No, I’m not in the beauty business. I’m in the learning and development industry. I offer programmes to professionals who want to increase the impact they have on their surroundings, whether employees of large corporations or Small Business owners.
I deliver training programmes, if you like – but training programmes that go way beyond your one-off workshop, where you’ve forgotten 80% as soon as you get back to your desk.
So why did I hire my pedicurist for an office job? MS Office was new to her; she’d never been in a workshop and never heard of Richard Branson. The main reason why I took her on was because she’s great with clients. And that’s what I need in my business.
Here are the three reasons why I hired my pedicurist:
- She Somehow Managed to Regularly Upsell Me
Especially in the beauty industry, there are a lot of attempts to upsell when all you want is just that one single service. I still don’t fully understand how she always managed to wrap me around her little finger, but she somehow knew what I wanted and regularly upsold me.
When I asked her how she did it, she told me that it is all about understanding and building a rapport with your clients first, before you upsell.
- She Is All About Customer Service
It’s back to her principle about understanding your clients; understanding their underlying wants and needs, so you can give them the experience they want. She knew that I was in there to not only get my pedicure but to also pamper myself a bit, so she went to great lengths to pamper me in ways that did not cost her much, but that made me value the service she gave me.
On top of that, she has a great telephone voice, which I had become familiar with after years of calling to make appointments. When calling clients, having a good telephone voice is a huge asset. It’s about being able to transfer that smile over the phone.
- She Likes Selling
Too many people in business, and too many Small Business people do not like selling. The fear of potentially being rejected keeps many people from calling prospects. She had developed her own strategies for being rejected, which centre on not taking a rejection personally: they are rejecting the product, not her. And if they’re rude, it’s probably just because they’re having a bad day.
Also, having known her for quite a few years, I know that she has many personality traits that I’m looking for in a team member.
In her previous company, I’d seen her being solution-oriented, whatever situations arose, and step up to take responsibility for everything from the reception to ordering supplies. She was always keen to learn.
I’ve seen her develop an ability to speak up in a constructive manner. And I’ve seen that she has a strong work ethic. We’ve had a relationship over many years that is based on mutual respect. And, she’s nice to be around.
Working with many Small Business owners, I frequently hear complaints about the challenge of hiring good staff: “Won’t be interested in working with us”, “Too expensive”, “Not the right skillset” …
No, you don’t have to go out and look for pedicurists. However, why don’t you take this story as inspiration to start thinking in more creative ways when hiring great team members? Look through the background and experience, and look at the potential that people have and what you and your business can offer.
Sometimes, it takes providing slightly longer-term development perspectives. Sometimes, it takes creative payment terms to hire great staff. In my case, it takes training and support to develop her. And I’m happy I made this decision. She’s proven to be a wonderful addition to the team.
This article was first featured in the Huffington Post.