Whilst it’s productive to address all the fun aspects of your day, it’s also important to explore some gloom. How about the clients you did not or cannot seem to win over?
Okay, so that’s a bit sobering but unfortunately these clients exist.
We would all love for everyone who enters our door to be appreciative, kind and loyal, but that does not happen in business. Asking yourself when will I win them all is futile because there are no guarantees every client is gone to love you.
It’s a tough one to swallow.
It’s not going to happen every month, but when you least expect it or deserve it, will be the day a client tells you she won’t be coming back; she prefers somewhere else.
It will feel like she is pushing you away and you can’t win her over, no matter what you say or do. It may even feel like she is there under false pretenses, to spy on you for another spa, or you may start to believe she came to make you feel small- because she’s nasty!
Dismally you will never see her again- and you will always be left wondering.
Why will you not be everybody’s cup of tea?
The client has to feel attracted to you as a person and also has to feel warmth and security in your salon. She will also need to find a common interest with you, values of some kind, again to find you a compatible fit.
Let’s look at just some of the many possible reasons as to why you could not be floating a client’s boat on a particular day :
- As human beings we are programmed to make snap decisions on first impressions and this client has possibly made a snap ( hopefully wrongful ) decision about you or your salon.
- Equally she could approve of you, but she just prefers her current therapist a teeny bit more and she will find it hard to reject her. She’s loyal.
- Maybe you didn’t fill a particular need. You advised your specialty method of hair removal for example, and it’s just not the exact one she wants, the one she has seen advertised. She believes the other is the better.
- It could also be a proximity problem. She’s delighted with your spa but she knows she is not prepared to travel as far as she needs to get there.
- Her decision could be fear based. Her lack of confidence or trust in meeting new people and new experiences meant she just wasn’t ready for you or your salon. Please take into consideration as well that fears come in the form of money. She simply may not have funds this month.
- Lastly she could just be a nasty person (on this day). She wanted to make herself feel big by making you feel small or sad. Sadly it happens and you have to brush it off and move along. On these rare occasions the client has a problem with themselves and you just happened to be in their way. Never let just one client make you feel anxious, hurt or depressed in your own salon. Be independent of that.
How do we keep moving forward?
When you find yourself in this no win predicament the first step is to de-victimise yourself. The key is to realise that the client is not being unkind, rather they are actually just unsure
Secondly take a moment to reflect on what you are really asking here. What would it mean if you won every single client that came through your door? It would mean you have absolutely no competition and having no competition is actually a bad thing. Read our separate post on this here.
These clients are not unmanageable.
If there is that person you are determined to win over you can protect yourself from worry by asking them outright at the time why they won’t be returning, or even later in an email questionnaire/ feedback form. This will at least stop you from grappling with uncertainty, and quite often even leads to communication which will entice her back. Learn from her response. Could you start offering payment plans? Has she heard of a treatment with results you haven’t? Could you offer s transport service she could use?
How about opportunity for some collaboration. If you know this client is definitely going back to i.e. Sarah at Beauty Dreams, ask her if she wouldn’t mind asking Sarah if you could recommend each other treatments that each salon doesn’t perform. Or put the idea across that you could use each other as emergency booking partners in times of staff illness, double-bookings etc.
Have the right attitude.
After all the disappointment, rejection and awkwardness that comes with a definite non- returner, simply take a deep breath, hold your head high and smile at the next client who is ready to align herself with your treatments and brand.
And on a really rubbish day when a client may be unnecessary unkind or obnoxious just concentrate on making yourself happy when she leaves. The rest of the day and your salon will thrive.
If you truly know have asked yourself all the usual questions- was my salon clean and attractive, did I do my best, did I treat the client like a Queen etc, then know you did all that could be done.
I don’t want you to get lapse and think any client who doesn’t return to you is okay, but learn to know the difference between the clients that weren’t right for you and the one’s that got away. The one’s that got away are the one’s you’ll always regret because you know you, your staff or your salon screwed up somewhere. The one’s that weren’t a right fit wouldn’t return anyway.
Know this perspective and you are well on the way to winning over the next 100 that walk through your door.
Has anything like this happened to you?
How did you deal with your feelings at the time?
Please share your thoughts and comments below.