Podcast

Episode 444

Nov 25, 2022

Michael and Allissa discuss how to create a power team of referral partners for your massage business.

Listen to "E444: How to Form a Referral Power Team for Your Massage Practice" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 444

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Form a Referral “Power Team” for Your Massage Practice

Quick Tips

  • The right monitor cable makes a difference

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by ABMP. Let's talk today about ABMP's Massage and Body Work Magazine. This award-winning magazine is included in print for ABP members, and available for free to everyone at MassageandBodyworkDigital.com. We have the Blueprint for Success Column, which we are delighted about. It's just a great professional journal that includes techniques, in-depth features, video tie-ins, columns with ethics. And wonderful, wonderful feature articles that just cover everything that matter to us, professional massage therapists and body workers. You can read it again for free at MassageandBodyworkDigital.com. And that's what we wanted to say about ABMP. 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. My name is Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

My name is Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And we're your hosts.

Michael Reynolds:

Welcome.

Allissa Haines:

Welcome, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. Michael's going to do the heavy lifting in this episode, which always delights me. But first, Michael, tell me what you're reading.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm reading about student loan forgiveness, the debacle that is said student loan forgiveness. So-

Allissa Haines:

Wah wah.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes. Yes, that is an appropriate soundtrack. The latest update is that this decision on whether student loan forgiveness will go through. When I say forgiveness, I mean the 10 to $20,000 student loan forgiveness by the Biden administration for those who qualify. So that's the one we're talking about. It is now gone or is going to the Supreme Court, because it is being fought along the way by other state-level courts. And while that is happening, the Biden administration has extended the student loan repayment pause until June 30th. So that is semi-goodish news, because the can is still being kicked down the road, repayments are still not being reinstated while this gets worked out. So I mean, it is what it is at this point, and we're just rolling our eyes at this. So that's the latest news I'm reading about student loan forgiveness. You're welcome.

Allissa Haines:

We are just rolling our eyes at this, what we have to say about this, but baby steps. I did also learn in a related measure that the administration extended the official declaration of the national health crisis through January, which is important because it means that state Medicaid was expanded during the pandemic. It lowered the threshold for qualifying for state-funded and completely state-subsidized plans for health insurance, and also change and ease the restrictions and the reapplication restrictions for a lot of people. So extending that is really important for keeping a lot of people on health insurance, and on their subsidized health insurance, through what is proving to be a really rough RSV, flu and COVID season that is already beginning. So it'll probably get extended past that as well. But important extensions this week.

Michael Reynolds:

Important indeed. How about you?

Allissa Haines:

Ah, I'm reading a piece of fiction that I'm not fully done with. So if I vouch for it and then it has a terrible ending, I'm very sorry. It's just a piece of fiction called Bookish People by Susan Coll. And I'd never heard of this woman. I'd never heard of this book. I stumbled on it when I was at my library's website to get my Kindle downloads. And I don't know what book it was that sent me to this one, but I saw it and was like, "All right, this could be good." And it's really neat.

It's about primarily a woman who owns a bookstore who is recently widowed. And it's very much internal dialogue of her, but also the whole team of people who work at the bookstore with her and work for her. And it's just really sweet and funny. And a couple of the reviews called it "Laugh out loud funny." I've gotten to some amusing stuff. I haven't gotten to laugh-out-loud funny stuff yet, but I'm excited for it. And I should actually be able to finish it tonight. Tonight before Thanksgiving. And I have zero on my agenda once I get my laundry done. And I am going to finish it tonight with a cup of tea, hopefully. And if not, I'll finish it tomorrow on Thanksgiving.

Michael Reynolds:

Sounds cozy.

Allissa Haines:

I think it's going to be a good couple of days. That's what I have to say about that.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Oh, hey, look who the next sponsor is. It's us.

Allissa Haines:

It is indeed us. So let's talk about our little free ebook, How to Get New Massage Clients. Okay, we see it all the time. It's why I wrote the darn ebook. In all these discussion groups. "I just started up, how do I get new clients?" Or "I'm not busy enough, how do I get new clients?" And the responses can be very good, but also all over the place and not very good. And so I wrote an ebook. There's no single tactic that's going to get you tons of new clients all at once. But there are some really clear effective steps you can take to bring new clients into your massage office, and bring the right clients into your massage office. 'Cause that really matters for sustainability and not burning out. We have a beautiful 14-page guide to help you refocus and determine what activities are best for you to help attract more clients to your massage practice. You can go to massage businessblueprint.com/clients. I think it's clients. I always do this-

Michael Reynolds:

It is clients.

Allissa Haines:

... every episode.

Michael Reynolds:

Indeed.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

It is beautiful as well. If nothing else, if you don't read it, just look at it. It's really nice.

Allissa Haines:

It is very pretty. And I will say that that ebook was laid out by our friend Rianne, who runs a virtual assistant company called Bold Lucidity. And she's really, really good at what she does. She does websites, she does virtual assistant stuff, she does social media stuff. She's phenomenal. And if you like the ebook, you let me know. I'll put you in touch with her if you need help.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on.

Allissa Haines:

Shout out to Rianne. Woohoo.

Michael Reynolds:

Shout out to Rianne. All right. So-

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, hit us up, Michael, what are we talking about this week?

Michael Reynolds:

My love language is networking. And we got a networking topic today.

Allissa Haines:

Your love language.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm excited. I'm excited.

Allissa Haines:

All right. Go to it.

Michael Reynolds:

We're going to talk about power teams today. We've touched on this more than once, incidentally, throughout our careers at Massage Business Blueprint, so to speak. But it occurred to me we've never actually unpacked it and addressed it as a particular episode. So we're going to do that today. So this is how to form a referral power team for your massage practice. So I'm presenting this as, Allissa's taking a photo of something. I'm intrigued now, sorry for those who are listening to audio.

Allissa Haines:

Taking a photo of the screen so I can Instagram it with the quote, "My love language is networking."

Michael Reynolds:

So as you know by now, we do this live via Facebook and Twitter and YouTube live. So the visual there, that's what's happening. Anyway, moving on. So networking is something we talk about a lot. We've harped on networking a lot here in the past. And for good reason. It's effective and it can be effective, anyway. But this is a nice alternative to some of the stuff we talk about. So sometimes we think of networking as, "Oh, I'm going to go to a chamber event, or I'm going to join a BNI chapter, I'm going to do this thing that sounds scary." And my introverted self doesn't like the idea of this whole networking thing. And it's not for everybody, we get that. So I want to frame this as a potential lightweight and different type of alternative to the traditional networking we've talked about before. So this is called a power team.

So what is a power team? A power team is a small group. It's usually three to five-ish people of complementary professionals who meet and collaborate on a regular basis with the intention of creating referrals for each other. So my opinion is that to get business by referral is still the best way to do it. There's lots of ways that referrals can take forms. There's lots of other types of marketing. It's all good, but referrals are really good way to get business. It's a really good way to get clients. When someone refers a client to you, there's trust there. It's a very strong connection already. You've got the endorsement of the person doing the referral. Just getting referrals is great. Well, I think we all can agree that getting referrals is a great way to get clients. So a power team is a way to set up a structure to generate referrals for your massage business.

So again, it's done in a small group. I think three is the minimum. I would say four to five is ideal. That gives you enough of a group that you have a deeper set of audiences to share. So I would say shoot for four to five if you can. I wouldn't go over six, because then it turns into basically a BNI chapter when you get to a certain level. So don't make it too big. The idea is it's small and intimate, and it's people you like. And it's very comfortable and less networky, I guess. So the people you collaborate with, first of all, how do you find the people you collaborate with? Well, you want to collaborate with people that are professionals that are complementary to your massage practice. So some examples might be, the big obvious one's the chiropractor. Obviously, that's going to be someone you might want to network with.

Now the tricky thing with chiropractors is often they will have massage in-house in their office. So you have to find a chiropractor that doesn't offer massage at their office. So that can be tricky. But if you find one and you have a good connection, that's obviously a great referral source. Cosmetologist, aesthetician, maybe acupuncturist. I put dentist in there. I think dentists could be an overlooked referral partner source that we might want to consider. And I'll come back to why some of the common denominators probably is an [inaudible 00:10:08] including the dentist. A nutritionist, personal trainer, mental health therapist. And there's others I probably haven't thought of. But here's common about these types of professionals. They all serve clients in a wellness capacity. They all generally run their own businesses. So a chiropractor generally is going to run their own business. Cosmetologists, aesthetician, maybe not, but they're probably going to be either independent contractors and they manage their own clientele.

So they have a quasi-run their own business field, no matter what context they're in. Same thing with acupuncturists. Dentists typically run their own practice. Dentists are not yet getting swallowed up by big healthcare conglomerates like other healthcare professionals are. So you typically find a dentist running their own practice, so they can make their own decisions, and they do their own networking and business building. Same with the other professionals. Mental health therapists often will be running their own practice or be part of a small group. So again, they can have that autonomy to do their own networking, build their own business. So that's what's common among these professionals. They provide wellness and health services. They work directly with clients and patients, and they generally are in charge of their own business in some sense. So that's what you want to look for. Now, you can go outside of this.

If you have a really good rapport with an accountant or an attorney, I'm not saying you can't do that. That can work really well, but it has to be the right kind of attorney or accountant that is truly going to refer, and has the right vibe to really work with wellness professionals. So just be aware that you want to find someone really complementary in your group. Again, shooting for three to five, I like four to five if possible. A little more. So how does it work? So you want to meet on a regular basis. A regular basis can be up to you. I think monthly is probably a great cadence. I say meet via lunch or a coffee meeting or a Zoom meeting, whatever works best for you. Whatever's right for you in your group. You want to meet on a regular basis and keep it consistent and commit to it. That's really important. You want to say, "Hey, the first Tuesday of every month, we're meeting for coffee at this coffee shop, or we're hopping on the Zoom at this time for an hour. And it's in our calendars."

It's something we don't shuffle around. It's a set appointment. And that's important. You want to commit to it and make sure that you recruit people in your power team that are equally as committed. Now, that's the toughest part of networking, is finding people that are actually committed. Usually you find people, "Yeah, I'd love to be involved," and then they fizzle out or they stop. They miss half the meetings. So you've got to really set the tone of commitment from the start. So find people that are reliable and set the tone of, "Hey, this is what we're doing. It's a standing appointment if you're going to be in this group, it's really important to all of us that you honor the commitment." You got to say things like that out loud to make it work. So what do you do at the meetings? It can be a little fluid, up to you.

But in general, here's the format I've found works best. First, you look for ways to... I shouldn't say first. The idea context of the whole meeting is you look for ways to refer each other, and you collaborate and share audiences. Audiences could mean your clients, could mean other people that are on your mailing list. Could be your social media network. All of that's an audience. So your audience is just the people that you are in front of, so to speak. So you look for ways to refer to each other and collaborate. And some of those things you talk about are first of all, go around and give an update in your business. Go around and say, "Hey, my business is doing this. Here's some stuff going on." Give a little update first to share what's going on with you. And then when each person's having a turn, the whole group is going to look for ways to collaborate with that person when it's their turn.

So one thing you can do is to do presentations together, either in person or on webinars. So if you have an idea for a presentation you'd like to do, you can say, "Hey, I'd like to collaborate with one of you on this presentation." Maybe we're talking about TMJ or something. Okay, maybe the dentist would be a great candidate to collaborate on TMJ presentations, whatever it might be. Look for ways to co-brand and co-present, and co-create content for your audiences. Because then you invite both of your audiences and you cross-pollinate and get in front of both audiences. Display members' business cards and materials in your offices. That's a really easy one you can do is to have business cards, handouts, materials at your office at the front desk or wherever people check out on display. So it makes it really easy to point to and say, "Oh, have you met my friend, the dentist, blah blah."

Or "My chiropractor's great" or "I collaborate with my nutritionist a lot" and this kind of stuff. Have that stuff on display, and that can be a way to really make easy referrals on the spot as well. Maybe feature each other in email newsletters. If you send out email newsletters, maybe promote your referral partners in those newsletters and vice versa. So you keep those professionals in front of your audience and vice versa. Promote each other in social media. Look for ways and timing that's good to promote your power team partners on social media, and they'll do the same for you. It also makes going to networking events more fun. So if you decide, hey, as a power team this month we're going to pick out a couple networking events and we're going to go together, maybe two or three or all of us will go together to this event.

That's a great way to strategically approach the event. You go to the event, you're less awkward because you've got friends there already that you're familiar with. You can hang out together, and then you break off and do your thing. But then when you're meeting people, instead of saying, "Hey, I'm a massage therapist, I do this," and you feel like you're selling yourself, you can be like, "Hey, tell me about what you do, what your needs are. What are you looking for? What can I help you with?" And if something pops up, you can say, "Oh, I've got somebody you need to meet." Go introduce them to one of your referral partners. And that way, it takes the pressure off you. You're not selling yourself, you're making a connection that's helpful to both parties. And if everyone does that, it's a great way to strategically kind of [inaudible 00:16:13] referrals to each other.

A nice side effect is you get peer-to-peer mentoring as well. So don't be afraid to treat it like a peer-to-peer mentoring group. So often, we can learn a lot from other professionals in our space. And if you're bringing up business challenges and things that you might be struggling with or have questions about, you'll probably get some really decent advice or feedback from your peers that could help you from a peer mentoring standpoint. So that's a nice side effect of this. So that's how a power team works. The keys to making it successful, as I mentioned, are one, consistency. You've got to be consistent. Obviously if something major comes up, you miss a meeting. But in general, it's a standing meeting that is, it's on your calendar like any other client appointment. And you go to it and you commit to it.

Commitment, that's the thing also. Consistency and commitment, and then quality members. Members that are reliable, that truly want to grow and are willing to put in this type of effort to grow, and are willing to do the work to refer each other and promote each other to help build everyone's business up. That's what you need to look for. So consistency, commitment, and quality members. So I love power teams. I've formed them before, I've been members of them before. And when you have members that are committed, they work really well, and it's a much friendlier and lower-stress way to network. And often, I would argue sometimes even more effective than the BNI chapters and stuff. So that is how you run a power team.

Allissa Haines:

And it's, I think, a much better option, or at least a much better intro to networking for people who are shy and introverted, to just do it on a small, closer to one to one, one to two, one to three, one to four level, versus walking into a big networking event. And I really love what you said, it makes it so much better to go to larger networking events together. I had a friend who was, I forget what she was. Oh, she was not a closet organizer. She would organize homes to help people who were aging and needed things set up differently to make their life easier, to live where they had lived forever as they age.

And so anyhow, she'd belonged to a lot of networking groups. She was really outgoing. And I think my most successful networking events were the ones where I went with her or met her there, and she just took the role of introducing me to people. And just once I was introduced, it was way easier because I didn't have to start a conversation myself. And surround yourself with complementary people. Anyhow, that's helpful. And Andrew popped in and said good morning. And also suggested that somatic psychotherapists could be good referral partners, I'm guessing is what that meant. And yeah, word. Absolutely. Thank you, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, hope that is helpful as we enter the next year, and thinking about our networking stuff and marketing stuff. So thought I'd share.

Allissa Haines:

Quality relationships are the best way to get the kinds of clients that you really want. Yay.

Michael Reynolds:

Yay.

Allissa Haines:

Let's jump into our next sponsor. Why don't you tell us who it is, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, it's our friends at the Original Jojoba Company.

Allissa Haines:

Yay. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first-press quality jojoba. And we just love that. And jojoba won't stain your hundred percent cotton sheets because it just doesn't have those nasty triglycerides that go rancid. And it's just an amazing product, and I just love it. And I'm going to tell you, I'm a little all over the place today because I just really love it. One of the things I'll tell you, I typically keep a bottle in my car because I do one home visit a month. And I can leave it in my car even when it gets really hot out and even when it gets really cold out, although it turns solid when it gets really cold. And then it will melt again when it gets to, I think it's 68 or 69 degrees or something. And it doesn't get gross from doing that. It doesn't get weird. It is still the same high-quality jojoba that I feel great about putting on my skin and my clients' skin. You can get 20% off when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

We love jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

We really do. And I really love your quick tips. I don't have one, so bring us yours.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, so my quick tip is the right monitor cable makes the difference. So hear me out.

Allissa Haines:

How so?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, so I switched to a different monitor to try out, and I was plugged into my laptop. And I was like, "Oh, the refresh rate's really low, it's kind of jagged when I move Windows around. Doesn't really work quite right." And I was using an HDMI cable to plug it into my laptop. I was like, "I guess HDMI should work fine." And display wasn't great. And so I did some research and I'm like, "Oh, some people have mentioned hey, depending on the port you use, different computers will produce different refresh rate settings and things." I was like, "Okay, so I'll try it out." So I got a cable that is a display port cable, like a USBC to display port. And it doubled the refresh rate, made the monitor look much better. And it occurred to me that we don't always have the right cable available to make the monitor look its best.

So if you are using an external monitor with your computer, and it's not looking as crisp or the refresh rate isn't high as you want, look at the cable you're using. HDMI is typically not going to be as high quality as things like the USBC or the display port. So on the monitor I was using, there were two HDMI ports and then one display port. It's usually labeled DP. So look for that DP setting. And the display port gives you a much higher quality signal, and makes the monitor look and perform and refresh much better. So that's just a quick tip. If you're using external monitors, check out what cable you're using. HDMI is typically not going to be ideal. Look for USBC, or look for which is the little USB one. Or look for DP for display port and get the right cable, and that'll make it look a lot better.

Allissa Haines:

Well dang, I'm just sitting here with a dumb old HDMI. But I'm not buying any new cords because it works just fine for me. I'm pretty low-level with my tech needs, I think.

Michael Reynolds:

There you go.

Allissa Haines:

Think that's everything. Thank you. Thanks for that little pro tech tip, Michael. Really, you shared a lot of your strengths with us today.

Michael Reynolds:

Andrew said that-

Allissa Haines:

Your first love language is networking, your second is tech tips. So thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Probably.

Allissa Haines:

And as Andrew said, great episode. Glad I didn't miss it. We're glad you didn't miss it either. Thanks for joining us.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, Andrew.

Allissa Haines:

That's everything we have to say today. So I hope that by the time you're hearing this, you probably will have had a lovely Thanksgiving. Or I think it's also the Indigenous Peoples' Day of Mourning. However you choose to deal with that, I support you. I give a donation to my Wampanoag tribe because I live on Wampanoag land. Thank you very much. That's my Thanksgiving tradition. So if you want to learn more about actual massage business versus the Wampanoag tribe, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com. All kinds of blog posts, our whole podcast archive, free resources, everything you could possibly need to get clients onto your massage table, my friends. If you have a question, email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. I'm just going to keep talking because I want to want to psych Michael out of starting that exit music.

Michael Reynolds:

I'll go up and down.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks for joining us.

Michael Reynolds:

Bye.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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