Podcast

Episode 436

Sep 30, 2022

Are you interested in building a client referral program? Allissa and Michael discuss a system that will keep it simple and let you know who the heavy referrers are.

Listen to "E436: Creating a Referral Rewards Program" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 436

Weekly Roundup


Discussion Topic

  • Creating a Referral Rewards Program

Quick Tips

  • Read all your insurance policies.

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:

And we're your hosts, as always. Welcome. We are glad you're here today. Allissa, you sound great on your new computer. I'm thrilled.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you. Yeah. My old one was dying, as you all had witnessed by me having to run to different locations at the beginning of every episode to get the right signal. I think my WiFi card was starting to die, and yeah. And it's nice to have a new computer, and I've been saving up for it, so it felt good. But it's a huge learning curve and I'm so tired of learning curves, and I'm going to talk more about that in a minute, but yeah. Thanks. Thanks for your support and your patience, everybody.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. Got anything you're reading, or you want me to jump in?

Allissa Haines:

You go first.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So this week, I listened to an episode of Life Kit that I really enjoyed. Allissa, you turned me onto this show from NPR. I find the Life Kit episodes to be kind of hit or miss. Sometimes I think they're great, sometimes they're kind of like, "Eh," but this one I really liked. So I kind of just kind of look at the topics and spot listen to what seems interesting. And this one was called When Something Feels Personal, Here is How to Cope. And I liked this one. I thought our audience would appreciate it as well, because it really spoke to me as someone who is fairly sensitive to social stuff, prone to take things personally sometimes, too personally at times, sometimes prone to be very affected in negative ways by the actions of other people around me, sometimes.

And a couple things jumped out at me with this episode. One, is it felt great to know that I'm not alone. The host and the guest, and basically the way they framed this particular situation is that a lot of people feel this way. A lot of people, for example, if they feel like someone has been rude to them or done something that they take personally, a lot of us deal with this. We don't always talk about it, but a lot of us mentally kind of ruminate on this stuff. And so first of all, it felt nice to know that I'm not just some hypersensitive weirdo, other people are like me. And also, some of the tools they shared for dealing with this were pretty useful. There was a few things they mentioned, but one that stuck out to me was instead of feeling like something has happened to you, take yourself out into third person and think of it as if it's a story you're observing.

So for example, hey, someone said something rude to me, and now I feel bad. It would look like taking myself out of third person and say, "Hey, someone was rude to Michael and he felt bad about that." And then you kind of just observe more objectively and then observe kind of thinking through the whole story. So it was a pretty good episode, actually a really good episode, in my opinion. So those of us, especially in very serving, helping professions like massage therapy, I think a lot of us are also prone to being highly sensitive. And I think it's probably a really good episode for many of us to listen to. So I enjoyed that one. It's called When Something Feels Personal, Here's How To Cope from Life Kit on NPR.

Allissa Haines:

That's so funny, because I saw that come up in the feed, and I purposely have ignored it because I'm just not ready to do the personal work on it yet. So I was like, "I'm not ready to do the emotional work on that." They did just have a really good episode, Stuck Doing All the Chores? This Practical Guide Can Help. And they have the guest, Eve Rodsky, who wrote a really cool book called Fair Play, which I have not read the book, but I've been reading a lot of resources and reading a lot of stuff from some Fair Play coaches, which is a really great look at evening the domestic load. And it is a thing that even women who are working full-time with a partner who is working full-time, women end up taking a disproportionate load of domestic tasks.

And I heard it might have even been on this Life Kit. I've listened to a lot of these topics on some different podcasts I follow, so I might be mixing them up. But I believe the guest on this one, one of the reporters or something referred to it as uncompensated domestic labor. And I, in my head, decided to switch it to uncompensated caregiving, because I have been doing a lot of uncompensated caregiving lately. And I have in fact decreased some work hours to allow for that. And Michael and I have talked a little bit about we're both kind of in a sandwich generation right now, with kids and with parents or other loved ones that need care. And I have noticed my own tendency to automatically set aside my potential income to provide uncompensated caregiving to others, and I have worked up some work-arounds to make sure that I do not end up financially behind because of that.

So I guess my listen to, read to this week is Life Kit's episode. I didn't have it written down, is my Life Kit's episode of, they're episode number 530, Stuck Doing All the Chores? This Practical Guide Can Help. So that's my listen to.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I saw that one, too. Thank you.

Allissa Haines:

There you go. I will put that in the podcast notes since I did not originally. So thanks Life Kit for helping us manage our stuff and I'm going to listen to that when something feels personal episode two because I could probably use it.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. All right, before we move on, we have some folks joining us on Facebook today. Andrew says, "Good morning." Good morning to you Andrew. Andrew also says, "Hey, crisp clean sound." So it's verified, our audience is noticing that your new computer is humming along nicely. So thanks Andrew, appreciate the feedback. And Marcy is joining us on Facebook as well, saying "Hi." Good morning Marcy, glad you're here.

Allissa Haines:

Hi, Marcy. I haven't seen any pictures of your dog in a while, Marcy, let's remedy that.

Michael Reynolds:

More dog picks please. All right, let's talk about Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. Let's talk about Jojoba. And speaking of Jojoba and dogs, I used a little Jojoba on my dog the other day, so yay. Lots of uses for Jojoba. So let's get to the massage uses. I've been using it for years. I have only two different brands of products in my office and Jojoba is one of them. And the other one actually uses Jojoba as their base. So I've got Jojoba in all of the products in my office. They're the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality jojoba. And that means they get a little less of the liquid out of the seed, but what they get is a much higher quality. It does not go rancid, it doesn't contain triglycerides, so it's not going to go bad. And that's really nice cause it means you can put your essential oils or anything else you want into this Jojoba as the carrier. And you're not going to end up wasting it because the carrier goes bad.

It's non-allergenic which means I can absolutely use it on my pregnant client with a nut allergy and not stress out about it. You can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/Jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, Jojoba. All right, so I'm really excited about what you were going to talk about today because it's on a referral rewards program, which comes up a lot I feel like. And I feel like a lot of people are interested in this.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. And this came up in our Blueprint Mastermind community, someone who's got kind of a new practice and they're doing pretty well, but they're thinking of creating some kind of referral rewards program. A little tricky to say there.

Michael Reynolds:

A Rural Juror.

Allissa Haines:

Rural Juror, Rural Juror. So I totally rewatched 30 Rock a couple months ago.

Michael Reynolds:

That's so good.

Allissa Haines:

That's one in my head, Rural Juror.

Michael Reynolds:

It's so good.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow, back to our topic. Yeah. And I love talking about this because this is one of those things that people can absolutely overcomplicate, and they can go overboard and give away too much when it's super duper not necessary to do so. So my very first bit of guidance advice is, if you're going to have a referral program, some kind of thank you program, keep it super simple and super small, you should not be losing lots of income. You should not be lowering your income or your rates in order to institute a referral rewards program. You do not need to compete on price. So keep that in the back of your head. I also want to note before I talk about things you can do, that it's also okay to do nothing. It is okay to simply give a verbal thank you to clients for referring their friend.

It is better to do a written thank you note because that is old school and classy, and people will appreciate that. I'm getting a nice handwritten note that says, "Thank you so much for your referral of X, Y, Z. I really appreciate the trust you place in me." That's it. That's all you got to say. And I'm going to side note here into, when you thank a referral, you need to make sure that you have the permission of the person they referred to use their name. So if you're going to have some kind of referral rewards or thank you program, make sure on your intake form you have a line that says referred by and they can put the name. And then you have to ask, may I thank them for referring you? And then that new client can say yes, which means you know it's okay for you to say thank you for sending Bob in. If they say no or they leave it blank, you're not going to do anything because then you would be compromising that new client's confidentiality.

And I think, you can talk all day that we can have 10 more episodes on whether or not we are bound by confidentiality. I think privacy is important, so I'm just going to say that we are. And if you feel different then you can ignore that last 12 seconds. So get permission to thank the referrer. Okay. You don't need to give free massage away to people who already value your services, and pay for your services, and love you so much that they send their friends and family in. That's going to cut into your income really quick and it's not necessary. So I super duper do not love, send three clients in and get a free massage or free half hour massage or half price massage for every client you refer. I don't think you need to do that. I don't think you need to give more than $10 away tops.

And even then I'm going to give you a bunch of ideas to offer things other than financial discounts. Your regular clients already see the value of your services and are happy to pay full price. You do not need to give them monies off. And in fact, when you start offering monies off and assuming that they want monies off, you're making a lot of assumptions. You're saying you think they can't afford massage. And that's your money issue, it's not theirs because they obviously can afford massage because they are in fact buying your massage regularly and happy to send their friends in. So please stop assuming that people want a financial discount or that they need a financial discount. I suggest that you make a referral program, whatever you decide to make it super simple and you make it easy for people to succeed in it, easy for people referring to you to succeed and easy for people who get referred to book with you.

My favorite method is to get one of your business cards. And if you have regular business cards that are two sided, print a version, just get 100 or 200 that are just one sided because then on the back you're going to write or you can have this printed on them, referred by. And what you're going to do is if your client, Bob, comes in. And Bob's a great client and they're pretty well connected in the community and they're someone who likes to talk to other humans and whatever, you take five of those cards and you write, referred by Bob Z. And you hand these to Bob at his next appointment and you say, "Hey, I need a handful of clients and you're the perfect kind of client for me. So if you have friends or family that are like you and you think would be good clients for me, I would love you to send them my way. Hand them one of these cards."

You can tell Bob, for every referral you're going to get X, Y, Z, whatever your reward system is. We'll get to that in a second. You could, if you feel it matters and it's important. You could even say, and you could write this on the card, whoever you refer in will get $10 off their first appointment. You could do that if you feel that's important. If you feel your community and your people need a hook. But I don't think you need to do that. I have had perfectly successful rewards and referral programs without having any kind of discount on someone's first session. So you hand these to your best clients who you think are going to be good referrers and you go on your way.

Now, what might you want to use to thank Bob for this referral? Again, it could just be a thank you, verbal, written, whatever. Or if you feel you want a little bit of boost, you want a little bit more incentive, then you could offer something to Bob. So Bob could get 15 minutes added onto their next appointment. One of our premium community members, our Mastermind community members said adding 15 minutes kind of messes up her whole schedule. So she just adds 30. That's cool. That's a really big bonus for somebody sending you a referral. But you're not really losing money as much as you're just losing time, you're not giving a free treatment where you're going to lose an hour of your life or more, and linen cost and lubricant cost and all of that stuff.

So when you add 15 or 30, you're losing a lot less in income than you would if you're just given free stuff away. They're coming in for their regular appointment already, they're going to pay you or maybe they're on a package plan or whatever. You're just adding time. I would really, really encourage you to not lose more than a few minutes of your time with any of these rewards. So add a few extra minutes, whatever works for you in your schedule. Add something like one of your add-ons. If you do an aromatherapy add-on, hot stones, hot sticks, scrubs, you would use lose a little bit of supply cost on doing a scrub. If it's someone who doesn't really need or want an extra 15 minutes of massage, you could maybe add just five minutes of an extra foot treatment or an extra fancy foot massage. Whatever little add-on you can do that will mostly cost only your time, that is what I really suggest because it's small, it's easy to implement, it's not going to cut into your income very much.

I will say, don't make this too hard. And I've already said make this easy. And I gave that little business card example, making it easy for clients to refer to you. Make it easy for clients to win here. I don't like the refer three people and get a free 90 minute massage thing. One, because I don't like giving things away entirely for free. But also because three people is a tall order. You want them to hunt down three people who are going to go pay you a hundred and something dollars? That's a lot. That's a big ask. And now you've made it work for your client to earn a free massage and/or earn whatever. We've already established that they're perfectly happy to pay for massage. So why are you making them work for something free? They're just going to not do it is my point. I will not do something more than I will work really hard to make something that I'm already paying for and is already in my budget free. Nobody got time for that, I just don't.

So avoid a complicated thing where you have to make a lot of tracking structures and count to three, and oh, give instant gratification. One referral equals one thank you, whatever that thank you is. Structure, structure, structure, track, track, track. So okay, side tangent, massage therapist. One of the biggest problems we have in growing our business is that we get all these ideas and we implement them but we never really track them and we never really follow up because then we get distracted by the next idea. And you see this by people who are like, "Should my business be on Facebook, or what should I post on Facebook?" And then you find out that they haven't done the foundational work of deciding who their business serves. So all the Facebook posts and ads on the world, they're not going to help you because you don't have a core foundational message that you fully understand and embody, right?

So if you're really going to do a reward system, do the reward system. However you track it is fine. You want a spreadsheet, you want a legal pad that you keep with all your other notes. Whatever it takes for you, you need to track and structure it. Because if someone refers something to you and then they don't ever get their thank you and they know that you've got permission to thank them because they're very close with this person. And they know they've sent their husband in or whatever, then it's annoying when somebody does the thing and then you don't reward them and it's going to lose you a little trust. So if you do this, do it. Keep the records, make the notes, decide on a plan, and then implement it, which makes it sound like a lot of work. But setting up a program like this is maybe two hours of work, maybe. And that's if you have to redesign your business card, and get this on your website, and spend $10 ordering new business cards. It's not a ton of work, but you got to do the work.

It needs to be an actual business protocol and not some wackadoodle idea that you think up and then implement and then slack off on. I'm going to jump to one of our comments right now because Leslie just noted, "I used to have small tangible gifts like homemade fudge or especially labeled wine bottles." Yes. And you know, I thought of that and then I don't remember why I didn't put it on the list. But if there is something that you typically use in your practice or something that you sell retail of, something like that is a great gift for a client too. That in particular is going to cost you a little bit of money, so think through that wisely. If you buy the things, your items wholesale, it's only going to cost you the wholesale price. But again, another thing you have to track. So keep that in mind.

But yeah, an actual tangible gift can be really nice. My clients used to love when I had a reason to throw them a free tube of Biofreeze back in the day when I was working on people who needed a Biofreeze. So I can think of a bunch of my clients who would absolutely love to get a package of, a sample of some of the fancy products that I use for certain treatments or a little two ounce bottle of Jojoba infused with my favorite essential oil, which currently is Holy Basil from Pure Pro. And there's lots, there's lots you can do that can be super affordable, especially if you already retail or you're a crafty cooking kind of person or whatever. So thank you for that Leslie. I don't know why I left it off. I probably got distracted by my dog. And that is it. That is what I have.

If you've got a referral rewards program that's a little different or you've had success with some of the things I've said people shouldn't do, I want to hear about it. So email me, Podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. Yeah, I want your ideas. This is something I think we could follow up on because there's a lot of different ways to go. And yes, Andrew, the holiday packs from Hoba Care are indeed about to come out again and we will talk about them when they do. And also I love that it typoed into Hobart Care and I still knew what you meant, so that's good. Michael, take it home.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. I love the simplicity. You know me, I love simple. So I am in a hundred percent agreement that keeping it simple is ideal. So thank you for that. Also, Leslie on Facebook mentioned, saying, "Hello, from Hurricane Ian's outer bands." Leslie, we're thinking about you and everyone in the zone there, so hope you stay safe. Hope all is well. And Marcy also followed up to Leslie saying, "I hope you haven't eaten all of your best hurricane supplies."

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, we've got a bunch of friends and members down there on the Gulf Coast area, and I've actually got some family in Gainesville, and well, little scary. We're recording this Wednesday morning. By the time this airs, we'll probably have a better idea of how things are going. But if you are a massage therapist, and you are in that area, and there is anything we can do for you next week or whenever, email us podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, before we move on to quick tips, let's give a shout out to our friends at ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, ABMP. And funny story, I don't have my ABMP talking points up, but let's see what I can come up with off the top of my head. Let's talk about the apps.

Michael Reynolds:

I was just thinking about the app.

Allissa Haines:

Good. ABMP, I used it again the other week, last week. Abp.com/apps. There's two of them and I did get my notes up while I was vamping there. Five minute muscles and pocket pathology. I used five minute muscles the other day when someone came in and they were like, "I've got tennis elbow." And I can never remember if golfers and tennis elbow, I can never remember which is which. I always have to look it up. So also always have to look up the difference between further and farther every darn time. So these apps are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find the information you need, and you really can quickly find the information you need. Five minute muscles includes muscle specific techniques and palpation videos for the 83 muscles we most often use as massage therapists and body workers.

It is progressive web app technology, so it doesn't take up a ton of space on your phone and they're included with ABMP membership. And if you are not an ABMP member, which is just crazy talk. But if you're not and you want to see a demo of these, do it abmp.com/apps. And if you're a member and you have not put these on your device yet, I would encourage you to go to abmp.com/apps. You're going to have to log into your account and give it a shot, see how it goes. I believe in you.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so before we move on to quick tips, Leslie on Facebook again sent in a follow up comment and said, "I wrote a TripAdvisor review once for an LMT in Sarasota and she sent me Shari's Berries and I was blown away. Unexpected gifts can be as effective or more than a formal program." That's a great point, Leslie.

Allissa Haines:

I don't know what a Shari's Berry is, but I'm going to look it up and maybe get myself one now.

Michael Reynolds:

I don't either. But it sounds fun.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Quick tips.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. I do not have one. I'm going to ride the coattails of yours.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. So this is kind of a sharing of what I'm reading. I, in my effort to add lots of learning curves to my world. Got a new car yesterday, it's used, it's used, calm down. And it's a lovely vehicle, it's probably the nicest vehicle I've ever had. And it has a lot of stuff. So I spent most of last night reading one, the nine text books worth of information that came with this vehicle, and also my auto insurance policy, which is a thing I just did a couple months ago when it renewed. But I was just reading through it because it's going to get switched over to the new vehicle today. And I had two little extras on there that I absolutely don't need, and I know that I declined when I first got the policy a couple years ago. And that it must have auto added when it renewed or I didn't catch it or something.

Only $30 worth of an extra charge. But I'm here in Massachusetts, and this particular insurance company has all these deals with the Red Sox and the Patriots where if you, for little fee, and this insurance thing, you get first and premium access to certain tickets and all this stuff. And that's not a thing I do. I don't go to sports events. So I found out I was paying whatever, 10 bucks each, 10 bucks for the Red Sox and 10 bucks for the Patriots to get these advanced and special tickets at better prices and stuff. And I was super annoyed. And so I emailed my agent and I was like, "These things weren't supposed to be on my policy. I know that I refused them the first time. They must have gotten on there during the renewal and I want to make sure that you take these little charges off for my next one."

So not a big deal. I don't know, somewhere between 25 and 50 bucks or 30 bucks. But I'm super annoyed and it was a good reminder. I don't even think I have a paper copy of my insurance policy. I think it was all online and I probably did not scan that digital copy well enough. So there you go. Read all your insurance policies even if you're only reading them once a year renewal, make sure you're doing a good skim, and make sure if you've got an auto, or home policy, or whatever where there's so many different types of coverages and so many different lines, line items of things, make sure you're scanning that. So that you're not paying for things you don't need. That is my quick tip of the day.

Michael Reynolds:

It's a good tip. Speaking of tips, Leslie followed up to inform us that Shari's Berries are chocolate covered strawberries. Sounds delicious.

Allissa Haines:

I want them right now.

Michael Reynolds:

Sounds delicious. All right. I think it's all we got for day. Are you good?

Allissa Haines:

It is. I'm exhausted. Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Let's go take a nap. Hey, everyone, we appreciate you joining us today, as always. You can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Also email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, and we appreciate any reviews you feel sending our way on Apple Podcasts. I've got a couple, I'd like to maybe read some of those in the next couple episodes. We've got some new ones that are very nice, so we'll hit that up next time. All right everyone, thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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