Podcast

Episode 374

Sep 10, 2021

Allissa and Michael walk through how to figure out what a reasonable discount is for a package of multiple sessions.

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EPISODE 374

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • What is a reasonable discount for packages of multiple sessions?

Quick Tips

  • When you sign up for a subscription, make a To Do about when to reevaluate before it renews.
  • Learn to use Google

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Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

ABMP is proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint podcast and we are delighted to have them. One of the many-many benefits of ABMP membership is ABMP five minute muscles and ABMP pocket pathology. These are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you need to make a decision about your massage session planning. The five minute muscles includes muscle specific technique and palpation videos for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by professional massage therapists and ABMP pocket pathology can help you sort out contraindications before any treatment. These apps are included with ABMP membership and you can go to ABMP.com/apps to access them and non-members can sample demos as well. Again, that's ABMP.com/apps.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

And we are your hosts. I just realized I didn't have enough air to finish that. My lungs were expelling. I was like, "oh my gosh, I'm going to run out of air," but I had enough air to finish the phrase. I'm okay everybody. Thanks for your concern.

Allissa Haines:

See, you didn't play like a wind instrument, did you? You just played cello. So you don't have the...

Michael Reynolds:

I played a flute for a minute and didn't like it. I tried clarinet for half a minute, then I fell in love with the cello and yes, that's ever since I've [crosstalk 00:01:37].

Allissa Haines:

I also played flute for a year or two and hated it so much, hated it. And then I broke my arm and in the fifth grade maybe... No, sixth grade and then when I went into seventh grade and we were going to have to start playing in the orchestra, I pretended that I couldn't hold the flute up anymore because my arm hurt from my arm that I broke three months prior. And that got me out of it and I never had to play flute again, but I sing, so I got some decent breathing going on.

Michael Reynolds:

That really gets your lungs in good shape.

Allissa Haines:

It does. Anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

What you're reading?

Allissa Haines:

I have two things and one is massage related and I want to... It's important and it just popped up yesterday. So, our friend Cal Cates of Healwell and also of calcates.com presented a wonderful keynote at a recent conference online called Radical at Heart: A call to embrace revolutionary compassion and in the description, it noted that Cal was going to talk about disparities in healthcare, particularly oncology care, bits about bias, unconscious bias in how medicine is handled and how healthcare in general and you get the idea.

Allissa Haines:

Well, yesterday, Cal busted out a post at calcates.com and it was a really interesting response to a lot of... Every keynote and class you teach, there's like an evaluation and they got a lot of responses to this particular keynote that were surprising, but I guess not surprising. Pretty much people saying that it was inappropriate of Cal to introduce critical race theory into the middle of a presentation about oncology and health, which by the way, wasn't a thing.

Allissa Haines:

And just to clarify, in case anybody does not know, critical race theory is something that is taught only in law schools and at graduate level programs usually related to law or understanding how large organizations work and disparities in large organizations related to race.

Allissa Haines:

It's not a thing anyone learns in grade school, but it's become a buzzword for anything related to race or the history of racial segregation and discrimination in this country. But critical race theory itself is not something your kid has ever learned unless they've gone to law school, in which case, congratulations on birthing a lawyer.

Allissa Haines:

So anyhow, Cal really responded, I think beautifully to a lot of these critiques of their presentation with a letter that describes how one might feel if one is super uncomfortable with being presented by these issues. But, it's so important and at Massage Business Blueprint, we are really working to think through and re-figure biases in the care that we provide and do real anti-racism work in the greater world as also within the massage industry.

Allissa Haines:

And I felt it was important to make note of this. Y'all can go to calcates.com, click on the little more and blog button. This particular post is called Skunk. If you have not read Cal Cates blog, I would encourage you to do so. The piece before this was about gender and it's just really important stuff for body workers and caregivers to be reading. So, go subscribe to the emails, it's worth your time. And that is what I have to say about that. Okay. Michael, did you read that piece yet from Cal?

Michael Reynolds:

I did. Yes, I enjoyed it.

Allissa Haines:

Did it make you a little bit uncomfortable?

Michael Reynolds:

Not really.

Allissa Haines:

It made me uncomfortable in a good way.

Michael Reynolds:

I guess it was supposed to, so maybe, I don't know.

Allissa Haines:

You were supposed to? But it made me like I would read a few bits and be like "wait, I agree with that. Oh, wait, no, I'm not supposed to agree with that. That's not cool. Okay. Think through that." It was really good, it made me think. So, the next bit, which I told Michael about weeks ago, I'm so excited to tell you all. There is a podcast about the Britney Spears story related to the conservatorship and it's called Toxic: The Brittany Spears story and you can search for it wherever you listen to podcasts. It's 10 episodes. It is created by two women who originally created a podcast years back about Britney Spears Instagram, because for a long time, that was the only way Britney Spears was kind of communicating with the world was through her Instagram. And so all of her fans would super read into the post and stuff.

Allissa Haines:

But as they learned, as these two hosts learned more about what was going on with her in the conservatorship, it is actually a huge, and by the way, both of these women, I believe were previously investigative journalists and or might be as well currently, I don't know. So, it's written from like a fan's standpoint and also from a real investigative standpoint. They interview a lot of lawyers who do work with conservatorships who are also completely baffled at how this could happen to Britney Spears, really fascinating and these two young women have taken all of this information they learned while investigating the Britney Spears situation and they have rolled it all into nationwide activism for people under conservatorship because they are disabled or have been otherwise taken advantage of and used.

Allissa Haines:

And it's fascinating and good, and I will note that since this podcast has been out, I believe the final episode of the podcast was released last week. So it was over the past 10 weeks prior. As this podcast is being made and being published, there have been some major moves in the conservatorship, in that her dad Jamie Spears actually publicly announced that he would step down as conservator, but it was when he sees fit, and I believe it was yesterday or maybe Monday, he announced that he was going to file to end the conservatorship.

Allissa Haines:

So, young women in journalism, heck yeah. So anyhow, Toxic: The Brittany Spears story.

Allissa Haines:

Okay, I'm done with my weekly roundup and I'm sorry there's so many, but I got a backlog while I took August off.

Michael Reynolds:

#FreeBritney.

Allissa Haines:

#FreeBritney. All right, Michael, what do you got?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So, I've been reading about... I saw this in different places in different times, but I recently actually read the article about how to build this thing. So, I've been reading about how to build a DIY air purifier to help with COVID medication measures. Specifically, this article was for your child's classroom. So, if you have children that are in school, this is a way to potentially help in their classroom with COVID measures and this is called a Corsi air filter. And I know a lot of us have probably heard about this, but I was kind of intrigued by the instructions for building it.

Michael Reynolds:

So what I did is I first of all read the article and have a look through it. Okay, this looks pretty doable. You basically get a box fan, some MERV-13 filters and some cardboard and it costs a little over $100 to build. So, I was like, okay, great, this is really cool. Anything I can do to help Eli's class and his environment, I would love that. And so I emailed his teacher, and she's like "oh, let me check on this, thank you," and she talked to the principal and the principal was very kind and responded and actually said, "hey, this is a great gesture." However, I ended up looking into this and discovered that she wasn't aware of this, but she found out that Eli's school already had been fitted with MERV-13 filters in all classrooms and areas of the building as potential COVID mitigation measures already.

Michael Reynolds:

So they thought of this, they put the MERV-13 filters in, they modified the HVAC system to help with this and to filter air in a better way. So, the moral of the story for me was I was reassured to find out that we didn't need... In fact, they said, "we love the gesture, but we can't accept it because it might disrupt the airflow already designed with the measures they've already upgraded." So, they basically said it might conflict with the airflow. So they said, "we don't need it, we're good. Thank you."

Michael Reynolds:

So, I discovered that I was reassured that Eli's school had these measures in place, so that was a happy result for me. However, I thought it was a really good read for anybody, maybe their school doesn't have these measures in place. And so it's a way you can make a filter, very easy to build. It takes not much time at all and not much money to build. So if you wanted to look at this and maybe send it to your child's teacher and say, "hey, do you have these types of filters in place or would a DIY classroom filter help and be welcome in your classroom?" I think it's maybe interesting to consider that. So, that's what I've been looking into recently.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry, it took a second to unmute. That's pretty awesome. And I did see these, and I saw and I was like, "these are good ideas" and at the same time I'm like, "you can get manufactured air cleaner for about the price that it would cost to make one of these?"

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, really?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I mean, you can get a Blueair for buck 20, and it's good for rooms of a certain size and stuff. I don't know what the square footage is on this, but I think this is good information to have and know should we not be able to get or if there's some reason why you can't get a manufactured one, but [inaudible 00:11:17] the prices on these have come down dramatically. I got my Blueair for my bedroom and it was only $119.

Michael Reynolds:

And they have the MERV-13 ratings and everything like that?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it's got all of it and it's got the... What is it called? The C something or rather the... I don't know. It exchanges the air in my massage room nine times an hour and it has the C something, rather rating of 240 or above for clearing smoke. I mean, I don't know maybe, there's places where that's not an option, and I'm glad to know this because I was... Walt and I were talking about them because he's like, this could be fundable and I'm like, yeah, I just bought one for a buck 19.

Michael Reynolds:

[crosstalk 00:11:56] idea, I wasn't aware of that, so I'll learn that as well.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, actually the prices have come down dramatically. I don't know, maybe that doesn't apply to the large ones that are needed in bigger classrooms and maybe this thing has baller square footage [crosstalk 00:12:09].

Michael Reynolds:

I think it's 600 cubic feet per minute air delivery.

Allissa Haines:

Right. That's good. That's high-end. An air cleaner of that capacity would probably be a couple hundred bucks, so maybe this makes sense.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay.

Allissa Haines:

Ignore me, I'm just talking out of my rear.

Michael Reynolds:

No, it was just interesting to read about and anything we can do to help, I think it's great. So that's what I've been reading.

Allissa Haines:

Rock on, what else [inaudible 00:12:32]?

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Yes. You want to talk about our download?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, do it. You talk about it.

Michael Reynolds:

Me talk about it. Okay. Sure. I will talk about it.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. First of all, I neglected to bring up the page that has it on it with the URL. Do I remember what the URL is? I think it's newclients. No, it's getnewclients.

Allissa Haines:

Were you really prepared for this?

Michael Reynolds:

What is our short link? Oh my goodness. No, it's getclients, I think.

Allissa Haines:

I just want to note that Michael [inaudible 00:12:58] put the note in to talk about this.

Michael Reynolds:

I did.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, you did.

Michael Reynolds:

Maybe I did.

Allissa Haines:

I don't know.

Michael Reynolds:

There it is, founded. It's getnewclients. Okay. Well, it took me three tries.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. So, we have a download. The download is for you who are listening, our friend, the massage therapist. So, this is called how to get new massage clients. We focused this in different formats before, podcast, blog and things, but we wanted to put it into a nice, shiny package in the form of a PDF that you can download and put on like an E-reader or a tablet or whatever's more convenient and it's beautiful. It is gorgeous. It is meant to be like a book, a little mini-book to look through and give you our best ideas and tips on how to get new massage clients because the number one question we get from members that join our community or the question we get from everybody is how do I get new massage clients? How do I grow? How do I get more clients? It's the number one thing we're all worrying about. So that is what we put together and it is free. And we would love for you to consider downloading it.

Michael Reynolds:

And if you would like to download it, you can do that at massagebusinessblueprint.com/getnewclients, all one word, no special characters or spaces, massagebusinessblueprint.com/getnewclients. And that will lead you to a page where you pop in your name and email and you can download it. And this thing is awesome, I'm loving it. It's been really helpful. A lot of people have said, wow, I love having all these kind of insights and tips in one place. There's always something in there. I have learned that I'm not doing that I can implement and do in my practice to get new clients right away, or at least start the process of, putting something new in place to get new clients and people are loving it. So check it out massagebusinessblueprint.com/getnewclients.

Allissa Haines:

[inaudible 00:14:52].

Michael Reynolds:

We'll probably talk about it again.

Allissa Haines:

[inaudible 00:14:54] because on the cover, it's a picture of me massaging my niece.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, even better.

Allissa Haines:

Just in case, you're wondering why we produce content just to put myself in pictures. Who's our first sponsor, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Our first sponsor is our friends at Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Hey, jojoba. This episode is indeed sponsored by the original Jojoba company, and I believe that massage therapists should be using only the highest quality of products. You know this already. I think our clients deserve it. I think we deserve it because our hands are soaking in it for 20 plus hours a week, man. They are the only company in the world, really in the entire world that carries 100% pure first press quality jojoba. It doesn't go rancid. So, you can hang out on your shelf. You can buy a gallon. It's going to last you a year. I'm not even kidding around with that. And it's non-allergenic, so you can feel comfortable and safe using it on every client. You, my friends can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks Jojoba. All right. Hey, Allissa!

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

What is the reasonable discount for packages of multiple sessions?

Allissa Haines:

I'm so glad that you asked. A couple of weeks ago, we put out a call and said, we're going to record some podcast episodes, what do you got for questions? And this is one that came up and it's a good question, indeed what is a reasonable discount for packages of multiple sessions? Whatever you want. That is the answer. Whatever the heck you want, close out the episode, no. It's also okay to not give discounts on packages, to just make it about the convenience of somebody. If you have clients who come in weekly or every other week or even just monthly, sometimes they just want to buy a bach and not think about payment again for half a year. That could be great. But the considerations for reasonable discounts are the same for any kind of discount you might get and here's how I work through that.

Allissa Haines:

I do the math to calculate the lowest possible price per massage that I could get with this particular discount, and I make sure that I'm cozy with it. So here's some examples. If I charge a hundred dollars for massage an hour, let's say, and if I do a package of five, I might give 5% off the total. So, that would mean I get $95 per massage. Now after credit card fees, my net on that is $92. I can live with that. I am comfortable if my normal price is a $100, I'm comfortable giving a $92 massage because of a package discount, that's cool. But I've seen a lot of other discounts that always make me raise my eyebrows because it's not something that I personally would be comfortable. It might be something other therapists are comfortable with, but I'm always questioning if they really did the math on this. Because I know earlier in my career, I did not. I just offered things and then I was like, oh, that's not good. So, some people have a buy five, get one free package.

Allissa Haines:

So with my pricing, let's say, a hundred dollars a massage. They would end up giving a package of five would be 500 bucks, but it would get someone six massages. So, that turns out to be $83 a massage. And if after credit card fees, that would be more like $80 a massage. Now, if my normal price is a hundred, and I'm only getting 80 for a package now, that's too much of a discount for me, it might not be too much of a discount for you, but this is me, and this is how I work through things. So, I think you got to do the math and be sure it all feels good to you. Whatever is the lowest part of, the lowest potential amount you would get for doing a single massage in that package and for each single massage in that package make sure you feel real cozy about that. I don't do big package. I don't really even sell packages anymore. I stopped after I had closed for the pandemic and I chose to refund a bunch of packages because I didn't know when I would be back to work.

Allissa Haines:

So now I only sell packages like three particular clients who really want me to, and I give 5% off and I'm cozy with that. But I also have a senior discount. So when I factored in the senior discount and that 5% off, I wasn't super excited about it, so I actually changed it. It's only 2.5% off now. And then I feel better about it. It puts me over a certain threshold. Anyhow, do the math, make sure you feel good with it. Now there's a second part to this topic, because the first part of the topic was so short, I figured I would cover. Part of this also came up because of another question about how do I deal with a client who is asking for more discounts, who is like, I want to come, but you're more expensive than the place down the street and the massage is expensive, but I really want to come to you, is there anything you could do for me? Do you price match?

Allissa Haines:

Now, I want to note that it's perfectly okay to say no, I don't participate in price matching, my pricing is firm. I understand that you might seek care elsewhere. It's okay to just say no. And I know that a lot of people are like, you don't owe anyone an explanation and that's absolutely true. But I also think sometimes we need to educate consumers and that sometimes a client who is fixated on pricing can very easily be educated to understand why you charge what you charge and probably like be taught to value your skills a little more. I don't know if I said that sentence right, but roll with it.

Allissa Haines:

So I think it's okay to educate in the way that you offer a gentle explanation and you tell them what makes you great and also reiterate that your business is a business and not a hobby. There are a lot of consumers who still think maybe because that's all that's ever been available in their area is a part-time funsies gig, it's as opposed to being like a real profession and career and viable full-time self-supporting business. And I don't think that they're not bad people for thinking that. They just haven't had exposure to massage therapists with that level of professionalism or self-employed massage therapist. If you've only ever gotten a 50-minute massage at a spa and you've tipped your person and there's a different staff member every time you go there to get a massage, you don't think of massage as a steady long time businessy career and it's not their fault.

Allissa Haines:

So anyhow, I think some education can be helpful and it's okay to tell a client seeking a discount, why you don't offer discounts. And I am just going to read through my suggested verbiage when this question came up. So here it is. I appreciate your situation. As you noted, it does all add up, the costs do all add up. If I were to give discounts for monthly appointments, I would not be able to support myself with my small full-time massage business. I believe my business offers a superior experience to what you will receive at a chain. With me, you'll always have the same massage provider allowing for more consistent and effective treatments. I offer a full 60-minute treatment hour. You'll never be rushed in or out of the office. Also, my pricing is inclusive of all the techniques I use and I do not accept tips. Further, I see only one client at a time, reducing your exposure to other people and risk of COVID-19. I think I phrased that wrong. I should say, there's only one client at a time in my office.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow, I allow for ample time between clients to ventilate and thoroughly clean the massage room. Further, I am personally invested in my business and in your care, you will not find that with an employee at a chain. My services are priced more because they are worth more and my pricing is firm. I understand if you choose to seek treatments at another business and wish you all the best. That's it. There's nothing rude about it. There's nothing apologetic about it. You're not bargaining with them. You're saying I charge more, here is why, now you can make an educated choice and that's it. That's what I wanted to share. Any thoughts, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, I love it. I remember this question and I loved the conversation we had around it in the premium community. So, your answer is better. Mine is shorter. I wouldn't even say that much. I'd just be like, "hey, okay, fine, it's okay, go somewhere else." But, yours is better because it actually gives more respect to the question, so I appreciate that.

Allissa Haines:

There's a time and a place for both answers. If this person is like already getting on your nerves and you can tell they're going to be a high maintenance client, I would go with your answer. But if this is someone who genuinely wants care, but has never been taught why massage could be a little more expensive than a place down the street, why it's not a commodity you can price like a pair of shoes? Then, I think it can be worthy effort to educate them. That's it.

Michael Reynolds:

Context matters. All right. Awesome. Well, let's give a shout out to our friends over at PocketSuite before we move on.

Allissa Haines:

Welcome PocketSuite. They are an all-in-one app that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule, you can get booked online. You can manage your forms, notes, contracts, payments, reminders, all of the things and it is all contained in the app that is HIPAA compliant. You can even make phone calls and do all your texting to clients within the app, HIPAA compliant, whether you are just starting out or you're a seasoned therapist and business owner, PocketSuite helps businesses save time and make a great living and you can be up and running in 15 minutes. Our listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year with PocketSuite and you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite to check that out.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Awesome. Quick tips? What do you got?

Allissa Haines:

Sorry, it's been a while since I wrote this. When you sign up for a subscription, but you know that subscription is going to end or automatically renew, make a note in your calendar or in your scheduled to do list about when to re-evaluate it before it renews. And this popped up because six months ago, I subscribed to a local newspaper, and I knew that in six months, I didn't know like I did it because of COVID news, and I don't know if I'm going to want that to renew in October. So, I put a note for the middle of September to make a decision about newspaper subscription. And I do this with anything and everything I subscribed to. Because sometimes we miss something is going to auto renew and then it renews and we're like, oh crap. We don't want to go in and cancel it right then, because now I've got another year of service or whatever. And whenever that happens to me or whenever I begin a new subscription now, I make a note for three weeks before it's going to end to re-evaluate if I am needing to continue that subscription or if I should go in and cancel it right then. That's my tip.

Michael Reynolds:

I do this. I love it. Great tip.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, that's awesome. What's your tip?

Michael Reynolds:

My tip is learn to use Google and it's not meant to be as snarky as it sounds, but there's an article I found called 20 Google search tips to use Google more efficiently. And it struck me because what I've discovered is that, Ellis and I both give advice to people, [inaudible 00:26:22] massage business blueprint is meant to help people. And so we have people coming to us for advice and insights and answer questions, and we love doing it. Sometimes, I've noticed though that a lot of questions can be answered through Googling, but a lot of people don't know to unlock the power of Google, how to use it to its fullest extent, myself included. And so this was a nice list of things. Some of them I knew, but some of them were a little bit new to me, I didn't know. There are lots and lots of ways you can use Google to search for things and get the answers you want more efficiently.

Michael Reynolds:

Some examples are, there are sub-tabs in Google that many people don't realize they are there, you could basically search... Instead of the entire search results of all time, you can say search for any results in the past year or the past 24 hours or the past six months. So you can have a time range of your search. There are lots of ways you can use quotes to really kind of fine tune your phrasing to get the right results in Google. You can use hyphens to exclude words. You can use colons to search specific sites. If you want to search like the New York times for a specific phrase, you can do that. You can find related sites, the sites that you're searching on or use an asterisk in different ways. So lots of different ways you could use Google using special characters or phrasing or ways of searching that can give you really specific answers beyond just typing in the random words.

Michael Reynolds:

So, by learning to use Google, I think it can really expand upon your ability to solve problems and to get the answers you need. So, I think it's worth looking into the article we're linking to it in the show notes. That's what I got.

Allissa Haines:

I saw that article when it came out and maybe because you posted or something and loved it. And I actually bookmarked it because it was like, I read through it, but there's no way I was going to remember all of the tips and stuff. So, [inaudible 00:28:15] that I read through it and bookmarked it and hopefully we'll return to it when I need you.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. All right.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, hey, thanks everyone for joining us. As always, you can find us at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Contact us through our website or by email@podcastatmassagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you like our podcast, feel free to leave us a review wherever you listen to podcasts and feel free to share it with another colleague who is a massage therapist.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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