Being a nail artist isn't just about creating stunning nail designs. While it's fulfilling to see your clients walk out with beautiful nails, it can also be a challenging job. One challenge is handling toxic clients who can ruin your day and even your business. These types of clients can drain your energy, confront you with complaints and make it difficult for you to work with them.

It's vital to learn how to recognize a toxic client and know how to handle them professionally and respectfully. Here's some tips on how to dismiss toxic clients politely without ruining your reputation.

Set Your Boundaries Early
When you first engage with a client, make sure you're transparent with them about your expectations and policies. Be clear about your services, timeframes, and prices, so they understand what they're getting into. Mention your cancellation policy and tell them about your rules for rescheduling appointments. By setting your boundaries early, you're less likely to get toxic clients who take advantage of you.

Identify Toxic Behaviors
Not all clients are equal, and some may exhibit toxic behaviors that can ruin your experience. These behaviors can include being abusive, confrontational, demanding or criticizing your work. The sooner you identify these behaviors, the easier it is to decide if you want to continue working with them.

Address the Behavior
When you face a toxic client, don't ignore the behavior. Instead, address it immediately and professionally. Start by listening to their concerns and attempt to understand them. Be respectful, but firm and explain your position. If they continue with their toxic behavior, it's okay to let them know that the relationship may not be the best fit and respectfully dismiss them.

Use Abstract Reasoning
It's tempting to react emotionally when dealing with a toxic client, but it's essential to approach the situation with a cool head. Use abstract reasoning, which means avoiding personal attacks and using neutral language. For example, instead of saying, "You're being rude and aggressive," you can say, "I notice that we may have miscommunications, and it might be best to discontinue our services." This approach helps to keep the conversation respectful.

Suggest Alternatives
If you're not into confrontation, it's okay to suggest alternative nail artists or salons that can better serve the client's needs. By doing so, you're showing your empathy towards them and providing a possible solution. Suggesting alternatives can even help diffuse the tension- just don't refer the toxic client to your BFF!

Being a nail artist means that you'll encounter all sorts of people, which can include toxic clients. But handling them professionally, empathetically and respectfully is crucial in maintaining your business reputation. By setting your boundaries early, identifying their behaviors and using abstract reasoning, you can politely dismiss toxic clients without any harm.

Remember, you're worth more than dealing with toxic energy, and it's okay to say goodbye to clients who don't align with you – it might be the best decision you ever make!

November 24, 2023 — Erica Schlabach