What Does It Mean When Your Wellness Customer Says…?

Everyone says they never lose customers.

Then they add, “Well, only when they don’t have time or can’t afford our programs.”

Listen, if your wellness business is hitting home runs with your customers, they will FIND the time and they will FIND the money, nine times out of ten.

Very few people who buy wellness programs and services suddenly lose the ability to make any discretionary purchases at all.

And even the busiest people can nearly always squeeze you into their schedule – if they really want to. So if they tell you that “I want to…but I don’t have the money” or “I want to…but I don’t have the time,”, the truth is usually that your business hasn’t convinced them to make you a priority for their wallet or their calendar.

Three ways to tell when time and money excuses are real:

1) Your customer gives you specifics.

“I just can’t, I’m afraid I’m going to be laid off because another whole department was eliminated.”

“I’ve got to cancel, everyone is having to put in double-overtime for at least the next two months on this big project.

2) Your customer wants a solution.

“Oh, I totally understand. I just heard from someone else whose husband lost his job. Did you know that you can keep your membership now, and if you lose your job we’ll suspend your billing for 90 days? I wonder if that would help you sleep better at night?”

“Really? That sounds good, but what happens if I still don’t have a job after 90 days? Could I cancel without a penalty?”

That’s what someone who really wants to continue a business relationship sounds like. And here’s a time example:

“I’m sorry you can’t do our weekend sessions anymore. I bet working weekends is really a big change for you. How would classes on Wednesday evening work for you? I know we have some openings.”

“Well, Wednesday we always go to church, but I’m not going to be working afternoons. Is there any chance you might start offering classes during the day?”

Again, this is someone who wants to find a way to stay your customer.

3) You see a pattern of financial problems.

Now, obviously financial pressures can be real. If you see a sudden spike in financial issues from lots of customers, then they’re probably giving you the real reason (and you’ll hear the details, too!).

However, most time and money excuses are really coded messages about the customer’s relationship with your business:

Customer’s Words And Behavior What It (Probably) Really Means
Your customer gives a vague excuse with no specifics.
  • My wellness objective is not that important to me right now.
  • My wellness objective is important, but I don’t think you’re the right place for me.
Your customer ignores your attempts to casually check in via email, text or phone.
  • I’m completely uninterested in your programs and services.
  • It’s very unlikely that I would ever set foot in your business again.
Your customer doesn’t come to free events.
  • A money excuse plus a failure to attend even free events tells you that the problem’s not really financial.
Your customer only comes to free events.
  • I love your services – but I just don’t have the budget right now.
  • I love your services – but I will never ever be able to afford them.
Your customer gives a money excuse but continues to make other discretionary purchases.
  • I’m lukewarm about your services or my goal, so I haven’t made spending money with your business a priority.
Your customers gives a time excuse but continues to stay involved in other activities.
  • I’m lukewarm about your services or my objectives, so I’m not willing to skip other activities or change my priorities to fit your business into my schedule.
  • Your services conflict with commitments I truly can’t change.
Your customer doesn’t want to engage in a problem-solving discussion (like the ones described in the introduction).
  • I don’t care about your business, so I can’t be bothered to figure out a way around the time/money problem.
When you suggest a possible solution for their initial excuse, they introduce new problems.
  • My original wellness objective isn’t a priority right now but it’s hard to admit that.
  • I thought I was ready to take action, but I’m not ready yet.
Your customer unsubscribes from your email newsletter or marketing emails.
  • I have zero interest in your business.
  • Your services fall into an area that I don’t even want to think about right now.
Your customer no longer clicks through on any links in your marketing emails or newsletter.
  • I’ve GOT to simplify my life.
  • I will never forgive you for that awful customer service experience.
Your customer reports your marketing emails or newsletter as spam.
  • I will never forgive you for that awful customer service experience.
  • Your business didn’t help me at all and I was completely disappointed by the experience.
  • (Or they’re confused about how to unsubscribe.)
Your customer is completely unresponsive to any form of marketing or communication.
  • I am dead or seriously ill.
  • Your approach is completely unappealing to me. There is nothing your business could do or say that would re-engage me.

Now, tailor your next steps accordingly, as these three examples illustrate:

  • For example, perhaps you decide that quite a few of the customers who say “can’t afford it” or “not enough time” are in actuality frustrated by unrealistic goals. A great way to reenergize these folks might be a free seminar by a life coach or psychologist on “The Procrastination of Perfection”, designed to help people embrace gradual progress without negative self-labels.
  • Or, perhaps you conclude that the total lack of response to your attempts at communication suggests that your business is really dropping the ball in some unknown way. A great way to gather more information would be to pick up the phone and call some of these former customers, or send a short deeply authentic and heartfelt request for help in understanding how your business can do better.
  • Finally, let’s say you realize that your services are unaffordable for virtually everyone attending your free events. Since you gain valuable perspectives from attendees, you decide to continue these events. But you stop spending time and money trying to convert these folks into paying customers.
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Leslie Nolen, Radial's president, is the nationally-known expert on the art and science of selling health and wellness.

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