambridge Dictionary the definition of a good listener is, “Someone who gives you a lot of attention when you are talking about your problems or things that worry you, and tries to understand and support you.”
Stop Talking
The first rule of good listening is as simple as not talking yourself. Spend the first five minutes of a client’s visit with a chat. Then be silent a bit and see if shefills the silences with her own chatter. People love to talk about themselves and most will start talking.
Physical Cues
Since you will be working on a client as she is talking, making eye contact will be difficult. However, one of the best physical cues to indicate that you are listening is simply to nod your head at the right intervals.
Don’t Interrupt but Give Feedback
As a client is in the middle of a story, keep quiet and don’t interrupt. However when the person seems to be slowing down, that is the time to repeat what you had heard. By repeating what you heard, you reassure the person that you are in fact listening even though your hands are busy. This will make your client feel valued and she’ll continue to chatter.
Ask a Question
If there is something about the story that you are listening to that isn’t quite clear, go ahead and ask your client to explain what she means. A simple, “I’m sorry I didn’t quite follow that. Can you clarify?” People warm to this statement and are more than happy to go into more detail.
Don’t Interrogate
Being a good listener means allowing the person to speak about anything she wants. If you start digging for details because you are really curious, you might unknowingly be prying. That will make your client uncomfortable and that is counterproductive to what you want for her.

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