Just recently my life and career took a huge turn.
I was finally settled in the perfect place for my services. I found a beautiful suite in a gorgeous building —the furnishings were top notch, the management was amazing, and I was home. I waited for my suite for 6 months and had planned everything down to the smallest detail. I was so excited about the move and the best part was that I was only 5 minutes from home. On top of that, I finally got to work in the community I was living in. It seemed that all the stars had aligned and I felt a peace that I had been longing for.
An Unexpected Turn of Events...
Suddenly, with no warning, I had to move 2,000 miles away due to overwhelming family issues that couldn’t be handled from a long distance. My whole plan was turned upside down.
I thought long and hard about how to tell my clients - these people were like family to me - I walked through birth, deaths, marriages, graduations, and all the little life challenges we face. We had bonded and were tuned into each other. I performed services for them and they supported me.
How do I tell them I’m leaving? How do I make an exit with grace? It was not easy and not what I had planned.
It Hurts to Say Goodbye
You see, I thought I could just tell each client after their service that I was moving far away.
The first six clients brought me to tears when I told them the news. At the end of the service, I explained to them that my elderly family member had no one to care for her.
I told them that I felt compelled to take on that responsibility. They were sweet, they said they understood, but they made me sad. They were sad, we cried. Now, I had a lot of clients and I knew I couldn’t handle 4 weeks of long goodbyes. So, I formulated the best plan I could come up with.
How to Leave Clients You Love
The first thing I did was close my online booking. I scheduled a two-week vacation so no one could book any new appointments.
I contacted my favorite service providers friends and asked them if they would be open to taking on my existing clients. I found 3 lash artists and 3 hair stylists that had similar service styles to mine. They were all quite happy to take on my clients. I provided them with the product lines I used and instructed them on the specific formulas that were required.
I then sent every client an email very graciously thanking them for sitting in my chair, for being my friend, for supporting me, and for the honor and privilege of knowing each and every one of them. I provided my clients with the contact information and addresses of my recommendations and potential replacements so that they could choose who they felt most comfortable with.
I tried my best to keep my attitude positive and upbeat. And as far as I have heard, almost every client has found a new home for their services, including me. So, in conclusion, leaving with Grace wins every time when it comes to an uncomfortable situation like mine.
Did you ever have to leave clients abruptly? How did you handle your exit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Maryann has an accomplished, 30+ year background in the beauty industry. As a cosmetologist she opened her first salon in ’83. She has specialized as an educator since 2006. Maryann knows what it takes to create successful salon businesses and is here to share her experience with you.