On a consulting call yesterday, a director of a physio clinic asked:
“How do you deal with cancellations? With COVID surges and winter sickness rising, we’re around 20-30%. That means by the end of the week we’ve brought in 30% less than what we expected.”
My answer is controversial…
And it all comes down to tolerance.
You get what you tolerate.
If you get into the habit of tolerating cancellations, then expect them regularly.
If you get into the habit of tolerating underperforming staff, then you’ll find that more and more staff get used to coasting.
If you get into the habit of your clients not valuing your time and expertise, then your success in business will revert to the mean.
In this case, cancellations can be immediately & swiftly eradicated by getting your clients to pay in advance.
We do it, have done it for years, and it’s never been an issue.
You can do it in almost any industry.
Shift all payments to Monday morning at 5 am like we do, and you’ll never worry about losing out on a cancellation ever again.
And for first-timers? Yes, they pay in advance too when they book online.
It’s only an issue if you make it.
I’ll say that again.
It’s only an issue if YOU make it.
Sure, it might take a client by surprise if they aren’t used to it, but it will only reinforce that you hold yourself and your time to a higher standard…
Which will rub off well for your clients anyway in the long run.
But I can already hear the objections running through the sceptics…
“But my reception staff aren’t confident to enforce our cancellation policy.”
“But I might lose clients if I charge them…”
These are smokescreen concerns.
If you’re worth your salt, people will respect your time. It’s that simple.
The best way to reduce cancellations is to enforce cancellation policies.
Within weeks, you’ll have little to no cancellations and your bank account will be thanking me…
And if your staff are on commissions… so will they.
With every man and his dog sick at the moment and cancellations presumably going through the roof…
I’m sure there is someone who needs to hear this.
On the topic of tolerance, I teach you how to raise your standards in this month’s Alley-Oop Newsletter… and show you how tolerating less mediocrity will improve every area of your business — sales, marketing, results etc by understanding a simple formula which I explain.
It gets sent off to the printers on Friday, so get in if you are keen to raise the standards so you aren’t left with the scraps at the end of the week.
You can subscribe here:
– Karl Goodman