Biz Tip 7: 5 Ways to Lose a Client in One Hour or Less

Can I really lose a client in one hour? Absolutely! Think about your answers to these simple questions.

  1. How do I market myself?
  2. How does my marketing affect my success in business?
  3. What is marketing?

Marketing is everything your client sees, hears, and experiences.What could possibly go wrong in an hour that would make my client never come back and make the relationship irreparable?

Here are the top 5 things you should NEVER do as suggested by Angie Patrick (Massage Today, Sept. 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09).

1. Nastiness

This is a word that can be taken two ways; first figuratively, then literally. If your client gets on your table and from their view can see all the junk, trash, dust and yes, dare I say, dead bugs under your tables and in the corners where a broom might miss, then you can bet that client will not be back. If your sheets smell funky because they have had oil stains that never fully came out, thus making the sheets smell rancid, you can bet this is an aromatherapy treatment the client will not indulge in twice. Should you be smack in the middle of a bad day, and that bad day comes through to the customer in the form of verbal nastiness or shortness, or at all like the customer is a burden rather than a blessing, then you can likely cross that client off your Christmas Card List.

2. Improper Draping

This is something many therapists do not take seriously enough. No one wants to feel exposed. The truth is, body image is a very real issue for most of us and having our massage nude is already a potential issue from a modesty standpoint. If you compound that with our fear of being exposed, improper draping becomes a deal breaker for many. While in school, we maybe have become a bit more immodest when it comes to nudity overall, but the rest of the world is not so open about it. Maintaining a modicum of privacy and modesty for your client is something they must have to feel safe, and when they feel safe they can relax.

3. Robust Verbiage

This is really a nice way of saying you talk too much. Clients typically do not wish to chit chat about TV, world events, music, the price of tea in the Congo, or any other topic during a massage. You must respect the bliss, otherwise the client feels compelled to pay attention to whatever you are talking about and is therefore paying less attention to the massage. At the end of the session, a client who has been inundated with voice clutter, might well feel their money has not been well spent. They could feel as if they did not get the full benefit of the massage and will not come back. You might never know why they do not return, but your bottom line will certainly know it.

4. Loud Distraction

If you are in an office setting with others working in your facility, it is imperative that everyone working for your company respect the bliss. This means, no loud voices in the break room, no loud noises such as deliveries when clients are present, no children playing loudly outside, and no outside noise that would distract from the massage experience. If someone cannot relax and give in to your treatment, they will not be satisfied. No matter how fabulous you might be, if I hear a baby crying, a dog barking or television in another room, I am distracted and I likely will feel as if I need to find someplace quieter for my next massage.

5. Disregarding Personal Requests

I have to say, I am a stickler about this. If I walk into an establishment and request my back be the focus, then I would like to have every reason in the world to think my therapist heard me and is paying heed to my request. If we get into the massage and they are working on everything but my back, I have to believe they did not listen, nor do they care what I want. Neither of which I care for as a quality to look for in a therapist.

These are just some of the ways you can blow a client relationship in one hour or less, however there are many more. Making the time to pay attention to detail is key. Do yourself a favor and get on your own table. What do you see? Are you comfortable? Are you warm? Does anything need to be cleaned? Should you buy new sheets? How about the noise level? Is it calm or can it be covered at least by music in the massage room?

Take some time to really inventory all the things you see, smell and hear. Yes, even look at your own shoes because your client will be looking at them, too, while face down. All of these things play into the client's perception of your overall ability to serve their needs. Even though you might well be a gifted therapist, you can still give the impression you are less than capable by making these mistakes. Take some time, invest in yourself and your business, and do a sweep to see if anything is amiss. Once everything is as it should be, you can get back to the business of retaining clients rather than having them fall off your radar.