Jul 27, 2018
Allissa tackles a reader question about keeping the work interesting for frequent and long term clients.Listen to "E172: How to Keep Your Massage Fresh for Frequent Clients" on Spreaker.
Allissa tackles a reader question about keeping the work interesting for frequent and long term clients.
Sponsored by: Gift Up! and The Jojoba Company.
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.
MR Welcome. We’re your hosts. Glad to you have you back. What’s up, Allissa? How’s your Blueprint Backyard home office?
AH It’s so delightful and breezy and I have a big cup of coffee in front of me, and I just love it here.
MR And terrible internet.
AH Terrible internet. You know what I realized? I think it’s because the kid’s inside playing computer games and stuff and maybe hogging all of my bandwidth.
MR Oh, definitely. Yeah, games will suck up all your bandwidth.
AH So I’m even getting a little warning right now, so I hope you can still hear me.
MR Yeah, I can.
AH I will — I promise, everyone, I will upgrade my internet later today to give us more strength for me to do my work.
MR The strength to deliver this message. [laughs]
AH I know. Of course, it won’t be a problem once summer ends and they go back to school.
MR There you go.
AH But it’s going to be a problem for a couple more —
MR Little bandwidth hogs.
AH Yeah. I’m going to work on that. Sorry.
MR So our topic today is how to keep your massage fresh for frequent clients.
AH Yay. So we got this fantastic email from a reader and listener and a premium member. And she said, “I have been practicing for 16 years and I’ve always worked part time in massage. But in all of my 16 years, I have not had a client want more than one session a week. I now have one of those clients who wants work four hours a week stretched out in multiple different appointments. I’ve had this client for a short time, but I worry that going forward I will have used up all of my good tricks and my client will get bored with my work and what I have to offer. I have done and continued to do a lot of continuing education so my skill set is there. Just wondering if you have any ideas or tips to keep your sessions boredom free or maybe I need to just not worry about it. Maybe my client doesn’t want anything different like when you go to a restaurant and you order the same thing because you know you’ll like it.”
So let’s take a pause here, Michael. What’s a thing that you always get when you go to a certain restaurant?
MR Oh man. Depends on the restaurant, but I like the anti-resolution burger at Scotty’s. I like the volcano roll at Naked Chopsticks.
AH Yes. Okay. I was curious. I just started to get a little bit hungry so I wanted to hear about that.
MR Yeah, now I want a volcano roll. Thanks.
AH You’re welcome.
MR Thanks a lot.
AH Sidebar: I’m having an experiment tonight with jackfruit. Have you heard of jackfruit?
MR I have heard of jackfruit.
AH I’m going to make pulled pork, not really port, jackfruit sandwiches tonight for dinner. And I’m making coleslaw, so I’m really excited.
MR Ooh. I’ve never had jackfruit. Let me know how you like it.
AH I absolutely will. Anyhow, back to our topic and less of my snacking. I would say this, dear member and listener. Assume the best, first of all. Assume that the client wants to come more because they love what you’re doing. They want your good tricks more often; you don’t need to worry about becoming stale. I would also say that good tricks are subjective and infinite. You simply cannot use them up. You cannot run out of good massage stuff. And as you see this client and they become a longer-term client, their needs will change. What you address every massage might evolve and be different over the course of your relationship with this client and so your techniques will change a little bit and so you’re not going to be giving them the same massage or boring them with the same moves. If their needs don’t change and they continue to come to you for your massage, they want those same things over and over again, so you’re safe. You really are safe.
This is one of those situations where we tend to overthink and overworry and we really don’t need to as long as you’ve got a proper intake, which we’re going to get to in a second. But this is such a good, easy problem/non-problem that we could end the episode right here. But we’re not going to. Michael, who is our halftime sponsor today?
MR I’m excited because our halftime sponsor is one of our previous sponsors coming back for another round of sponsorship, and it is giftUP. It is an online gift card service and we really like them.
Sponsor message Yeah, the giftUp gift card system has been specifically written for massage businesses to achieve more success by selling gift cards and certificates on your own website, yo. And they have a special offer for Massage Business Blueprint listeners where the first 10 gift cards you sell in your first 3 months are completely commission free. And after that, there’s no sign-up fees, there’s no monthly fee. They just take a 3.49% commission on gift certificates that are sold via your website, which, frankly, I sold gift certificates through an alternate vendor for the first half of my career and they took so much. There was a setup fee, there was an annual fee, and then they took 5 or 8% or some ridiculousness like that. Anyhoo, you can get more information at massagebusinessblueprint.com/giftup, G-I-F-T-U-P and get that special offer just for our listeners and also learn more about how it works and check it out.
AH So let’s pop back into our topic now. If you are seeing a client often and you’re worried you are going to get stale or run out of good stuff, first, like I said before, know that you probably won’t. But here’s some ideas to handle that if you get more concerned.
One, check in with the client. Check in with them at the beginning of every single massage and ask them Is there anything we did at the last massage that you want more of? Is there anything that we did last time that you want less of? You could even ask this question at the end of each massage and make notes for next time especially if they are coming in at appointments that are really close together. If you see someone on a Monday and you know you’re going to see them again on a Thursday, you can ask them Monday night what they might want more of next time and it will probably still be relevant on Thursday. Versus if you see someone every month or two, issues may change and other things may come up so that gets a little trickier. But if you’ve got frequent, often clients, you can do this at the end of a massage as well as at the beginning.
You can straight up just offer to try something new. You can say I was watching this new thing for neck massage, I was watching a new video and I want to try this technique on you, is that okay? Can you be my guinea pig? And if the person’s issue is their neck, they’re going to be really excited about it. And even if it’s not, they’re going to be happy to be your guinea pig. If you’re feeling bored, be proactive in asking a client to be your partner in training, which can be really fun. This isn’t appropriate for every client but use your thinking process here and gauge clients who might be into that.
Also, and this is a thing that I actually do, is just as a general rule, I try to add or change one thing every month or so. And I say that because my goal is every month, but it really happens every two to three months where I try to learn and add or change one particular thing in every massage that I do. Just do one thing different. So the past couple of months, I have been working on the tip that David Lobenstine gave me during our podcast interview episode a couple months ago. I have been trying to make sure that I take a full moment before I start every massage to exhale a full breath, inhale a full breath, exhale a full breath, and then start the massage. I take a moment to think about breathing and where I am at before I start the massage. I typically do this — I sit down at the head of the massage table, put my hands under someone’s head, and I just take a breath or two. If I’m starting someone face down, I come into the room, I get them cozy, and I put my hand on the sacrum and another one between the shoulder blades and I do that. I take a breath or two. And people have noticed.
So you could also just add in a little bit of a different approach to scalp massage. If you do a lot of neck and shoulder work, you could watch some Massage Sloth videos on neck and shoulder work and incorporate one or two little moves of neck work, a new move, something you haven’t done before. Ditto that for low back, whatever. But I like to just do that one thing in every single massage. And it seems small and silly and not noticeable to us, and it also might bore us because we do it 20 times a week or 80 times a month or whatever, but your client is only experiencing that once a week or once a month. One little adjustment once a month is enough to make your clients feel like you’re keeping it really fresh. There’s always — the consistency and stability of a comforting perfect massage for me and there’s always something a little bit new that’s fun too.
That’s it. This is a super simple and amazing question to answer because one, you might be overthinking it and you don’t need to do anything new; and two, if you want to do something new, try just changing one thing or adding one new thing every month or so and see how it goes. That’s what I got. What do you think, Michael?
MR I agree. I got nothing. I like it.
AH Okay. My answer is perfectly perfect in every way. Finished.
MR It’s perfect in every way. A perfect 10.
AH We need an easy episode since our last podcast episode was all intense and heavy about tech security. So I’m glad I could supply us with a short, simple, easy pro tip.
MR After I terrified everyone last week.
AH You did. You did.
MR But they’re not getting hacked. So there you go.
AH That’s all I got, Michael. Wrap it up; bring it home.
MR All right. I think I’m good. Well, thanks, everyone. We appreciate you joining us today. Reminder that you can visit us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Consider our premium membership there as well as other stuff we have available. We appreciate you being a listener. Don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you listen if you like this episode and other episodes and the podcast in general. We appreciate you being a subscriber. With that, we’ll catch you next time. Have a great day.