What You Can Learn from Soup Nazi About Dealing With Clients And Doing Business On Your Own Terms
If you’ve ever watched Seinfeld, you’ll remember the episode of the Soup Nazi. It’s the famous episode where Jerry, George and Elaine go to this new soup stand that Kramer has been raving about. The owner of the joint is referred to as the Soup Nazi, because of his attitude and his short temper. Plus, there was a certain ‘procedure’ you had to follow when you ordered the soup.
If you haven’t, you can watch the best of Soup Nazi here >>
So Jerry explains the procedure for ordering the soup to George, and they go stand in line. When it came time to order the soup, George wanted bread, so the Soup Nazi says, “You have to pay for it.”
When George gets upset and refuses to pay for it, that’s when the Soup Nazi says his world- famous catch phrase “No Soup For You!”
What allows him to do that?
There’s a very important lesson here for all salon and day spa owners. And that lesson is – you as a business owner control and choose how you want to do business so conduct your business on your own terms.
So why could the Soup Nazi do that? Because he makes the best damn soup there is!
He had no need to please you; no need to be popular or politically correct – nope, because he knows his soup is good. You either want it, or you don’t want it. You don’t like the way he does business? Well, the Soup Nazi chose not to do business with you. He had control.
And that’s the way I operate my salon. You can always make money. You can always get new clients or offer new services. Working with clients that you can never please is never worth the stress frustration and aggravation. It’s just not worth it. The same goes with employees.
Doing it this way allows you to focus more on providing great service, a friendly environment and spending your time, your efforts and energies with clients who actually appreciate you and your salon or day spa.
They enjoy coming to your salon, they like your services, they are raving fans who are willing to and able to spend money with you.
This is SO important. Take control and conduct business on your own terms.
“You’ll become effective only by being selective.”
Not All Clients Are Created Equal
Conventional wisdom says, “Treat all the customers that come through your doors equally. This is a common lie that salon owners believe that trap them. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?
The rule says that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. The reality is that all clients are not created equal.
Right now 20% or less of your clients is the right ideal clients for your salon or day spa.
For some of you it may feel like less than 5% are good clients that you like to work with. Most of the time, the other 80% are not a good fit for you.
It doesn’t make them bad people. It’s just they’re not the right clients for you. They might be the perfect clients for another day spa or salon. But for you, they are simply not a good fit.
These clients end up being a distraction, create stress and anxiety for you, they actually cost you money and energy long term. With some of these clients you only deal with them because you want their money. When you do that, you lose your power, your enthusiasm and your self esteem.
You’re actually doing these clients a disservice by keeping them. You owe it to them and yourself to refer them to another salon or day spa who can and will do their best work with them.
You Train Your Clients How To Treat You
You may not have noticed that the Soup Nazi taught and trained his clients how he wanted to be treated and how do you business with them. He did such a brilliant job that Jerry one of his clients was explaining and training one of his soon to be new clients George the exact procedure for ordering soup. Now that is what I call teaching and training your clients.
Take a minute and watch the video clip again. It is hilarious.
Not only will you see business on your own terms in action you also have a good laugh which is a always a good thing. Have some FUN.
You are already teaching and training your customers how you want to be treated. You are just not aware of all the ways you are teaching and training your clients.
Early on in your business relationship, through your actions, you train your clients how to work with you and how to treat you. This creates an unwritten contract how each of you will behave. It overrules any written contract you may have.
For example, Sweet Nail has a 24 hour notice policy for cancellations or appointment changes. There are no surprises and we rarely have anyone ask for an exception.
- Does my staff know my standards and how I want to be treated?
- Do my clients know how I want my staff and myself to be treated?
- What have I been teaching my clients?
- What does my staff teach my clients?
- What is your customer service and work environment teaching your clients?
Assignment: Doing Business On Your
Write down your standards for your salon or day spa. Write down your definition of professionalism. What is acceptable and not acceptable? Create a code of conduct for your team and your clients? Write down ideas on how you are going to build this culture
How To Identify Your Ideal Client
Doing business on your terms is directly related to the quality of your clients and your team. You will attract and keep a higher quality team when you start targeting and attracting your ideal client.
The quality of your salon business is directly related to the quality of your clients.
This is why it is important to define who your ideal client is. If I were to ask you, “What kind of a life partner do you want in your life?” You wouldn’t reply, “Anyone that breathes.” Would you?
No, you would tell me in details exactly who you are looking for. Maybe you would say, “I would like him to have a great personality and sense of humor. He should be kind, loyal, honest, loving, sincere, affectionate, and caring. He should also possess the qualities of maturity, integrity, and generosity.
My ideal mate would be a wonderful partner. He should be able to openly communicate his thoughts and feelings and share everything that is important to him with me…”
Then why should it be any different in your salon?
Life is too short to take on just “any” client.
If I can suggest, one of the absolute must-haves criteria, is that all of your clients must respect your team.
Respect is a big thing in any industry. When you allow your clients to walk all over you, or your employees, you not only become incapable of commanding respect, but you also become incapable of commanding high prices.
In Sweet Nail, I’ve empowered my team in such a way, in that if one of my clients crosses the line in words or actions, they have permission to fire the client. It doesn’t matter “who they are” or “how much they spend.” And the same goes for my stylists, I expect them to show the same kind of respect to the clients.
Why have clients, or anyone for that matter, in your life who frustrates you or drains the life out of you?
Get rid of them. Better yet, send them to your competitors! You don’t have to take them on as a client. Nobody forces to you take them on as a client.
- What type of clients can I serve best?
- What type of clients need what I offer?
- Where is my perfect client base?
Assignment: Your Ideal Client
Write down the qualities of your ideal client. Include things like how much they pay for your service, their attitude, and other qualities.
Clients are replaceable. Money is replaceable. Time is NOT replaceable. The seconds you used up reading this paragraph – those seconds are gone forever. You can’t get them back. Doesn’t it just make sense to place a very high value on the most precious commodity you possess – your time?
Live With Freedom,