Good Hands..?

Your clients want to know they’re in good hands with you.

I’m thinking about this because a friend of mine has just came back from a mediocre massage. The style wasn’t one he liked. A bit too abrupt. Not as flowing and as intuitive as he likes.

But that wasn’t the big issue.

In fact, there were no BIG issues.

But there were “niggles”

There was her walking in on him while he was undressing. The bolster being positioned wrong when he lay down and her not noticing. Her cold hands at the start of the massage. When he flipped over she didn’t readjust the bolster. In other massages, it’s been something different: finger nails not trimmed, going way too hard, not checking in on how it’s going, the room being too hot or too cold. There are lot of tiny things that can add up to a massage not being great.

At the end of this massage, he lay there, face up, with an eye pillow over his eyes, relaxing. Rather than saying, “Ok. It’s over. Take your time getting up. I’ll bring you some water.” and leaving, she abruptly pulled the eye pillow off him and startled him out of what little reverie and relaxation had been achieved. “How was it?”

“It was alright.” he said feeling a bit jarred. This was a question he was wishing she would have saved until after he was up and dressed.

“Oh no!” she said. “I’m sorry. What could I have done better?”

And so he shared his experience with her. She seemed to take it in. It’s how we all learn.

She asked him if he wanted a glass of water. He nodded and said, “yes.” And then lay there waiting for another five minutes until he realized she wasn’t coming back. Oh dear.

He got up and got dressed. She was waiting outside the door for him having misheard him to say that, “No, he didn’t want a glass of water”.

Her English was not very good. She was sweet. It happens.

That she asked him so sincerely for feedback saved the whole thing for him. Without that, it would have been a write-off. That’s good to remember. People are so incredibly forgiving when they feel valued and that their issues have really been heard.

None of those things are big. And yet, put together, they add up to the person on the table not being able to relax, always feeling like they need to manage the experience or be on guard a little, not being able to trust the hands they’re in.

Perhaps you’ve had this with a life coach, business coach, contractor, consultant or therapist. You can’t seem to relax because you don’t trust them.

This all matters so profoundly for marketing.

Remember: word of mouth is based on their experience of working with us (or what they hear about the experience from others) so, if the experience is off (due to big things or a dozen smaller things) the word of mouth will wither up and dry or, worse, become a downward spiral instead.

It’s like that.

Remember: people can be petty. People have a hard time saying, ‘No’. People rarely ever give feedback unless asked. They just volunteer. Your clients are not enlightened sages with impeccable communication and boundaries.

This dynamic of people craving to be able to relax and trust in your guidance is true for any business you can think of. People come in full of stress and pain. They want our help. They want to know they are in good hands and that they can relax those muscles that have been clenched too long.

This doesn’t mean you don’t ask things of them. It means they trust what you’re asking of them.

It doesn’t mean you don’t get them to do some work too. It means they trust this work has a chance of paying off.

It means that, when they’re around you, they can just relax and open to your help.

Imagine yourself…

We all crave to find some good hands into which we can collapse sometimes.

Imagine yourself as your own client: are you relaxed or slightly vigilant?

Imagine yourself as your own client: what kind of hands are you in?



(Adapted from an Original blog by Tad Hargrave – Marketing for Hippies :