Mallory Sills is a Chicago-based personal stylist and Fashion Styling tutor at QC Makeup Academy. Today, Mallory gives insightful advice to those working with shy clients for the first time!
Do you have a shy client? As a personal stylist, you’ll work with a variety of clients with different personalities and comfort levels. It’s important to know how to work with clients who may be shy so you’re able to help them achieve their wardrobe goals.
Personal styling is just that—personal! It’s essential we cater to each client’s personality properly.
Stick with us as we go through a few tips on how to style shy clients with ease!
Get to know them
Anytime you begin working with a new personal styling client you’ll want to schedule an initial consultation with them. While this is important to do with every client, when working with a shy client, it’s a great ice-breaking interaction.
Use this time to get to know the client, and allow them the opportunity to learn more about you. The consultation isn’t just a time for the client to decide whether or not they want to work with you. It also gives them time to begin building trust with you. By asking the right questions, you may find out more about where their shyness stems from, helping you to better understand where they’re coming from.
Since this is their first official interaction with you, it’s the perfect chance to create a safe space for them. When you have a shy client, make a point to ask them questions about their lifestyle, job, etc. Take your time and get to know them as much as you can! Make it a personal experience and assure them that they can be themselves around you.
Focus on their strengths
Shy clients aren’t always the first to volunteer personal information or their style preferences. While some clients are happy to share their opinion or experiences, others won’t be. You’ll want to encourage them to share what they like and don’t like. Pay close attention to their strengths and comfort zones and focus on those areas to continue building the relationship and their trust.
Respect their boundaries
As tempting as it can be to give your client clothing options outside their comfort zone right away, everyone is going to warm up to new styles at their own pace. Every client is different! Respect their boundaries and ALWAYS listen to what they say (or don’t say) with their body language.
If something is too far out of their comfort zone it can cause more stress for the client. Keep an open line of communication going to help you understand where the client’s boundaries are.
Be patient! Even if you’re excited about certain styling ideas, don’t take it personally if the client isn’t as enthusiastic about jumping into a completely different style right away.
Ease them into change
You need to respect your client’s boundaries, but part of your role is to also introduce them to clothing they would never normally pick. So where’s the balance?
When a client is more reserved, take your time to ease them into change. Combining elements of what they feel comfortable in with pieces outside their comfort zone allows you to meet them in the middle.
For example, imagine your client wears black trousers and a white shirt to work every day. You may want to introduce them to a silk blouse in a print or color that looks great on them. Then, pair it with a modern black trouser fit.
Explain your suggestions
New stylists tend to provide clothing recommendations without providing explanations. When working with a shy client, let them know why you made those specific choices. It helps them understand why you’re giving them certain suggestions and it helps build their confidence in you, their personal stylist, as well as the piece of clothing.
Refrain from giving your client a tip or clothing recommendation without telling them WHY it will work for them. Be detailed in your explanations—tell the client how it will flatter their body shape, why it will work for their desired personal style, and how they can wear it.
Make it fun
Personal styling is a professional career. That means you should always treat your craft, and your clients, seriously. But it’s so important to make the work you do with clients fun and enjoyable. The more relaxed your client is, the more fun they’ll have. When a client is having fun, they’re much more likely to open up to you.
Keep in mind that it can be intimidating for a shy client to hire a professional stylist in the first place. Remind them you’re a real person just like them to ease some of the stress they may be feeling.