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Last updated: January 26, 2018

5 Tips For Building Strong Client Relationships

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Sarah Potempa prepping Lea Michele for the 2017 Oscars party. (Instagram via @sarahpotempa)

If you follow celebrity stylist and creator of The Beachwaver® Sarah Potempa on Instagram, you know she is quite the traveler, splitting most of her time between New York and Los Angeles. You may have also noticed one famous face consistently makes a feature on her account: client-turned-BFF Lea Michele!



From girls’ trips in Hawaii to weekends in NYC to morning hikes in LA, Sarah and Lea prove their relationship goes beyond strictly stylist and client, leaving us questioning how we, too, can become gal pals with our fave celebs.


While we don’t have the answers to that question just yet, we do have tips from Sarah on how you can build stronger relationships with the clients in your chair. Check ‘em out below.


If you visit LA and you didn’t hike at least once, did you really visit LA? (Instagram via @sarahpotempa)


1. Ask a lot of questions.
You already know that the consultation is key, but are you asking the right questions? Before Sarah starts styling her client’s hair, she says there are three things she likes to find out first: how they like to wear their hair, if there are any photos they love of a particular hairstyle and if there is a certain style they feel most comfortable with. When styling for a speific event, Sarah also makes sure to understand the look of the event to ensure everyone is on the same page.


2. Be confident in your abilities.
Never show up unprepared and be confident in the job you are there to do. Sarah says it’s important to listen to your client’s ideas but also have suggestions of what you may think will look good on the client as well. Always make it a team effort and work together.


Sarah adding the final touches to Lea’s look for the 2017 Golden Globes. (Instagram via @sarahpotempa)


3. Teach your client a thing or two.
Don’t hesitate to teach your clients how they can style their own hair. While it may seem like doing so takes away from your job as the stylist, Sarah says it’s actually a way to gain their trust. “I’ve been able to gain so many clients’ trust by providing them with The Beachwaver® tools and education,” shares Sarah, “so they can go home and recreate many of the looks I styled on them!”


4. Stop, collaborate and listen.
“Keep an open mind, listen, be confident, do your research and remember that the entire process is a collaboration,” notes Sarah. “You have the skill set to style their hair, but the client may have a clear vision of what they want and it’s important to work with that!”


5. And if you’re a freelance stylist…
Learn to respect your client’s space and energy levels. “It’s important to remember that you are there to provide a service for them and part of that is listening to them,” says Sarah. Once Sarah and her client sift through inspiration photos and decide on a final look, they often throw on some music, relax and have girl time while prepping.


Sarah and Lea at the Hollywood Beauty Awards where Lea presented Sarah with the Product of the Year award for The Beachwaver®. (Instagram via @sarahpotempa)


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