Emotional drains are everywhere! Relatives asking when you’ll finally settle down. Your credit card company emailing your balance. The last thing you need is your positive energy being sucked by your chair. Here is the 411 on how to deal with an emotionally draining client.
Identify Your Drains
Everyone has bad days. Even your favorite client can be especially fussy on any one occasion. That being said, there is a stark difference between a bad day and somebody who is just perennially nasty. If you feel especially drained after any given appointment, take a step back to categorize that specific client. Is their behavior constantly like this? Or are they typically a pleasure? Was it one comment that set you off? Or was it their whole demeanor? Every client is difficult in their own way but reframe the better ones as challenges vs. emotional drains. You need to clearly identify your problems (aka the true drains) so that you can move on and solve them.
Limit Your Exposure
Once you’ve identified the culprits make a conscious effort to limit your exposure. Ideally, you don’t want to deal with any emotionally draining clients…but we all know mama has got to pay the bills. You can’t get rid of every draining client but you can certainly be smart about the time you spend with them. Instead of booking two separate appointments for cut and gloss, get them in the chair on the same day. If there are tasks like blow-drys others in the salon can handle, don’t be afraid to pass them off. A new person may not be triggered by this particular client and they don’t carry the baggage you do from keeping a longer relationship with them.
Always Pivot the Conversation
If you feel the conversation veering into draining territory, pivot quickly. If you can’t bear to talk to them for the 1,000th time about their failed relationship, use the conversation to discuss a positive angle. Discuss an interesting podcast on the topic of relationships once she starts complaining about her miserable ex. Look for overarching topics you can use as a pivot and take the chance when it comes.
If All Else Fails, Fire Your Client
Life is too short and sometimes the bad clients fall into this category. If you dread going into the salon on days that you know a certain client will be in, consider firing them. We recognize paying the bills matters but not when its taking a toll on your emotional health. If you constantly find yourself in a sad or sour mood after seeing a specific client you need to make the call. Have an honest and frank conversation and be gracious and polite. Everybody will be better for it in the end.