Our “Ask Mickey” column features expert insights from Mickey Tortorelli, founder of BeauteSchool Inc. Every two weeks, Mickey will answer a question related to excelling in beauty retail—from training and sales to customer service and beyond.
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How can I communicate better with customers?
Every day you speak with dozens of customers. With some, you connect instantly and think, Wow, it’s so easy to relate! Your interaction is smooth and effortless. But with others, you just can’t seem to find the right words. You shake your head and wonder what went wrong: why were you not able to communicate as well? After all, you pretty much interact with all your customers the same way.
In my recent columns, I’ve talked about the shopping preferences of millennials and baby boomers, but beyond knowing these generational characteristics, you should also consider the differences that just come down to an individual’s personality.
As a personality type facilitator, I’ve taught more than 2,000 beauty advisors on a psychology-based tool called True Colors, to help them better connect with clients. This methodology uses four colours to designate personality types and behavioural styles. While everyone is a unique blend of all four colours, there’s usually a predominant colour that determines which traits we are more likely to display.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each colour personality:
- BLUE – focused on feelings and checks in with emotional compass
- GOLD – logical and seeks confirmation and closure
- GREEN – fact-based and an avid problem-solver
- ORANGE – straightforward and keeps options open
Consider the big differences between these personalities, and it’s no wonder there isn’t a cookie-cutter way to connect with customers. However, out of habit, we tend to communicate in our own style with everyone, regardless of their personality type. This is why we have “hits and misses.”
Always be aware of a customer’s personality type, and make conversation in a way that captures their attention. This will make them feel appreciated and listened to. For example, talking facts and figures about a product with a BLUE customer would lose their interest as they’re focused on emotions. Instead, talk about how you personally feel about the product.
Also, when you’re tailoring your approach to each customer, think about not only what you say, but also how you say it with your mannerisms. In my next column, I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at all four personalities and explore how we can best communicate with each type—all with the goal of making your customer relationships more meaningful.
Mickey Tortorelli, CTDP, is the CEO and founder of BeauteSchool Inc., Canada’s award-winning beauty training resource for industry professionals.