So friend, do you want me to pay you?
November 25, 2017 3:29 AM   Subscribe

My friend is studying to become a reflexologist and will be opening her new practice within the next six months. I had my first session with her yesterday but the issue of payment never came up. Can you help me come up with a script to approach this?

For the past year I have been asking to have a session with her but, as a new mother, she didn't have the time until recently. Now that she has almost completed her reflexology studies and will be starting her practice soon, she is starting to look for potential clients. I would definitely be open to paying her but it is not clear to me if she is offering to do sessions with me for free as a way to get practice before taking on clients, or if she would like me to pay. How can I ask?
posted by Blissful to Human Relations (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
“Hey, how much do I owe you for the session?”
posted by The Deej at 3:34 AM on November 25, 2017 [21 favorites]

"I think you forgot to tell me how you like to handle payment for sessions"
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:40 AM on November 25, 2017

"Is cash better, or do you have one of those little Square credit-card-reader thingies? I can do either."
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:41 AM on November 25, 2017

Do you take Venmo?
posted by AugustWest at 4:10 AM on November 25, 2017

“Hey! You never told me how much I owe you for our session!” *smile*
posted by whitewall at 4:39 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]

"This was great." [Take out wallet.] "What's the damage?"

If she says its gratis, this opens up the possibility of saying that you're happy for her to practice/refine on you, but that when it becomes a money-making endeavor you want to pay.
posted by slkinsey at 7:40 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]

If she's doing it by the book, it's only after she's completed her studies and has whatever licence she has to get for practicing legally that you'd pay her for services. It's helpful for her to have people to practice on while she's still in school.

That said, you could still ask before the next session, "I know you're still finishing your studies, but can I pay you something yet or would you rather start with that once you've officially started your practice?" When I was in a similar situation, I wouldn't accept money because it was illegal, but I would trade treatments with people and some people gave me an unsolicited gift after a series of sessions.
posted by quince at 9:49 AM on November 25, 2017 [6 favorites]

I like the idea saying "how do you want to handle payment? Cash or credit?" in a very matter-of-fact way. If she says it's gratis, you could always offer to take her for lunch or drinks or something.
posted by rpfields at 10:00 AM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

In addition to the lunch or drinks, I'd write her a positive Yelp or Facebook review (if she has a presence on those sites), as well as publicizing what a great job she did to your immediate circle. Bringing in paying clients is one of the nicest gifts you can get someone who is starting out in their own business.
posted by dancing_angel at 1:20 PM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes to Quince's comment. When I had a friend learning massage she couldn't take payment from me and she needed people to practice on. It felt weird as I was enjoying lovely massages but actually I was doing her the favour, giving up my time.
posted by kitten magic at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Never underestimate the word-of-mouth referral. It’s the best “payment” in lieu of actual money.
posted by shalom at 3:28 PM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you made it out of there without paying yesterday, great! She comped you.
At the end of the next session, have your period of friendly small talk and as you're getting ready to go, ask "What do I owe you?"
If she says nothing, ask "Are you sure?" the requisite number of times (1-3 depending on local norms) and then thank her sincerely. If she quotes you a price, ask "and the same for last time?"

The advantage here is that you also have a graceful segue out of the small talk at the end of the appointment, which can otherwise get awkward as we all know.
posted by Krawczak at 6:56 PM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone, straight forward I guess was the way to go, why is that so hard? :) She said the sessions are gratis, I will revist the question of payment once she sets up her practice.
posted by Blissful at 9:56 PM on November 26, 2017

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