Podcast

Episode 434

Sep 22, 2022

Wondering if you should charge more for a new technique? Allissa and Michael have some thoughts. You won't want to miss out on what they have to say!

Listen to "E434: Should I Charge More for a New Technique?" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 434

Weekly Roundup

  • Consumer Reports through your local library

Discussion Topic

  • Should I Charge More for a New Technique?

Quick Tips

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

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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:

We're your hosts. Welcome to our episode of the day, of the week, of today. Welcome to our episode.

Allissa Haines:

That'll do.

Michael Reynolds:

That'll do. Not sure where I was going with that.

Allissa Haines:

I'm having one of those hurried morning recordings because even though I was ready, I went out to my office a half an hour early. All the wifi in my backyard office is broke, so you're seeing me in the mad scientist office in the basement of our house. And you're probably going to hear my dog bark in a few minutes when the little mobile grooming people get here. But that's just how it's going to roll today.

Michael Reynolds:

That's how committed we are to you, our dear listener. We will move mountains to be here on time for this recording and this live episode, depending on how you're joining us.

Allissa Haines:

So...

Michael Reynolds:

All right. What are you reading?

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, what am I reading? So I just need to note that a couple weeks ago I was listening to NPR on my drive home and I pulled into the house and I sat in my car for four minutes to hear the rest of this NPR report that I was listening to. And I realized that I've become my father, because my dad always used to do that, and at the end of his commute home every night.

But also, the one that really hit me this week is that Consumer Reports, I've been reading Consumer Reports. I am going to buy a car soon. And I've consulted it a few times in the last few years when I needed to buy a washer dryer and when I needed to buy a stove and doing all these adult things.

And I wanted to make sure, first of all, everybody knows that Consumer Reports is a fantastic magazine that does not take ad money. So they give objective reviews and in depth research on all kinds of things that you might need to buy for your home and your life.

And also, you don't necessarily have to pay for Consumer Reports and they have a huge online thing now. I don't even know if they still publish the paper magazine. We used to get it at my house when I was a kid. But you can probably access the Consumer Reports online database through your local or state library network.

So my local library, I just have to do a login thing through My Library site and I get the whole Consumer Reports online database for free. And it was very exciting when I realized this a couple years ago when I moved here and got My Library card and I finally remembered to start using it.

So I am looking into buying a car in the very near future and I've been stressing about it and I've been saying I'm going to buy a car for three years, well, I guess, two years. Because I hate the car that I have. I've had it for three years and it just is not working for me.

But I feel guilty buying a car when my current car isn't falling apart, because I'm a buy it and use it till it falls apart person. Anyhow, super stressful to make such a big purchase, super stressful just in general.

And bless Consumer Reports because they, I had picked out a couple options for vehicles. And when I went and looked them up, both the last four years of models and the current models are all the very first pick for the subcompact SUV and then for the compact SUV that I might consider should the subcompact network for me.

And when I logged in and saw that, I was ready to be like, "Okay, I need to consider some different makes and I'm going to have to test drive a few things." And then I was like, "The one that I want is the top pick. Both of the options that I want are the top picks for their categories. So I'm just going to be Zen, I'm not going to do any more research.

I'm not going to stress myself out anymore about this purchase. I'm going to go test drive one and maybe buy one in the next few weeks." And that is my Consumer Report story. It has made me just remove all of the stress and confusion about buying a car because I have their approval and I feel good about it. Long story, I apologize. Consumer Reports, subscriptions through your library.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I'm currently down the rabbit hole of logging into My Library's website trying to find it. So it may take me a little longer. Oh wait, I think I found it.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

And it's certainly possible that not all, every library has it, but there's probably a way you can find it.

Michael Reynolds:

Mine does appear to. Yeah. There's all the [inaudible 00:05:57] I said episodes, there's all the issues right there.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

And while I was in My Library, I also found they have free legal forms also. So hey, there's more resources I found.

Allissa Haines:

Yes. And language learning. There's... I forget the name of the app, but there's two different language learning apps that are free through My Library. Man, just libraries are amazing and librarians are just some of the best humans we have on the planet.

Michael Reynolds:

Unsung heroes.

Allissa Haines:

Really, really are. And usually super cool people. So yeah, there we go. Consumer Reports, local library. I'm done. What's next?

Michael Reynolds:

What's next is a few comments on Facebook. Andrew is stopping by on Facebook Live as we are doing this to say good morning and also a question. Andrew says, "Is there a way to get local libraries to do that with research and medical journals? They get so expensive and sometimes, at least for me, some of the research I want to see is for subscribers only." That's a great question. I don't know the answer to that, do you?

Allissa Haines:

I don't know the answer to that. I do know a lot of times if you can track down the author of whatever study that you are trying to access, if you can email them, they will very often send you. And just tell them, "Hey, I'm a poor student" or "Hey, I'm a whatever.

Is it possible for you to send me a PDF of this article?" You can probably do that. I have heard other, I follow a lot of professors and researchers and stuff on Twitter and I've heard them saying that that's a thing that you could do. But the thing is ask your librarian. And if you ask enough or if enough people ask, then it's very possible they could do that.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Fun fact, my mom's a librarian. I remember growing up and she would work at the library and I would hang out at the library and I had these great memories of just exploring the library and finding all those little book nooks and just the staff was really nice to me and kind of kept an eye on me. So I just remember very fond memories of hanging out at the library as my childhood. So fun stuff.

Allissa Haines:

I have similar memories because my hometown library is in a really old historical building because I'm in New England and everything's in an old historical building. And I was like a latchkey kid.

So I spent a lot of afternoons and a lot of my summertime at the library because it was something to do and both my parents worked and it was right around the corner from my house so I could walk. So I was six years old walking downtown to go to the library, which is a thing you could do in the eighties.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

Anyhow.

Allissa Haines:

[inaudible 00:08:20] a fun memory lane.

Michael Reynolds:

Before we move on, let's give a shout out to the lovely folks at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

They're indeed lovely folks. And we are delighted that they are sponsoring our podcast. Today, I want to talk, because I haven't talked about it in a little while, about the ABMP Education Center.

You can visit at ABMP.com/learn. They have over 600 hours of continuing education courses included with your ABMP membership are available at a really reasonable price for non-members. All kinds of topics, we're talking hands on ethics, self-care, cultural competency and courses for massage educators.

ABMP members get free CE for all courses included with their level of membership. And it's a really good way to meet CE requirements and to try out new presenters before you put down big bucks on a week long in-person course with them. We appreciate ABMP and I personally as a practitioner, appreciate ABMP.com/learn.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks ABMP. All right, Allissa, I have a question for you. Should I charge more for a new technique?

Allissa Haines:

Oh, maybe. Okay, let's wrap it up. So this is a conversation that was happening in a massage group I'm in and it comes up every so often. And I just have such strong feelings about it and I don't necessarily know why, but it made me want to talk about it a little bit.

I want to preface this by saying my way is not necessarily the right way for everyone. I recognize that. I encourage people to do what fits for their practice. And I am making an argument for what I feel works easiest and best in my business and what I have seen work best in most of the people I've talked to about this.

But don't at me, don't fight me, don't come at me telling me how wrong I am. If you feel that I'm super wrong and you want to share some thoughts via email, by all means podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com and we can certainly discuss the other side of it.

But this topic came up and there was no other comment. And there was a lot of people giving a lot of reasons why you might want to charge differently, more for a new technique. And none of them could sway me, which is why I was like, "We haven't talked about this in a long time.

I think I'm going to." Okay. So let's say I go take a class in some new technique and let's say for the sake of argument here, it's a really expensive class. Let's say it's one of those 1000, 1500 dollar classes.

Maybe you have to do a little online work ahead of time and then some in person hands on stuff, whatever. Let's say it's a big commitment of a class. When I get back to my office and I start practicing this technique, should I be charging more for it? And again, maybe.

I think it's super easy to decide, yes, I need to add or increase my fees for this particular thing if there is equipment that needs to be purchased and maintained, if there are supplies that are more and need to be maintained and consistently refilled, if there is extra labor involved, if you have to be cleaning more equipment and supplies, if you have to spend, especially if it requires more time with a client to do this technique, absolutely.

I think it becomes way less. And so let me give you an example, cupping, hot stones, scrubs, some technique that involves a very particular postural assessment with a background of a chart and you got to take a picture of somebody and then there's other things involved.

You had to buy software to do that. Things that are very obviously have a dramatically increased expense for you for every treatment forever. So it's more of something forever. You have to buy more of this salt scrub every single time you do this thing. And that's just how it is. I think that makes sense.

But it gets really wishy washy if your technique is not clearly defined and separate from the other things you do. So it's easy if let's say I take a neural reset therapy class and I offer NRT sessions. I'm not blending them with another, with a typical massage.

I'm simply doing NRT, which is a very different thing than an old school hands on massage, people stay clothed, there might be a little more assessment, they get on the table fully clothed, we do some stuff, we reassess. It's a completely different thing from the hands on massage that I typically offer.

Yeah, it makes sense to charge more for that if that particular technique is in demand, if you feel like it provides more value in terms of pain relief or whatever. And it's very easily separated from the typical kind of massage that you do, there's no crossover. Someone comes in for an NRT session, that's what they're getting, NRT.

It gets a little trickier when we're talking about techniques that can be and will be integrated into what is your normal massage technique. So the example came up of manual lymphatic drainage. So if you do typical massage and you also do manual lymphatic drainage, should you charge more for the manual lymphatic drainage?

Sure, if you keep it completely separate. But what do you do if you have two different price levels, one for MLD, one for your typical, let's call it a relaxation massage? And... or let's call it therapeutic massage. So what if someone comes in for a regular therapeutic massage and they're six weeks out of knee surgery.

It's a client you've had for years and you do some MLD techniques on their knee. Do you upcharge them now? Probably not, right? Because you did five extra minutes of MLD just on their knee. But then the client's like, "That really helped. Can you try that on my shoulder that I had surgery on a while back that hasn't quite healed?"

So the next time they come in you're doing half an hour of MLD and then a half an hour of regular massage. So now you have a blended treatment but you're still charging the lower price. Maybe you feel okay with that, but that gets pretty confusing because that client's going to say to their friend, "Oh, my massage therapist is doing a bunch of MLD.

You should try it for your knee things." So that client, a new person comes in for MLD for their knee and you do a whole treatment of just MLD and then they're like, "Why is it $150? My friend pays 125 for an hour." Now I get that this is not super likely to happen in exactly that linear manner.

But when people say you've paid for education, you should charge more for using that technique, how long do you charge more for that technique? Because at some point, that education is paid off, right? If I have a thousand dollars class and I raise my rates by $10 for that particular treatment, after I do that, whatever, a hundred times my class is paid off, should I lower that price now?

Yeah, that seems weird. But I think that when we start to... I think-. Sorry, I should have had more coffee this morning, but this topic is so passionate to me, I get excited and I lose my point. We limit ourselves when we start segmenting our services and charging different prices for them.

It prohibits us from making therapeutic decisions in the massage room because then we have to think, "Oh, am I going to ask them if I charge more?" If I charge more for cups even. Which is totally legit because it's equipment, then they have to be maintained and it's extra time to clean them. Do you want to add cups?

Do you have to say in the middle of a treatment, "Is it okay if I use cups, it's going to cost 10 extra dollars?" No. What's going to happen is you're going to end up using those cups, you're not going to charge them. Now you have to have a conversation about price the next time if they really like those cups and they want you to keep using them.

And now you've just created a whole lot of complication and it starts to feel like you're [inaudible 00:16:51] a client for the services that you're supposed to provide that help them. So I would suggest this, factor your fees, figure your fees so that they are reflected in every treatment you give regardless of the technique.

Because if I took a pregnancy class and learned side lying and then I do side lying on some guy that's got some low back stuff and can't lay prone, am I going to charge him pregnancy massage fees? No, I want all of my massage rates including the guy with low back pain, I want it to reflect my total skill set and the total value and therapeutic whatever that I provide.

And if I'm charging less for one massage and more for another technique, my rates aren't doing that. Because everything is so easily blended, everything lends to our skillset as a total practitioner and caregiver that to segment your fees kind of reduces your value. It really undercuts the value of what you provide.

So I say, this is my side, this is my big thing, every massage you give, your fee should reflect your total skillset. And you also want them to reflect what you're worth after the credit card fee is taken out, after your supplies and your equipment and your rent and utilities and all of that are paid for.

You want the amount that you take home from every massage to reflect what you're comfortable with, what is sustainable for your business and what is simple so that clients aren't choosing treatments based on price and you're not making therapeutic decisions based on an uncomfortable conversation you don't want to have about adding an extra service or using another technique that typically you would charge more.

It inhibits what the client can choose and it inhibits what you can do and it inhibits your ability to run a sustainable practice. That is my argument that I will battle to the death anytime this topic comes up. Unless this particular technique is so completely segmented from the other massage you work and never the two shall meet, make all your stuff the same price.

Make it so that if you use your warm pillow and your cups and your NRT, and side lying in the same treatment, you're getting properly compensated, you feel good about what you're taking home from that treatment. And the final side note I have is that if there's a service that you really, really don't like to do, some people charge more for it.

If I get a phone call and someone says, "Can you go to the nursing home to do massage on my mother?" I say, "Sure, it's $250 an hour." Because that's what it takes to get me to-. I got so excited I just hit my mic, I'm sorry. Because that's what it takes to get me to feel good about going to a nursing home to work on somebody.

And the last time I had that phone call with somebody, I was like, "This is dumb. Just say I don't do it. I don't want to do it. I really don't even want to do it for $250 an hour. Just say I don't do it."

So I used to tell people that they should totally charge more for services they don't love providing, but now I just say just don't do those services. That's it. So should I charge more for a new technique? Probably not, but go ahead and email me at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com and tell me how wrong I am. I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm going to tell you how right you are because I agree a hundred percent. I get so annoyed by all these different services. As a consumer of massage as well, I've given feedback to people as a consumer.

Because if I go online to a website to book a massage and they have seven different services and it's cupping and it's aromatherapy add on [inaudible 00:20:40] I'm like, I just want a massage. I don't want to figure out what I'm supposed to choose.

Allissa Haines:

Right.

Michael Reynolds:

In advance and what. Just, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

It's like going to one of those medicine sites and looking at all the different high blood pressure medications before your doctor's visit.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

And choosing one based on price and then going to your doctor and being, "I want whatever physical lands me with the cheap diuretic for my high blood pressure."

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

"Not the really expensive one."

Michael Reynolds:

Exactly.

Allissa Haines:

No. Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

And Reanne on Facebook is, she says, "It's also weird to me to ask the client to choose what they need before they're," just like you said, "Before they're on the table. And we are the professional, we should be doing the most effective massage for them, not what they think they need." Right on.

Allissa Haines:

Right? I want to decide what's going on in collaboration with my client. Okay, rant over.

Michael Reynolds:

Love it.

Allissa Haines:

I'm also a little grumpy because of all the tech problems. So sorry.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well, let's, before we move on to quick tips, let's give a shout out to our friends at the Original Jojoba Company.

Allissa Haines:

And if anything can break me out of my Jojoba funk or my grumpy tech funk, it is in fact Jojoba. So thank you, Original Jojoba Company. You know how important I think it is that we are sticking our hands in good product for 20 plus hours per week. That's part of why I use Jojoba. It is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality Jojoba.

It doesn't go ranted, it doesn't contain triglycerides like a lot of products do. So it's not going to go bad. It's not going to wreck the essential oils that you put in that eight ounce bottle because you really enjoy the scent of holy basil. Rock on. It's non-comedogenic. It doesn't clog pores.

And also little side note here, it's really good to use for personal care. I just gave a bottle to somebody going through chemotherapy. So his skin is getting really thin and really dry and they're, "Use a moisturizer." And he cannot handle the idea of one of those tubs of those big fit greasy creams.

So I gave him a bottle of Jojoba and said, "Put a little bit on after your shower. Here's how little you need, take your time." And it is super-d-duper helping on the most sensitive skin out there. So you can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/Jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, Jojoba. And before we move on, Andrew also on Facebook sent a comment in, "I agree, even though I have multiple services with different prices, I found becoming membership base has helped a lot. I keep them though for anyone who books, but on a side note, some of what you're saying is a huge reason in practitioners who accept," and I can't read the rest of it because on the screen it's cut off. But I'm going to say, "Who accept insurance have claims denied because of their services and pricing." Interesting thought.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it's tricky and it just makes me glad I don't deal with insurance.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, that too. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

So that's not helpful to anybody. Sorry. What's our quick tip?

Michael Reynolds:

All right, I've got a simple quick tip today and it's on your TV. So I came across this on Twitter. And so Allissa, question for you. Do you know how sometimes you're watching a show or movie on your big TV, the regular TV in your living room or whatever, and you're watching a movie. And the dialogue, you have to turn up the volume because the dialogue is hard to hear. And then when there's an explosion or action to turn it down because it's so loud and it might wake up the kid upstairs or whatever. So have you experienced that?

Allissa Haines:

This is a huge issue in my household.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So I found a way to fix that. On Twitter, someone said, "Hey, you can fix that by doing this thing." And I linked to it in the show notes, but there's a screenshot with where to go for different TV types to turn this setting on. Then it's called auto volume or leveling, depending on your TV. And I found the setting and turned it on.

And what it does is it keeps the volume level, so it keeps dialogue higher and explosions lower and it kind of levels out the volume so you don't have those ups and downs. And you shouldn't, in theory have to keep messing with the volume on your remote as you watch a movie. I thought that was life changing. So I found that one to share it.

Allissa Haines:

I'm staring at it, I'm like tears in my eyes. This is a game changer for people.

Michael Reynolds:

Right?

Allissa Haines:

We have all kinds of sensory issues in my household.

Michael Reynolds:

Right?

Allissa Haines:

This is a game changer. I remember this being a problem when I was a kid. And this is huge. I'm so excited. I cannot wait to go upstairs and play with the Roku.

Michael Reynolds:

Me too. Right? Yeah. So there you go.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

You're welcome. And thanks to Hector who shared that on Twitter. So that's what I got.

Allissa Haines:

All right.

Michael Reynolds:

What about you, anything to share?

Allissa Haines:

Let's be done. I've babbled enough.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's be done. All right, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. We appreciate you being a listener. We appreciate everyone joining us on social media live and listening on the podcast. Whatever device you're using, we appreciate all of you.

So a reminder, you can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Feel free to send us a note through the website or email us a podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And thanks again. Have a great day. We will see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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