Everyone has had clients who tell you exactly what they want. At the other end of the spectrum are clients who put their complete trust in your decision making. Ideally you want to collaborate with clients on a treatment plan after getting a thorough understanding of their stress and pain or relaxation needs.
While the intake session is critical to identifying client issues, you also need to develop a set of soft skills to help you get at the heart of a client’s problem so that you can determine the right treatment. Soft skills help identify problems or concerns clients may be reluctant to express or are unable to articulate clearly. Stanford Research Institute International found that 75 percent of an employee’s success comes from soft skills while 25 percent of their success comes from technical skills. 
Soft skills to help you excel
Here are several soft skills that will help build your spa or massage therapy practice
Communication: Ability to listen and answer questions. Communication avoids conflict, stress and misunderstanding. When there is no conflict, the environment is more harmonious and relaxing.
Judgment and perception: Conflict often arises from a difference in perception, which impacts making a judgement. To avoid conflict, in addition to listening, look for nonverbal cues and reading between the lines.
Empathy: The ability to empathize helps you connect with others and is fundamental in resolving their issues.
Focus: Give your full attention and concentration and don’t allow distractions to get in the way of providing the best service and care.
Integrity: Demonstrate your commitment to giving the best service possible and being honest in your ability to address client issues.
Patience: Having the ability to step back from a situation to reassess it means you are committed to finding the right solution and not just getting the job done.
Impact of soft skills on your practice
Here are ways soft skills aid client relationship building and in turn help grow your practice.
Improve decision-making: By improving listening skills, you make decisions that better address the needs of clients. Listening also helps to avoid misunderstandings and confusion that can lead to client frustration and a lack of confidence in your suggestions.
Boost problem solving: When you listen and engage clients in a conversation about their needs, you are better able to recognize problems that clients may not be aware of or have misdiagnosed on their own.
Enhance customer service: Empathy and compassion especially in today’s business environment show the client you care and go a long way in providing the customer service that builds loyalty.
Increase sales and client retention: Connecting with the client can encourage more bookings and at-home sales of retail products.
Successful client relationships come down to building trust and confidence in the service you offer. By improving your soft skills, you achieve both.
 Agarwal, Susan, “7 Reasons Soft Skills Are Important in the Workplace,” Future of Sourcing, Feb. 18, 2022. https://www.futureofsourcing.com/7-reasons-soft-skills-are-important-in-the-workplace