Appreciated or Manipulated?


Do you feel appreciated by your clients? Do you feel that they respect your expertise? Do you feel as if you give too much in an effort to make sure they return to you and not head to the spa down the street? These questions have been rumbling around in my brain lately and here’s why: I have conversations with you all about this way too often. I have this happen to me way too often. What are we to do?

I did a consult last week with a seasoned and very intelligent esthetician. We had such a great conversation that our 45-minute consult lasted over an hour. This esthetician was struggling with feeling respected and appreciated by her clients. You know that saying don’t give away the baby with the bath water? That’s kind of a strange saying but I interpret it as giving away too much of ourselves to someone who does not appreciate it. This is how this esthetician felt about her clients.

They would tell her about expensive vacations they took and the $300 facial they had while on that vacation but then moan when she stated that she would be raising her prices in the new year. They clearly can afford to pay more but they aren’t appreciating her and all that she does for them.

Her clients are purchasing products from department stores or off the Internet instead of from her. She gives samples to every client but only 2 or 3 ever purchase those products.

I asked her to fill me in on all that she does during a facial and what she charges and I was a bit shocked at how much she does for her clients. She truly is giving away the baby with the bath water. Trust me when I say that clients are never going to let you know that. They’ll take all that they can get from you if you are willing to give it.

The conclusion we came to by the end of our conversation is another saying. You teach people how to treat you. She has taught her clients to expect everything that she does for them and she’s feeling very unappreciated. They are pushing back at any changes she wants to make and this leaves her feeling disrespected.

We talked about the idea of not being afraid to lose a client. Think of the energy (emotional and physical) that we expend on each of our clients. Some of them drain us, don’t they? Have you heard that if you want something new and better you need to open the space for it? Example: If you’d like a better relationship but you keep holding on to the one that is unhealthy because you’re afraid of being alone, then you’ll never find that new healthy relationship.

What if we let go of the clients that drain us? The ones that obviously don’t appreciate us. Would that open up the energetic space for a different type of client to take that time slot? I truly believe so! But it’s a very scary thought, right? This is where trust comes in. Trusting that by letting go of that client that drains you, you open the space for a fabulous new client.

It’s interesting that the consult with this esthetician would present itself to me at this time because I am actually dealing with an esthetician that is doing to me exactly what this gal’s clients are doing to her. At the end of our conversation, I realized that I need to walk my own talk!

If you have not read my blog called “Can I get a discount” please do so before reading on. It goes right along with this subject. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait for you.

Well, what do you think? Can you relate? The world seems to have become extremely discount driven. When did things change that everyone expects and even demand a discount?

Here’s the situation I’m dealing with right now. An esthetician that has never purchased from me before contacts me and takes quite a bit of my time on the phone asking many questions. I don’t mind this. This is what I do and love. Sharing my experience. Helping my fellow estheticians is my joy.

We get toward the end of the conversation and here it comes. She starts drilling me about getting discounts and free shipping on the things she would like to have and I do mean drilling me. She was relentless. She stated how much she was struggling right now (the whole world is!). She even used the single Mother card. Here’s what she wrote in an email after the conversation: It’s been a challenging year for a single mom like myself to stay afloat in life. I’m finding these times very trying and I need your help,

I fell for it and ended up giving her the discounts and free shipping. She still had one more thing she wanted but couldn’t afford it at the moment so I told her I would extend that discount as well. When she reached out to purchase that item at the discounted price, I added $10 for shipping. I received an email back asking for free shipping.

How are you feeling about this interaction as you read this? If this were happening to you with a client would you feel appreciated? I think not. I’m actually feeling manipulated. This is where I need to walk my own talk.

I wrote her back and here’s what I said:
As a fairy God Mother to the estheticians that follow me, I’d like to voice something to you. I am a generous person that loves to help people when and where I can but I want you to think about something. If a first-time client comes to you asking for discounts right off the bat, how is that going to make you feel? Does that make your feel appreciated for your time and expertise? Do you feel valued? Is that someone that you want to continue to have as a client? Everyone is struggling right now. Using struggle as a way to get someone to give you a discount doesn’t come across as a strong business woman. Ask for what you want but don’t be manipulative by stating why someone should give you a discount. I want you to go out in the business world and succeed with your power and positivity not using meekness to get people to give you what you need. Please take this as very loving help!

What do you think? Was I too harsh? I don’t think so. The response I got back was that she wanted free shipping. I’ve decided that this is definitely one of those moments where I need to free up the space. It’s not about the $10 for shipping. That money is not going to make it so I can’t feed the dogs this month. It’s the principle.

The new year is coming. This is a great time to make changes. Where in your life (business and/or personal) do you need to free up the space for something better to come along?



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