When a client leaves you, it’s not something that you may even notice straight away. If they usually book in again before they leave, they’ll probably book, then cancel with a genuine sounding excuse, so it may take you a while to realise that they’ve not been in for ages.
The moment you realise, there can be a flood of emotions, ranging from embarrassment, to anger and self doubt. We build up relationships with our clients, and we grow very close and fond of some of them, so it hits particularly hard if they’re one of the clients that have left you. But here’s the thing… clients are not your friends. They are just lovely people that pass through your life. They don’t owe us anything.
If you’re self employed, you have the luxury of only having clients that you like through your door. Of course, there will be clients that you do build a true friendship with outside of work, but if you’re doing that with most of them, you’ll be very disappointed.
Reasons why your client may leave you
- You pissed them off with something you said.
- You’re slagging off other therapists (that’s a no no).
- Your standards have slipped and you’ve become complacent because they’ve been coming to you for so long. In short, you’re not treating them like a paying client, so you may be leaving hair, or talking all the way through their massage for example.
- They’ve found someone cheaper or closer.
- They’ve found someone better. Ouch! Hurts, but its true and a wake up call for us all.
- They’re cheap! They’ve been going to someone cheaper and not as good as you all year, but want to come back to you for occasions when they want the best Brazilian, lashes, tan, nails, etc, etc. Those clients you don’t need, so sack them off.
- Something awful may have happened in their life. Relationship break up, death in the family, job loss. Anything!
- It’s nothing personal. They just can’t afford the luxury of treatments anymore, or can’t be arsed. It’s not about you!
So, if your client leaves you, just be honest with yourself and move on. Make sure you’re that good at what you do and they’ll come back; and when they do, make sure you greet them with a smile and don’t quiz them about where they’ve been.