Friendly vs. Friendship

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Take our advice on how to walk the fine line between professional and personal relationships with clients.

You should care about your clients as people. Having that personal connection with certain clients is one of the most enjoyable parts of being in the beauty industry. And part of being a professional is acting friendly and courteous to clients, asking about their kids, swapping stories about vacations, etc. But because they pay you, the nature of the relationship is—and has to be—different from a friendship.

I try to keep my professional face and not share extremely personal things. But I confess my sins: My clients know that I'm married, have two kids, two cats and am originally from California. But this is where I draw the line; after these personal tidbits, I quickly turn the conversation back on them and ask about their lives. This puts them at ease and helps them feel like part of the conversation rather than a captive audience. I consider this being friendly. Developing a friendship is a whole different story.

So, there is friendly, and then there is friendship. Friendly clients are the ones who follow their nail techs on Twitter, Facebook or personal blogs and comment when they have something to contribute to the conversation. Being friendly is a client who sends a quick email just to see how you're doing rather than to make an appointment. On the other hand, friendship involves hanging out on the weekends and discussing personal issues, maybe inviting a client to dinner after work.