Help me be strong here

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Help me be strong here

Postby tranquilspirit2006 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:06 am

I ran a local groupon thingie and have done better than I expected with getting regulars from it. However one woman repeatedly asked me about future discounts and giving her a lower price etc etc at her visit. I told her that I will sometimes offer a FB special, send out "Thank Yous" to clients good for $10 off, offer multiple-visit discounts and that all spa packages are discounted. Let me also state at this time she was almost an hour late for her appt, she did call but in the interest of being nice for the first appt, I waited for her. This was about 5 months ago.

This week she scheduled an appt for tomorrow. In her email she stated that she "did not have a coupon this time so please give her a good rate". I replied with my normal pricing rates. She has now emailed me today saying she can't make the 5pm and can she make it at 6, and also I said I give 15% discounts and would I give it to her this time since this is her first regular priced facial. I never said that. 15% isn't something I've ever done. I know what I told her about discounts, it's the same thing I tell anyone who asks. You know how your mind sometimes says 'But you really need the money'? I really just want to tell her I'm sorry she can't make the 5pm, 6 isn't available, I occasionally offer coupons but these are my prices, please let me know if you wish to reschedule. I really don't think I want her as a client, she's rubbing me the wrong way (haha). I'm irritated just thinking about her so give me some boundary support here so I don't talk myself out of it.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby pueppi on Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:48 pm

tranquilspirit2006 wrote:Let me also state at this time she was almost an hour late for her appt, she did call but in the interest of being nice for the first appt, I waited for her. This was about 5 months ago.

This week she scheduled an appt for tomorrow. In her email she stated that she "did not have a coupon this time so please give her a good rate". I replied with my normal pricing rates. She has now emailed me today saying she can't make the 5pm and can she make it at 6, and also I said I give 15% discounts and would I give it to her this time since this is her first regular priced facial. I never said that. 15% isn't something I've ever done. I know what I told her about discounts, it's the same thing I tell anyone who asks. You know how your mind sometimes says 'But you really need the money'? I really just want to tell her I'm sorry she can't make the 5pm, 6 isn't available, I occasionally offer coupons but these are my prices, please let me know if you wish to reschedule.



Boundary support.... here it comes! :smt007

So, the first issue I see is that she wants to show up an hour late and expects you to just wave a majic wand and take her in. If you let her do it again, it will become a regular thing. Are you comfortable with that?

    I've got a client who always, always always books an appointment and then changes it to the next day. Every time. I like him, he's easy to work with, I know he does this... when he books something I just make arrangements in my head that it is not an appointment that is going to stick, so I back my lunch up to that appointment. ;) It works for me. If I can't fit him in for the next day that he wants to re-schedule for, he's gracious about it and doesn't whine. That works for me too.
Next issue is the action of lying to get a discount. I haven't run across one of those before, but I have had the following:

    I had another client who always showed up for her twice a year appointment and moaned about my fees. When I raised my rates, she moaned more. It didn't work for me. I encouraged her to find someone who was less expensive and call me when my office was a better fit for her needs. She didn't like it much, got a package at Massage Envy, and now comes in once every other year (first it was one a year for a few years) to moan about my prices and how she never gets the same person twice at ME. OK, I can work with that, so, I let her moan. Once a year is ok for me, twice a year gets my hackles up. What can I say? I haven't seen her in 2 years now, and that's ok for me too.

I'm the first to admit, when things have been slow, I'll be a lot more flexible with my boundaries than I should. This is not the best way to handle things, but sometimes what has to be done, has to be done.

So, you have to decide what you are willing to deal with.

Personally, I like your idea of just telling her that you can't see her at 6pm, and ---> adding that the next time she has to cancel or re-schedule an appointment (because that is what she is doing), you want to let her know that your policy is 24 hours advanced notice, or she'll be charged the full amount of the session (or a price you like) because once you have scheduled her appointment, all other clients are denied that block of time (you guaranteed that you would be able to see her and only her during that time frame).

I know... much easier said than done. But, important all the same.

Hope this helps. <<<support>>>
Last edited by pueppi on Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:50 pm

This person is either too cheap or just can't afford regular massage but does would rather come across as cheap than broke

In the long run, she will prove to be more hassle than she is worth

Stick to your pricing.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby holley on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:44 pm

"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know."

What has heart and meaning for you in your vocation and in interactions with this, ahem, celebrant ? What is your truth?
Boundaries are fluid when expedient, as Pueppi indicated.
People, except for BWOL members, can be a hassle. Is it worth it?
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby akashafive on Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:45 am

As the previous posters have said, stick to your guns! She's never going to change and it is always going to bother you. If she wants a cheap massage, let her go find one. You aren't cheap and you don't need clients who expect you to be. Your prices are your prices. She knows perfectly well that the deal was a one time thing, and if she doesn't want to pay the actual rate, she should look elsewhere for another deal. Stay strong! 8)
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby squash_blsm on Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:34 am

I do a monthly facial special which is $10 lower than my regularly priced facial...it usually has an upgrade and is a great value!
I have two people that will only book this facial - but not every month. They never try to get me to lower my price because they KNOW I am offering a great deal.

If you have a cancellation policy make sure you go over it again with her.

Just stay firm on your pricing. I only give nice discounts on product and service to good, loyal clients...she might become one in the future but I doubt it.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby pueppi on Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:51 am

squash_blsm wrote:I do a monthly facial special which is $10 lower than my regularly priced facial...it usually has an upgrade and is a great value!


s_b,

Just out of curiosity, does the special run for a day, week for any facial with an upgrade? Or, do you run something the whole month on a particular type of facial? I am interested in how you make something like this work. I have never offered regular specials, and wonder if you ever get overloaded. It sounds like you have it down to a "t".
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby tranquilspirit2006 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:11 pm

I re-read this today and thought "Now what would you tell someone else to do if this were posted here?" You'd tell them stick to your guns!

She wanted to reschedule for next Friday, I'm booked all day and the following Fri all afternoon, so I let her know when the first Fri 5pm appt is. She then wanted to maybe come in at 5 today but could she call around 4 to let me know? I was actually done with appts at noon today and I just got my back up and didn't feel like waiting around for her to call hours later and *maybe* come in, so I told her since she'd said she wouldn't be able to make the 5pm, I'd already filled it.

I have a feeling I'll never hear from her again and I'm ok with that. Relieved actually. I am so happy to give discounts or send coupons to all my nice, friendly clients and those that refer (one woman has referred no less than 10 people in the past 2 months, a couple have rebooked, most of the others I have a feeling will become what I refer to as 'semi-regulars'. Those that don't get massage on a regular basis but when they do, they'll come to you.) Her daughter called today because she wants to buy mom a gc for her b'day and I gave her a FANTASTIC deal because her mom has been a one-woman PR person for me!. And her daughter has also been to me too, lol. The other woman though, well, I'd rather not have and other than the insistence on discounts from the get-go, it's not something I can put my finger on. I'd rather have clients that I look forward to, that make me happy when I know they're coming in.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby tranquilspirit2006 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:16 pm

And thank you all. The regular discounted days sounds pretty cool. I have days when I'll post on FB '30 minute massage or facial, $25 today when you mention FB' and I'll even let people who call after I fill up still have the discount on another day. I know there are a couple of women who only do that when I run the special but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I like them and I'm still happy to see them.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby kathryn on Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:55 pm

Good for you for "sticking to your guns"! Why waste time with people looking to use you when you can have that time available for clients who really appreciate your work and what you do for them.

I've made it a policy to immediately refer those to other mt's who come complaining about my rates. Once they start in about 'your prices are so high', I immediately refer them to a mt who charges less. Fortunately, I haven't had that problem in a while. But now you know what that looks like, you'll be quicker next time and won't even question yourself.
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Re: Help me be strong here

Postby squash_blsm on Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:59 pm

pueppi wrote:
squash_blsm wrote:I do a monthly facial special which is $10 lower than my regularly priced facial...it usually has an upgrade and is a great value!


s_b,

Just out of curiosity, does the special run for a day, week for any facial with an upgrade? Or, do you run something the whole month on a particular type of facial? I am interested in how you make something like this work. I have never offered regular specials, and wonder if you ever get overloaded. It sounds like you have it down to a "t".


I run the promotion for the whole month. It's easier to do this with facials than with massage. I am highlighting specific products ( like a pumpkin peel or hydrating masque) OR services/machines (LED, ultrasonic, FSD).

Trust me - I rarely get overloaded! It's been an uphill battle to rebuild my clientele at my new(er) location. One full year and I am still not back to a full book. :undecided:
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