Ask Mickey: How Can I Communicate Better with Customers? (Part 2)




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.



How can I communicate better with customers? (Part 2)


Mickey says:

In my last column, I introduced the idea of tailoring our communication style based on the personality type of our customer, following the True Colors method I’ve taught to more than 2,000 beauty advisors.

Now, let’s dive into more detail on how we can identify and then connect with each colour-coded personality type: feelings-focused BLUE;  loyal and logical GOLD; fun-loving ORANGE; and cerebral GREEN. Ultimately your goal is to “speak their language,” so you can develop meaningful, loyal relationships with them.


Personality Type: BLUE

Characteristics: Their strength is authenticity. They’re esteemed for their sincerity and empathy. Their core values focus around communication and relationships.

Telltale signs of a BLUE personality:

  • They’re more laid-back and casual, and speak more slowly and softly
  • They love to talk about family and personal experiences
  • They need to feel unique and real, and look for those qualities in others as well
  • They’re peacemakers, always having a kind word to say, and are sensitive to others’ needs
  • They love to motivate and encourage, and are cooperative rather than competitive

How to connect with a BLUE personality:

  • Build rapport by talking to them about their family
  • Emphasize how your product or service will help them
  • Avoid pushy/aggressive sales tactics; this personality doesn’t like to be “sold to”
  • Communicate that you’ll be available to them, even if they have questions after their purchase
  • Give individual incentives (or samples) that are meaningful and just right for them
  • Demonstrate products physically—they’d love to sit for a makeover and may be there for quite some time engaged in a friendly conversation
  • Remember, they don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care!

Personality Type: GOLD

Characteristics: Their core values include duty, responsibility and loyalty. They live by the motto “Be prepared!”

Telltale signs of a GOLD personality:

  • They’re well dressed, more conservative and neat in appearance
  • They’ll wait patiently for their turn to be served at your counter; however, they expect efficient service as they’re on a schedule
  • They appreciate a makeup chart or skincare regimen with a step-by-step process, since they strongly believe in procedures and rules
  • They love to plan and are well organized
  • They tend to stick to a budget and will continue to buy the same tried-and-true products, so they’d appreciate knowing if one of their favourites is being discontinued

How to connect with a GOLD personality:

  • Educate them on a brand’s heritage and tradition; they value product history and quality
  • Be dependable—if you say you’ll do something, do it
  • Communicate the pros and cons of your recommendations and possible outcomes if they’re not following a skincare regimen
  • Show how your products are cost-effective. They love promotions, GWPs and ways to get more value for their hard-earned dollars
  • Minimize distractions because they dislike being interrupted. If booking an appointment, choose a time when the client will not be rushed
  • Follow up! Check on products they’ve purchased, and be prepared for their next visit with a detailed client file

Personality Type: ORANGE

Characteristics: Their strength is their skillfulness. They are doers, problem solvers, master negotiators. They love to take action, prefer immediate results and live for the here and now.

Telltale signs of an ORANGE personality:

  • They’re physical, moving around and looking for assistance immediately
  • They love picking up and trying a lot of products
  • They’re attracted to events and a fun environment, and want to be part of the action
  • They’re happy and upbeat
  • Their appearance tends to be informal, trendy and colourful

How to connect with an ORANGE personality:

  • Ask what their favourite products are. You’ll likely find they’re not brand loyal. They love to try what’s new, and mix and match everything, even fragrances
  • Be attentive, and acknowledge or offer assistance immediately. They’ll quickly get impatient if waiting to be served
  • Talk about the positive (and quick) results of using your products. Multi-taskers are their faves!
  • Offer a variety or choice of solutions. To do this, your product knowledge must be top-notch
  • Propose a makeover. This customer doesn’t like to sit for a long time, but they love getting quick touch-ups and learning something new
  • Tell stories to make your point. Smile and laugh, and make your interaction fun and hands-on

Personality Type: GREEN

Characteristics: Their core values are knowledge, intellectual competence and utilizing their ingenuity. They live by the motto “I’ll think about it.”

Telltale signs of a GREEN personality:

  • They’re formal, questioning, cool, calm and collected
  • They’re conservative in appearance
  • They don’t show too much excitement and avoid hype and emotion
  • Their communication tends to be terse, compact and logical
  • They’ll challenge your knowledge and will correct you if you’re wrong
  • They’ll ask you many questions; however, they’ve likely done all the research ahead of time
  • They’ll explore all the facts before making a decision
  • They view shopping as a chore—not fun—and won’t stay long

How to connect with a GREEN personality:

  • Communicate your product expertise, but avoid being repetitive. Remember, they’ll do their research before they shop, and will not buy from you if they think you’re incompetent
  • Use precise language. Determine their needs and focus on the key features or benefits that directly relate to them
  • Focus on efficiency; recommend economical sizes along with facts and figures on how much they’ll save
  • Give them time to make a decision, as they need to take in all the information and “think about it.” Don’t rush or push them to buy
  • Tell them about the products, rather than demonstrate on them. They’re not fond of public physical contact
  • Remember that quick and efficient service is key

We all buy from people we like, and understanding personality types will help enhance your communication with every client. If you can anticipate your customer’s needs and preferences by speaking their language, you’ll build the rapport that helps you succeed. 


Mickey Tortorelli, CTDP, is the CEO and founder of BeauteSchool Inc., Canada’s award-winning beauty training resource for industry professionals.