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  • Writer's pictureAlison Wait

How to Maximise the Value of Free Consultations: Turning Ghosted Clients into Customers

Updated: Mar 9

Why bother to do a consultation in the first place?  Well, they’re the first step in discovering your client’s history, their goals and aspirations and whether they’re going to be a good fit for the treatment they want and think they need.


In the competitive world of beauty and aesthetics, offering free consultations is a common strategy to attract new clients.  However, there’s no guarantee they will act on your recommendations and it’s so disheartening when potential clients take advantage of your highly skilled and knowledgeable evaluations, only to disappear and seek cheaper options elsewhere.


Why does this happen to you and what can you do about it?  The good news is with actionable strategies you can convert these consultations into loyal, revenue-generating relationships.


Understanding the Challenges:


We all know how saturated the beauty industry is with choices and savvy consumers being drawn to the allure of discounts and special offers.  While offering free consultations can be an effective way to showcase expertise and build trust, it also opens the door for clients to shop around for better deals.  This behaviour not only undermines the time and effort invested by the therapist but also results in lost revenue for the business.


Charging a consultation fee can be a sensitive subject and you may encounter objections but it’s a great way to protect your valuable clinical time against the pitfalls of being ghosted.


What Are The Pitfalls of Being Ghosted:


1.    Providing free consultations requires valuable time and resources from highly skills therapists.  When clients ghost after the consultation, these resources are wasted with no return on investment.


2.    Consistently being ghosted by clients can damage the reputation of the business.  Word-of-mouth is powerful in our industry, and negative experiences can deter potential clients from booking opportunities.


3.    Every ghosted consultation represents a missed opportunity to generate revenue through recommended treatments and retail sales.


4.    It can also be so de-motivating to you and your teams when after putting in every effort to provide a fantastic customer experience during the consultation you are ghosted with no understanding of why they have gone elsewhere.


But the good news is there are strategies to ensure success and minimise a loss of revenue for your business.


1.    Implementing a pre-qualification process to ensure that clients booking in for the consultation are genuinely interested in your services.  This might include a small deposit, that’s refundable when a treatment is completed.  Pre-screening questions are another way to gauge their commitment to the process.  When I’m asked to pay a deposit for consultations or treatments it gives me confidence that my appointment is unlikely to be cancelled by the business and it shows the business I’m committed to the appointment, and not going to cancel or try to reschedule.  In a nutshell charging for consultations can really benefit your business and significantly reduce a potential client cancelling without any notice, utilising your valuable time as efficiently as possible.


2.    Don’t be afraid to set expectations from the beginning.  Sure, you might get some clients that throw their toys out of the pram, but these aren’t going to be your valued, loyal clients.  Clearly communicate the value of the consultation and what clients can expect during the session.  Emphasise the expertise of your team and the personalised recommendations they will expect.


3.    Immerse your potential new clients with a fantastic customer experience.  Use the appointment as an opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills of your therapists.  Provide insightful recommendations tailored to the client’s needs and concerns, demonstrating your commitment to their satisfaction.  Show the features and benefits they will get from the treatments.  This is where your before and after pictures come into their own.  This style of consultation demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction and how you can benefit them, rather than feel like a hard sell.


4.    Create an irresistible offer that incentivises clients to book in with you.  If you’re offering courses cost in the home care products after the initial treatment so they can see real added value.  Make it advantageous for them to choose your business over competitors.


5.    It’s all in the follow-up if they’re not booking in with you before they leave the salon.  Don’t let clients slip through the cracks after the consultation.  Follow up with personalised emails or phone calls to remind them of the recommendations discussed and offer any additional assistance they may need.


6.    Focus on building a genuine relationship with them rather than just making a sale.  Show empathy, listen to their concerns, and demonstrate your dedication to helping them achieve their goals


Turn Those Ghosted Clients into Loyal Customers:


1.    Offer package deals.  Encourage clients to book multiple treatments by offering package deals.  This not only increases the value of their investment but also incentivises them to commit to a long-term relationship with your business.


2.    Implementing a loyalty rewards program where clients earn points on treatments and retail purchases.  Reward them with exclusive perks to keep them coming back for more.


3.    Hosting educational workshops or events where clients can learn about the latest beauty trends, skincare techniques, or product launches.  This positions your business as a trusted authority in the industry and fosters a sense of community among clients.


4.    Continue to engage with clients after their initial visit through personalised follow-up emails or newsletters.  Share valuable content such as skincare tips, product recommendations, and special offers to keep them informed and interested in your services.


While being ghosted by clients can be frustrating, by adopting proactive strategies to convert your consultations into meaningful relationships you will grow a loyal customer base.  By pre-qualifying clients, setting clear expectation, showing expertise, and offering irresistible incentives, you can maximise the value of free consultations and turn ghosted clients into loyal customers who are invested in their wellbeing.  Remember, it’s not just about making a sale.  Charging a consultation fee has been shown to reduce to increase attendance and cancellations come with enough notice that you can re-use the appointment slot. 


Ready to take your business to the next level. Reach out today to book your free discovery call and discover how we can revolutionise your business growth strategy.

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