Making It Tough to Say No, Part 1

In my last post  I showed you the math of how much money can be lost by not pre-booking just one pedicure. Hopefully the math made sense to you and you’ve started to make the pre-book suggestion to each and every client. Don’t miss out on all the money I did before figuring out the math.


Getting your client to pre-book her next appointment is not an easy task for many nail techs. Through my consulting, I have found that asking a client to come back is one of the nail tech’s biggest fears. Some clients will take you up on the suggestion of pre-booking and other simply won’t book their next appointment. But, have we ever thought of a backup plan if they say no to the pre-book? It doesn’t matter where you live, clients everywhere typically give us all the same response: “I have to check my calendar, then call you.” How many times have we heard that excuse? Have you ever noticed that people who live by their calendar have it on them via mobile calendar or a purse-sized planner? They are constantly checking it.


While consulting salons this fall, I asked nail techs “How are you going to get your clients to pre-book their next appointment?” Every fall I hear the same response: “The holidays are coming...” Then they add statements to finish the sentence. That will work for a few clients, but what are you going to use for the rest of the year? We can’t just bank on the holiday season. Will we be busier? Yes. Is it a good idea to pre-book your holiday party nails? Yes, but like I said what will you say for the rest of the year?


Mostly, what it comes down to is that we feel uncomfortable about making the pre-book suggestion. If we don’t have a plan or a script for what we’re going to say, the outcome may not go as planned. Over and over again I’ve witnessed techs not knowing what to say. So, instead of getting to the point quickly, they ramble on and never get to the point. They get tied up in their words and the client gets lost because the pre-book suggestion is so long winded. I’ve learned that getting to the point in the least amount of words is the best way to captivate your clientele.     


In my post “Pre-booking: Which Words Work Best?” I mentioned that I start my pre-book suggestion by giving my client the reasons she needs to return for maintenance. I tell her what can go wrong and what to expect. Example: “I recommend four weeks for your next pedicure. In four weeks your polish will be grown out, your nails will need to be trimmed, the calluses will have returned, along with the dead layer of skin that will need to be exfoliated.” I give them examples and visuals that help them to understand why they need to return. This works best for new clients or clients I have only seen a few times.


For my repeat clients, I have found it to work best to ask while walking the client to the front desk to check out. Yes, I said I walk with my client to the front desk. I highly recommend walking with them and not just handing off a ticket or shouting what was added to her ticket to the front desk. The number one reason you ask? Because, it increases your chance of a pre-book! Your clients feel more comfortable saying no to the front desk than they do to you. Just by you asking, your pre-book percentage will be greater than that of the front desk personnel. This is also a great time to recommend home care products. Again they have a harder time saying no to you.


Next week, I’ll let you know how to respond to a “no” from a client you’re trying to re-book.        


— Jill

Facebook Comments ()

Leave a Comment


Comments (1)


Featured Products & Promotions   |   Advertisement

Market Research

Market Research How big is the U.S. nail business? $7.3 billion. What's the average service price for a manicure? Dig into our decades' deep research archives.

Industry Statistics for

View All


FREE Subscription

VietSalon is a Vietnamese-language magazine and the sister publication to NAILS. Click the link below to sign up for a FREE one-year subscription.

Get a free preview issue and a Free Gift
Subscribe Today!

Please sign in or register to .    Close
Subscribe Today
Subscribe Today