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Massage Therapists- Are You Trying to Lose Thousands?

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I’ve had my ear to the ground of the massage industry lately. Retail product selling is generating a lot of conversation…

According to David Kent LMT, NCTMB, every day we have a limited amount of time, physical strength and mental energy to earn a living. When we are at work, we are basically trading time for money. The amount we earn is influenced, to a certain degree, by our education, experience, skill level, track record, etc.

When we trade out time for money, we are only able to earn as much money as we are willing to trade our time. So, how else can we earn more money without working more hours? The answer is to retail, which is the sale of goods to the public.

(Yes, I know that you don’t want to “sell”. But you’re really not. Keep reading.)

People want to know why they hurt, how you can help and what they can do for themselves. Like other healthcare providers, we must educate the public and present solutions.

When we explain the benefits of receiving regular massage therapy sessions, we are, on a certain level, “selling” or “retailing.” When we offer a discounted price for a group of sessions, it might be labeled a “Special,” “Package” or “Membership.” Ultimately, we provide the benefits and the consumer makes an educated decision.

So, what products do massage therapists frequently integrate into their sessions that would benefit clients and could be offered for sale? The list includes topical analgesics, aromatherapy, pillows, music, scrubs, hot and cold packs, to name a few.

(I’d love it if my therapist recommended these to me. Wouldn’t you?)

Be creative and let your clients know you are proudly offering quality items for their personal use. During a regular session, let clients experience the benefits of new products at no additional charge. Ask clients to share samples with friends, family and coworkers. Topical analgesics and aromatherapy are great gift ideas for those living with pain and stress.

You know the treatment techniques and products that will help your clients the most. Education is the fundamental principle that must be applied to your therapy and the other products you sell. It is easy to earn additional income without working more hours by promoting the products you are already using and the repeat business continually adds to the bottom line.

(I would begin by checking out what’s on the shelves at your spa. I’d bet there are at least three products that you can tie in to your massage services. Speak with your manager about your sales commission rates and set daily or weekly goals for yourself as incentive. Good luck.)

Ten Ways to Please Your Global Clients

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Social media and news outlets are bringing us closer together minute by minute. Air travel is faster and more frequent; most areas of the world can be accessed within 24 hours. Opportunities to conduct business with a global clientele are increasing exponentially. So what can spa therapists do to help build a brand which attracts and maintains the attention of  treatment lovers from around the world?

What’s guaranteed to work every time and garner rave reviews on social media sites? Check this out-

Smile. A smile is a universal welcoming signal that crosses all boundaries and immediately puts your client at ease. Further engagement with the guest is mandatory and serves to benefit the therapist as well so make sure that the charm is dialed on high.

Interview your client. Use that intake form to begin your conversation.with your client.  Everyone’s situation and reason for visiting the spa is different. Give men the same amount of time and respect for discussion as women, their needs are often just as pressing. Don’t assume anything, ask questions and listen well.

Don’t categorize your clients. When it comes to skin and body care, knowledge of the  Fitzpatrick Classification Scale is not enough.  Multi-ethnicity is everywhere and creates some very interesting characteristics that probably weren’t covered in your massage or aesthetics classes.  Gather as much information as possible, this will help to ensure great service.

Make the client comfortable. People come in all shapes and sizes. Have a plan in case a plus sized or small person walks into your spa. Be sensitive to the hairstyles of your clients. If she (or he) has a lot of hair offer her two headbands rather than one. Don’t assume that the hair is all hers. Ask if its OK before plunging your hands into someone’s mane to perform a  head massage.  If you are performing facial services on a bald man give his head some love too. It’s exposed to the sun and needs care.

Cleanse, remove and check.  When I worked as a makeup artist for a spa, I would frequently have to remove leftover makeup from my client’s  neck or traces of masque from their nostrils, post facial. If a man has facial hair, masque may cling to his face. Check your clients in the daylight before sending them back out in public. They’ll  appreciate your attentiveness.

Use your loupe. Don’t trust your lying eyes. Examine the skin closely under a magnifying lamp and report your findings to your client.

Be gentle. You will never go wrong if you treat all skin with respect. There is a commonly held belief that darker skin tones can tolerate more aggressive products.  The opposite is true. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you are causing pain to your client, you are probably causing damage. This will get your name on social media quickly but not in a good way.

Avoid extractions.   A good practice is to focus on providing clients with skin that is polished, luminous and smooth to the touch. No one on vacation wants their skin to look damaged. If your client returns to you often, you can then create a schedule for deep cleaning and extractions.

Make product recommendations  Almost no one travels a distance and gets a treatment to not take something  home with them. Therapists have problems selling because they fail to initially engage with their client. If you have a product  that you really believe in or that worked incredibly well during treatment share the knowledge with your client. Recommend that they buy another for gifting, especially if it’s unique to your spa.

Make care recommendations   One of the ways to show true interest in your client is a final written recommendation for body and skin treatments once they return home. Create a three month schedule for them to follow, include a sentiment thanking them for visiting the spa. Send it to their email address. They will  appreciate the reminder to take care of themselves and likely follow your expert advice.