The most important thing about communicating with clients to get their full attention is knowing that it starts with you. Set the right tone for the dialogue and establish the authority for your interactions. Determine that what you say is relevant and deliver clear messages.
After every consulting session, your clients should leave with a tangible action plan for how to improve their lives. Then, they will keep paying attention to the makeover process. “If you don’t provide solutions, then you’re not working as a consultant. You’re just chatting.”, states the founder of Style Konsult & STYiLES and image consultant, Jen Auh, in her first book, STYiLES.
KEY TIPS TO DELIVER CLEAR MESSAGES AND GET CLIENTS’ ATTENTION
1. Be confident
Everything you say should be backed with confidence if you want to get the attention of your high-profile clients. Confidence is the most important for every image consultant, and that self-assurance can be expressed in plenty of ways.
For Jen Auh, a confident tone means telling her clients exactly what to do. She doesn’t ask them what they want, but tells them what is best for them. This direct approach works well for her. However, you might have a distinctive approach.
You may be upfront, offering firm directions, or guide people gently toward the decisions that are right for them. Any of those communication systems can work for you, as long as they fit your personality.
One time, Jen visited a life coach who didn’t give her direct answers, but asked questions that helped Jen come up with solutions herself. That was a very different method than the one Jen uses in her sessions. It showed her another effective communication style.
Identify your own style and develop your brand around it. Then, you will attract top-tier clients who are comfortable with your consulting approach. Make sure you use the STYiLES app to get clients worldwide that connect with you. You can provide your consultations online and manage your clients, all in one place.
2. Share your own stories
When you build trust with your clients, they will tell you their true thoughts and aspirations. Open up to your clients to become their confidant. After that, do what it takes to help them achieve their goals. Jen Auh does that by sharing her own stories during the consultations, since her life has been full of memorable events.
These personal experiences are one of Jen’s most valuable assets. Her stories help her empathize with people, understand how they feel and what they desire. When speaking to clients, she draws on stories that relate to their interests or current issues in order to get their attention.
For instance, one of Jen’s clients had a self-esteem issue. He was wearing a limited-edition designer hat when he came for the first image consulting session. The client told Jen that people complimented his hat all the time, but they didn’t say that it looked nice ‘on him’.
That man was hiding behind his name-brand clothes and not showing who he really was. Jen shared with him the story of the accident that caused 2nd degree burn on all over her face and her struggles back then. By sharing this personal story, she was able to connect with the client and build a new style that made him feel confident.
3. Know their world
Clients often chat about the things that are important to them. “To carry on an intelligent conversation, you have to know about those topics”, affirms Jen. Make sure to know what your clients’ interests are and stay on top of current or trending topics. When talking about those topics with them, you will capture their full attention.
Once, Jen had a client who was very interested in politics. When South Korean Attorney General Yoon Suk-yeol resigned, her client asked her what she knew about the situation. Jen had been keeping up with the news and was able to share about Yoon’s general image among Koreans.
Her client predicted that Yoon would run for president, and it turned out that he was right. Having this conversation with her client was not only interesting; it also gave her insight into his own ambition to run for political office someday. So, find out what your clients are into. Whatever it is, make sure you know their world and can relate to it.
4. Give your full attention
When clients are in your office, all your focus needs to be on them. Clients who like to talk appreciate someone who listens. Also, remember to take notes and don’t record your clients, since privacy is very important to most people.
That is why Jen prefers one-on-one consulting, since it allows her to really get to know the clients in depth. By putting her full focus on just one person, she can provide exactly what that client needs in a personalized way.
5. Understand their schedules
Elite clients tend to have packed schedules. Respect their time by making good use of every minute of the consulting sessions. Your clients’ time is limited, so develop a specific plan that they can follow without spending too much time on it.
People with busy schedules need brief, to-the-point communication. For them to learn new skills or styling tips, the best option is to text or email them how-to brief instructions or link them to YouTube shorts.
6. Keep the tone positive
“I always show optimism when talking to my clients,” says Jen in STYiLES. A useful trick is to end the sentences with positive words rather than negative ones. Instead of “difficult,” Jen chooses to say “not easy”, and instead of “bad,” she describes a situation as “not good.”
Also, avoid telling your clients “no”. Rather, provide alternative solutions. For example, if a client asks to schedule an appointment on Tuesday at 5pm, and you already have a pre-arranged meeting at that time, tell them your availability. That is a solution-based response with a positive tone.
7. Don’t hold back
Back up your directions with the reason why each step is important. People will only listen to you when they understand what you say. It also gives your work credibility. Once you tell them to do it, they pay attention, and most follow through with your directions. Those who don’t immediately make a change may come around later.
Many times, people already know what they need to do. They just have to hear confirmation from a professional. The image consultant’s role is to get their clients’ attention and provide the information. The client can decide what to do with it.
8. Put them in charge
It’s up to your clients to follow your advice. One of Jen’s experiences proves it:
Jen had a client who didn’t completely believe in the impact her services could have on his image and life. He was doing well with his company, so he figured that his wardrobe and personal care were already good enough.
One day, he realized that he needed to take his image to the next level as a successful business owner. He pulled out the style guide Jen created for him and started putting each step into practice.
A year after the first appointment, he came back to her and reported what a difference following her plan had made for him. He was more confident, his business had tripled, and he was ready for another consultation so that he could improve his image even more. All that happened without Jen’s following up and checking in on him.
The goal of communication in your business is to learn about individuals and their desires. Once you understand what people want and need, you can build anything around them and get their full attention.
Jen Auh shares more useful advice on how to build an elite image consulting business in her first book, from defining your market fit to communicating well with clients. The book is #1 International Bestseller, so get your copy and learn more about the world of elite image consulting.
As well, the STYiLES app offers you the best tools to become an elite image consultant, such as: premium personal shopping, custom tailoring, efficient client management and booking. Download the app now on App Store or Google Play to start scaling up your image consulting business and get your clients’s attention.
For additional support, join the Global Image Consultants Network on LinkedIn.
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