Podcast

Episode 441

Nov 4, 2022

Are you getting ready to sell gift certificates for the holidays? Allissa and Michael dig into the best practices when selling gift certificates for your business.

Listen to "E441- Selling Gift Certificates in Your Massage Business" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 441

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Selling Gift Certificates in Your Massage Business

Quick Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to let clients go. It can be great for your business.
  • “I am not currently accepting feedback on …xyz…”

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. I believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it. I have been using Jojoba for years because it doesn't go rancid. It does not contain triglycerides like many products do, so it won't go bad. This also makes Jojoba a fantastic carrier for essential oils as well. It is non-allergenic, so I can use it on any client, at every client without fear of an allergic reaction. And pro tip, excellent little bit. It doesn't stain your hundred percent cotton sheets, so your sheets are going to last longer. Less money on supplies, easier to just do your linens already. And you can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link. Massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

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

Allissa Haines:

I'm Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

We're your hosts today. Welcome to episode 441. We're happy you are here. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good middle of the night. I don't know when you're listening, so good time of day for you. We're glad you're here. Wow, that was super chipper. Sorry about that. I'll calm down.

Allissa Haines:

Rein it in, buddy.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. What you reading? You've got a ton of stuff. I have nothing. You got a smorgasbord of articles, so let's hear it.

Allissa Haines:

So what I really wanted to do was point people to the ABMP blog because I have a bunch of stuff there. I wrote a piece about keeping massage fresh for long time clients. And then we also have this three simple steps series going on. And the first two posts are published. Three simple steps massage therapists can use to build a strong social media profile. Three simple steps massage therapists can use to improve their financial IQ. So yeah, I'm pretty delighted with what I've been writing. You can see it all at abmp.com. I think it's just slash blog, but if you go to the homepage, there's a blog link at the bottom, so that's easy enough to find. So make sure you check out the ABMP blog because I got a bunch of good stuff over there lately.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. Oh, so all three are kind of, you're putting that under the blog announcement.

Allissa Haines:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. Gotcha. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I gave the title to all three and you can find all three at the blog.

Michael Reynolds:

Gotcha. Thank you. Sorry, my brain is catching up slowly but surely. All right. Speaking of ABMP, they are our next sponsor. So that is a smooth segue, if I'd ever saw one.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Should I just talk about how good the blog is? No.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, go for it.

Allissa Haines:

So ABMP is one of our most thoughtful and longtime sponsors and we appreciate them. Let's talk today about the ABMP Education Center. You can learn more at abmp.com/learn. Over 600 hours of continuing education courses are included with your ABMP membership or available at a super cheap price for non-members. Hands-on techniques, ethics, self-care, cultural competency, and courses for massage educators. ABMP members get free CE for all courses included with their level of membership. It is a fantastic way to meet CE requirements, try out new presenters and save your CE budget for other in-person courses. That is what I wanted you to know, and you can learn more at abmp.com/learn.

Michael Reynolds:

And while you were out doing the tech stuff, Joyce popped in to say she's listening while driving today. So good morning, Joyce.

Allissa Haines:

Oh hey, Joyce.

Michael Reynolds:

I feel bad now because I asked for a comment, she was driving, so hopefully she's safe.

Allissa Haines:

I know. Joyce came to our in-person Blueprint summit a million years ago and I got to meet Joyce in person and she's from upstate New York and I just adore her. And it looks like Marcy is saying hello, her and the puppy, Canelo, although it's coming up as Facebook user, but I know that it's Marcy.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Good morning, everybody. All right. So I gave a sneak preview to our topic while you were out fixing the tech things. I let everybody know that it's gift certificate season. And you might be talking about gift certificates.

Allissa Haines:

I might indeed. So yeah, let's tackle this, and it'll be a short one. And here's the deal. If you have a specific gift certificate sales plan for over the holidays, like you've got that, you've probably already started, awesome. If you've been doing it year after year, rock on. Some of this may or may not be useful to you. But if you tend to sell gift certificates haphazardly and you don't have a real plan, or you're afraid to be selling them or whatever, this could be useful to you. So let's talk.

First of all, it's okay if you don't want to sell gift certificates. Not every business has to. You're not losing millions in income. If you don't like to sell gift certificates, if you don't like to have that essentially outstanding debt or liability against your business, that's totally fine. You don't have to. If you do sell them, let's talk about some strategies and some important little bits of information. If you're selling them, you've got to be aligned and aware of your state laws. And that means you probably have to search your state's website. Maybe the Attorney General's office sometimes is who regulates that. You can literally Google your state name and put like gift certificate rules or gift certificate laws. So for me, it'd be like Massachusetts gift certificate sales, whatever.

Note to that. For some places, gift cards, like actual with the electronic strip on them are differently regulated than paper gift certificates that you write on or print on. So know that. In your state could be a little different. Things you might want to know. What has to be written on the gift certificate? How long are they good for? What's the expiration date that you are allowed to put on? Is there a cash value or not? In Massachusetts, say I sell a hundred dollar gift certificate and somebody uses like a $95 service, I have to give them that remaining $5 back in cash. I cannot say you've got $5 of credit on the gift certificate. I have to give them the balance. So it's helpful to know if your state requires that.

You also want to know what happens if you close the business. Now with a lot of states, nothing. A consumer has no recourse. If you close your business and you have $5,000 of gift certificates out there, that's it. You have just taken their $5,000. Some states require you have some kind of system set up where you have that money set aside and people can file a claim to get a refund. Some states, you actually have to know how much you have outstanding in gift certificates and give that to the state's Attorney General or some other office, consumer affairs or something, so that people can file a claim to get reimbursed for that gift certificate if your business has closed.

So keep in mind, you need to know what you're doing. Because if you're in a state where you have to hand over that money and have that available to people to get refunds, you need to make sure you're setting that money aside. In Massachusetts, we have this thing where in order to make an expiration date legal, one, it has to be seven years out. And two, I have to have the issue date and the expiration date on my gift certificate. I cannot just have one or the other. I have to have both. So if I issue a gift certificate and it doesn't have the sale date, that expiration date is just completely not valid. It's good forever. So a lot of little rules that can be different state by state. So you want to make sure that you are following those rules.

Now say you want to sell them, you know your state rules, but you don't want to sell them just to anyone. And I pop this in here because this is actually what I do. I only sell gift certificates that are going to be given to existing clients. And again, I've been in business for a long time, so lots of my clients are long time clients and their partners and friends and whatever know that they come to me. So before Christmas, I tend to get 10 emails from people saying, "Hey, I wanted to buy a whole bunch more gift certificates for so and so for Christmas." I made a page on my website. It's not searchable, it's not in the menu, but I can give it to people and they go to hainesmassage.com/gift. And that's my sales page for gift certificates. I have a link for every kind of gift certificate they could want.

I only sell them for the value of a certain service. So I guess I have six gift certificates available, 60 minute, 75 minute, and a 90 minute. And they're available at two price points. One's my regular price and one's my senior or student price. So it is a private page on my website that people will only find when I give it to them. And you can also email your current client list and say, "Here's the link to my gift certificate page. If you want to send your loved ones here, they can easily buy you a gift certificate online." So you can choose to only sell to existing clients.

So the next option is to sell them quietly. So you put it on your website, you would put a button on your website, or you'd put gift certificates in the header of your website, but you don't make a whole big stink about it. It's there for people who seek it out. And they don't have to go so far as to email you and find out the link to the page, which is what I do. But you can have it there and you can just kind of passively sell. There's that.

You can sell real loud. And this is great, especially if you're looking for new clients. You can have a landing page just for gift certificate sales. You can have them for price points for a particular service, or you can have them just for like common round numbers that people need for gifts. $25, $50, $100. You can make sure that you are emailing your entire list and you can go big or go home with the social posts. You could even do some Google advertising or social advertising very specifically to people in your area, in your zip code areas, and sell some gift certificates, loudly and as much as you can with effort.

That's like really all the bits. The last part here is, great, should I offer some kind of discount or a promotion or offer? Sure. But I just so firmly suggest that you do the math so that you know exactly what you would be getting per massage. So if you have some special where you're like, buy three gift certificates, get a fourth one free, or buy three gift certificates, get your own massage free, you need to do the math on how much you're charging for those three massages. Divide it by four. Don't forget to reduce, minus the credit card fees, and make sure that what you're getting for each of those four massages is acceptable to you.

I hate the buy X get Y free because people usually undercut themselves. They usually end up giving massage for a lot less than they are comfortable with. And then it makes you resentful when somebody with a gift certificate comes in and then you just feel fleeced. And that's all about burnout and that's bad. So if you do offer a whatever, 10% off, or buy this many, get one free, or get one half off, do the total math. Make sure you know the number that you are getting so that you are not getting fleeced and feeling bitter about it.

Finally, I would say, if you're going to sell gift certificates, like write this stuff down. Really have a plan for when you're going to send emails, when you're going to do social posts, and take a couple hours if you can and just get it all set up at one time. Because otherwise you're probably not going to follow through. It's going to be haphazard and you're going to feel less than awesome about how many you sell for the effort that you feel like you put into it. That is it. That is all I have.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, thank you. Good luck, everyone, with gift certificate season.

Allissa Haines:

I hate gift certificate season more than anything else. Can you tell?

Michael Reynolds:

I can tell. All right. So before we move on to quick tips, our last sponsor of the day is us. What do we want to talk about today? What do we want to highlight? We have so much good stuff to highlight. So what are you picking today?

Allissa Haines:

Let's talk about the beautiful resource people would find at massagebusinessblueprint.com/clients. Is it clients or new clients? I just flipped pages.

Michael Reynolds:

Clients.

Allissa Haines:

Clients. massagebusinessblueprint.com/clients. Sorry. We see this question all the time. How do I get new clients? And the answers are usually all over the place. And that's great because we always want to learn a variety of approaches to business building. But there is no one silver bullet that's going to get you tons of new and long-term clients. You got to put the thought into it. You got to put the steps into it. We have created a lovely guide to help you refocus and determine what activities are important for you to help you attract more clients to your massage practice. You can check that out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/clients.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, quick tip time.

Allissa Haines:

You go first. I'm tired of talking.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. My quick tip today is don't be afraid to let clients go. It can be great for your business. This kind of just came to mind because not just in massage practices, but any small business. But obviously I think it's very relevant for a massage therapist. Sometimes we're afraid to let clients go. We raise our prices and we're worried, "Oh no, clients are going to leave me." Or we maybe change our specialty, or we adapt how we work to serve a different type of clientele. And whenever we make changes like this, we could often be scared because the fear is always, "Well, I'm going to lose clients. If I change anything, I'm going to lose clients. If I change my fees, change the way I work, change my location, change X, Y, or Z." But more and more I'm just remembering that sometimes it's okay. It's okay to kindly and calmly just be okay with clients leaving.

Maybe they leave of their own accord because they don't want to pay the prices or something else happens. Or maybe you politely and kindly graduate them to another therapist that's better for them. When you let a client go, you make space for a client that is a better fit for what you do. Doesn't mean that anyone's wrong, doesn't mean that anyone's bad. It just means that sometimes it's okay to make space in your business for a client that is a better fit for you, and that can be a great thing. So if you can make that leap, sometimes it can be a great thing for your business. That's my quick tip.

Allissa Haines:

That ain't nothing but the truth, my friend. Okay.

Michael Reynolds:

What about you?

Allissa Haines:

Ready for my little bit?

Michael Reynolds:

I'm ready.

Allissa Haines:

My little bit is, it's a phrase that I learned this year that came to mind especially because a lot of people are entering the holiday season where they're going to have to be around family that they're not around that much, because they choose to not be around them that much. I personally don't leave my house over the holidays. We're all home bodies. So we don't visit people or put any stress on ourselves over the holidays. However, I know that many of you do have to do visiting and socializing.

So here's a phrase. When some rando uncle decides they want to give you advice on your business, or when some rando grandma who's got her own serious body issues comments on what you're eating, or your size, or your health, or your shape, or anything about, your hair, anything, your boyfriend, any of these things, you can say, "I am not currently accepting feedback on how I run my business."

And then you change the subject. "Thank you. I am not currently accepting feedback on how I style my hair. So tell me about your cruise." All of these things, just say you are not accepting feedback on that thing. And then begin another conversation. And if the person that you're talking to, they don't grasp this and they insist on continuing, you can say it again and then you can get up and leave the room. Because you're allowed to have boundaries on the conversations you choose to have and on how other people are going to make you feel in any of these situations.

And I have to say, I actually did this to one of the kids. They were complaining about something, it was something I'd prepared for food. "Thank you. I am not currently accepting feedback on your breakfast options. So how's about we eat that cereal and move on with our day?" And usually that's followed by, "If you're not happy with how breakfast is going, you can get up a little bit earlier and make whatever you want. You let me know if you need help with that."

And it was surprisingly effective because people kind of don't know what to say to that. They're like, "Oh." And it helps to remember, if you're struggling to be assertive, that unrequested feedback, unrequested advice, unsolicited advice, that's criticism, and you don't need that. So if someone is like, "I'm just trying to help you," "Thank you. Unsolicited advice is actually criticism, and I'm not open to that right now. I'm not accepting feedback." And surprisingly effective if you can bring yourself to do it. And practice in the mirror as often as you need to. Write it on the back of your hand before the holiday if you need to. And good luck and God speed with all of that. If you want to come to my house, we just hang out. It's cool.

Michael Reynolds:

I love that. Well, thank you. Are we good to wrap up there? Anything else in your mind?

Allissa Haines:

Not just massage tips, also life tips.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, love it.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry. All right. I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, well, thanks everyone, for joining us for today's massage coaching and life coaching session. We appreciate you being a listener. You can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you're not a member of our Blueprint Mastermind community, then why the heck not? Check it out. It's free for 30 days. There's no risk because, like I said, it's free for 30 days. So you can just join for 30 days. On day 29, you can say, "You know what? I like these guys. I'm going to stick around." Or you can cancel if you don't like it. So there's no risk. Check it out. But most people that join do stay because I believe, and Allissa believes, I think, we have the best and smartest massage community on the interwebs. It's private. People have to pay to get in so it's higher quality than those crazy rando Facebook groups you see out there. It's very high quality discussion. We have office hours where Allissa and I help people with challenges, and it's really just phenomenal. So check it out. Massagebusinessblueprint.com.

All right. With that, if you want to email us, if you don't like anything we've said, or you love things we've said, either way, we'll take feedback. We are accepting feedback, and that's at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. That goes to me and Allissa and we love to respond. So feel free to reach out. Thanks everyone, for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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