Whether for a new job or simply a new season in life, clients often want to remove their nails and try the natural approach. How they transition could mean the difference between losing an enhancement client or gaining a natural-nail client. As you encourage her to return, your conversation might go something like this:
Client: I think I want to give my nails a break. Can I go back to my natural nails?
You: Sure. (Then, depending on when she made this request)
> [After you prepped her nails:] I’ve already prepped your nails for your enhancements, which I wouldn’t have done if I were going to begin the process of removing your nails. Let’s fill your nails today and book your next appointment as a removal and manicure.
>[Before you prepped her nails:] I’ll shorten your nails and thin them out, and then finish as if it’s a natural nail manicure. You’ll still have a little bit of product on your nails, but we’ll schedule another manicure to keep your nails looking beautiful as the product grows off.
Client: Can’t you just take it all off now?
You: I could, yes. But you’re used to the strength of the enhancement. If I take it all off completely, you might be discouraged if your nails chip or split, or if they are soft and weak. I’m leaving only a very thin coating. I’d like to schedule you for a natural nail manicure one week from today so I can see how the product is growing off. I recommend natural nail clients get regular manicures every week so their nails always look beautiful.
Client: Either “OK” or “I don’t really want to come back that soon. Is there something else I can do?”
You: We could transition you to gel-polish. That way, you’ll have the natural look you want, and the polish lasts up to two weeks. Most of my clients who have removed their nails choose gel-polish and they really love it. It’s the perfect solution to natural nails with less maintenance.
Client: OK, I’ll do it!
Easing the Transition
> Be sure to give your clients options (i.e. natural nail manicure or gel-polish). They want to feel like it’s their decision, and it’s easier to get them on a maintenance plan when you have their buy-in.
> Always pre-book her next appointment and always make it within seven to 10 days, because her nails will begin to need attention at this point. You don’t want her getting discouraged and then opting for a quickie shop when she feels desperate.
> Add a “removal” service to your menu. It could be a simple remove-and-manicure appointment, but we recommend you get creative, such as a 12-Step Recovery Program. This could mean 12 manicures, which keeps clients coming in every week for 12 weeks. You could price this to reflect a savings. For example: Prepay for 10 manis, get two free.
Another option would be to have the 12-Step Recovery be a 12-day program, where clients perform steps from an at-home care kit you sell her. She would apply strengthener to her nails each night and file as necessary, then come see you in a week. After her manicure, she would still have five days left to complete her at-home maintenance. While this one may be an easier sell because it’s less expensive, it doesn’t guarantee her return after the first manicure. You’ll need to educate her why it’s important to continue with salon-quality manicures. This shouldn’t be difficult, especially if you point out the filing and cuticle work you offer…and, of course, the exceptional experience.