The COVID-19 virus has slowed small businesses to a snail’s pace, and the beauty industry is one that has been especially hard hit. So it’s totally understandable if you’re feeling stressed out about the sharp revenue drop you’re likely experiencing. And desperate to make some sales.
Unfortunately, trying to “sell” is the last thing you should be doing right now. Do that in this time of crisis and you’re going to come across as crass and uncaring. Which is more likely to hurt your sales than help them — both now and in the long run.
Instead, you need to shift your focus away from sales and toward empathy.
What exactly does that mean? And how can it help you?
Showing Empathy Means Everything to Your Clients
You know what “sympathy” is. And you may have heard of “empathy” before. But many people aren’t actually 100% sure of the difference between them. Before going into why you should focus on empathy, let’s cover what it is.
Sympathy is the ability to see someone going through a difficult situation and feel pity or sorrow for them. Empathy takes a crucial step beyond that. It’s the ability to imagine yourself in a particular client’s situation, identify with them, and really understand what they are feeling. As if you were feeling it personally, too.
Ever heard the adage “walk a mile in my shoes”? That’s empathy.
Empathy Builds Trust in a Relationship
As you’ve likely discovered through building your own client base, trust is one of the most important aspects of client retention. Trust is what helps a client make that follow up appointment. Or take the plunge on a new treatment.
It’s what keeps them coming back again.
Showing empathy (identifying your client’s feelings and concerns) is a cornerstone of building trust and a sense of connectedness.
More than ever in this time of isolation, finding ways to connect with one another means everything. Including a stronger business for you at the end of this.
Empathy Helps You Better Anticipate Clients’ Needs
Cultivating a sense of empathy with individual clients naturally realigns your thought process with your client’s needs and their experience. When you focus on your client without the objective to sell, you have better sightlines for helping them.
An empathetic ear can hear beyond a client’s spoken words. Recognizing unspoken (and often unmet) needs allows you to make the kind of recommendations that clients talk about to friends.
You become that spa professional who “knows me better than I know myself.”
Empathy Enables You to Build a Judgement-Free Safe Zone
During this epidemic, your recently retired empty-nester clients are having a completely different experience than your millennial client base. So will everyone in-between.
Mirroring the right tone in your messaging to your clients’ individual points of view:
- shows empathy,
- quells their concerns,
- and helps them know you truly understand their unique situation.
Empathy Helps You Create an Environment that Makes Sense to Your Client
Ultimately, understanding what each client is experiencing right now can strengthen your communication with them — and thus your relationship.
That way, when the time comes for all of us to re-enter the world — and for your clients to book that much-needed spa treatment — it is you they will think of first.
After all, you have a history. And your client trusts you to know them well enough to recommend their next health and wellness step.
Need Help? We’re Here for You
Remember, NewMed Concepts is committed to assisting every single partner we have in any way we can. Over the coming weeks and months, our goal is to create resources for all of you. So that you come out the other end of this stronger — and with your marketing skills sharper.
If you need personalized strategies for empathy in your communications over the coming weeks, we’ll be right there with you!
Don’t forget to tune into free Motivational Monday webinars to connect with other estys and spa professionals and get support, industry updates, and ideas.