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In this post: Firing a Massage Client is challenging, to say the least. This post has tips for gracefully and effectively “letting go” of a client.
Last week was a record week for me! I had to fire not one, but two clients. Things have shifted for me. I’m not willing to put up with what I once was. I’m not willing to waste energy on those who don’t respect my time, boundaries, or policies! And so, two clients got chopped.
It is never easy to have to flex these muscles! But the truth is, if client’s push once and you allow it, it will continue!!! Just like a toddler.
When clients show up late or cancel at the last moment, or begin to undress with you in the treatment room, it’s best to nip it in the bud.
When bad behavior starts to creep in, speak up!
Lay down the law early for what you will and what you won’t accept in YOUR massage practice.
I know this can be hard, but sometimes people are clueless about how their actions affect others. By making it clear what your boundaries are from the very first violation, you can alleviate massive headaches in the future.
Think about how much easier it is to say to a client,
“I am going to have to cut this session short since you were ten minutes late for your appointment.”
“I know you have been ten minutes late to your last ten appointments, but I can’t keep doing this. I won’t be able to give you your full time.”
I’d also love to see you all get comfortable NOT reassuring your clients when they have bad behavior. It so natural to try to reassure, yet that doesn’t always mean it serves us well!
When a client says, “I’m sorry I’m late…”
I don’t want you to respond, “Oh, it’s okay; it happens.”
Instead, try, “I understand it happens sometimes, unfortunately though, I won’t be able to give you the full scheduled time.”
Your time is valuable, and you need to value it so that others will too!
When that doesn’t work, it may be time to take more dramatic action.
Firing a Massage Client
Have you ever had to “fire” or “break up” with a massage client? It’s not an easy thing to do! It’s natural to care about our clients, which often makes it hard to honor the limits we establish in our practices!
But, that doesn’t make it okay when a client pushes our boundaries.
The first time I was tasked with the challenge of “letting go” of a client, it took me WAY TOO LONG to complete the job. I was scared, unsure, and uncomfortable with the idea of having to communicate in such a direct and unpleasant way!
But lamenting didn’t make the problem go away. Nope. Action was the only thing that was going to solve this dilemma.
Growing up, my dad always preached, “accelerate the crisis.” Basically, if there was a crisis to occur, get it over with quickly—kind of like ripping off a band-aid. As unpleasant as the task at hand is, the quicker you can move forward with it, the sooner it will be over.
Tips for firing a client
- Don’t act from fear. The universe will support you when you honor your needs! And if you aren’t taking care of your needs, ain’t nobody!
- Give yourself a moment to respond. This way, your message won’t get lost in anger or frustration.
- Without revealing your client’s identity, practice what you will say or write with a trusted friend or family member.
- Speak or write clearly. When we are too vague, our clients may miss the point altogether.
- It’s okay if you feel sad! We, as massage therapists, are empathetic beings, and some times we need to feel all the feels!
- Trust your intuition!
When you start to cut out clients who abuse your time and energy, you make room for those who respect and appreciate all you have to offer. You make room for increased growth and abundance. Your time and energy are no longer drained from negative interactions.
I don’t know about you, but this whole Corona nightmare has me in a little more fragile, less patient, and more vulnerable state. I have less patience for inconsiderate behavior. To be honest, it shouldn’t have taken such a dramatic event to reveal this. But, when the chaos of day to day life was halted back in March, like so many others, I was given the opportunity to redefine how I wanted my life to look moving forward. And I was able to see clearly how to have more balance through healthier boundaries. Client’s beware, don’t mess with this therapist!
I no longer have the bandwidth for those who don’t understand and respect my boundaries. And you shouldn’t either! Cut out the cancer! Make way for those who will honor you. You deserve it!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008