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Patience + Being Proactive = Clients

August 23, 2013

I fill in two days a week at a friend’s spa about 10 minutes up the hill from from my office. It very part time. It’s about 10 hours a week, tops. I’ve done this for almost 3 years. I keep threatening to give my notice, but it’s an easy place to be and it gets me out of my own space.

About 4 weeks ago, the owner hired a new massage therapist to work Monday-Wednesday. This new therapist wanted to work the full day to maximize their potential to get booked with clients. The owner warned them that those were three of our slowest days and that maybe, since they were new, they should start with half days. She even told this new person that the days would be slow, Monday has always been a traditionally slow day at this spa, regardless of what the owner and other therapists did. The new person insisted on working the full 9am-7pm day. This therapist was not new to the industry, but was new to the area. That’s not a bad thing, but this person was also not being proactive. They simply sat around at the spa waiting for the phone to ring.

Typically when I work at this spa, I am booked with at least 2 massages every shift. Most days, I’m booked solid with massages, facials and pedicures. The shift I work allows for 4 one hour appointments. I have no problem getting booked. I have a lot of requests and the spa is busy in the evenings. It’s a great extra income. However, I’ve worked for that, and I’ve worked at that.

After 4 weeks this new therapist gave their notice. They weren’t making enough money for the time they were spending at the spa. This person also never took the time to cold call old clients (very effective if a spa owner gives you access to old appointment books, and most owners that I’ve worked for will allow you time at the spa to do this), and generally never left the spa once they arrived. This person easily could have spent time out in the community passing out cards and flyers for specials. You can’t simply wait for the phone to ring in this business. What shocked me was that this was a person who has been doing massage for years!

Even the owner had told this person that they needed to be proactive. She told them that she can’t make the phone ring. They chose to work the slow days and then expected a miracle. It doesn’t even make sense. Yes, there are spas out there that are so busy that they are booked all the time. From my experience, those spas tend to be in travel destination type places or high income areas. If you work at a spa like that, that’s awesome. You probably have the advantage of a reliable income and a spa like that usually has a lot of money budgeted for marketing. Small town local spas don’t always have the same advantage, which is why you might have to do some extended leg work. People don’t know that appointments are available unless you get out there. They don’t know that you are sitting around waiting for them to call. I can’t understand that frame of mind of siting around and waiting, how on earth is that supposed to help your business?!

Additionally, my time is to valuable! I can’t spend all day sitting on my butt! Half of my job is making sure people know about me! How else am I going to get people into my office and onto my table? That’s why I post available appointment times on Facebook, most of the time when I do that, I can get myself booked!

The spa owner wasn’t even shocked when this person gave their notice. And she was pretty honest with them too. You can’t sit around waiting for something to happen, you have to go get it, whatever it may be. That’s so true in this industry too, you have to build relationships, that leads to re-bookings and referrals, which equals a full appointment book. It takes time, but you have to be a willing participant. It doesn’t just happen.

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From → Massage, My work

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