I can really relate to the deflated feeling Jill talks about in her post when a client shoots down your pre-book offering. Early on in my career, as I mentioned before, this feeling happened to me a lot. I had a really hard time with it, and often got discouraged and wanted to quit asking because of it. I was really fortunate to have been exposed to the right ideas about booking your clients just at the right time — before I got so discouraged that I didn’t try at all. This would have ultimately led to a short and unhappy career.
It took me a while to come up with the script that works for me, but now I do and it is a habit to make the offering to my guests as we are finishing up the service. I too tell them what to expect when it is time to come in for the recommended service or enhancement maintenance. After that I ask them if the same day of the week at about the same time is good for them. Usually this is all it takes, but just as Jill said, sometimes they still say no. Now I have to admit, when they tell me no, I do tell them that my books fill quickly. I add: “So even if you are not sure when would be good, I would like to reserve a time for you because even if you get home and see that you cannot do it at that time after all, I can often find someone to swap appointment times with you.” Most of the time they do pre-book after I tell them this. So though I do mention that my books get full, I also try to let them know that I will do my best to accommodate their schedule. If they still say no then I too write on the card when I recommend that they come back in for the service.
Though my script has worked for me, I really like Jill’s no pressure approach. I am going to adapt it for myself to use when I get a no to my offering and see if that is more successful in getting the guest to reserve her next appointment time.