How To Get More Clients Coming Back Through A Simple Method Of 'Advice'
By Amy Roberts
Recently I was with a massage therapist in a coaching session of ours about a massage therapy appointment keeping method and when I asked her how she was doing with her rebooking rate she said she was getting a lot of success. After every five massage treatments she gave, three of them rebooked another massage treatment at the end of their session.
I congratulated her and said "so what's your secret?" I knew that most massage therapy businesses don't reach this target for a number of reasons and wanted to know what method she was using. She said "oh I don't know, I just ask them if they want another massage treatment."
"So what is it that convinces them to come back again? Obviously you are doing more than just asking them," I grinned.
She proceeded to tell me that she simply advised them of the benefits of booking another massage therapy treatment. In 'advising' them she simply offered them the continued benefits of massage therapy such as loose, free shoulders, no more back pain, flexibility in movement generally, easing pain in the neck from sitting at a computer and so on. She told me she not only advised them of what would happen if they had regular massage therapy, but how much it would benefits them in other ways. She mentioned that when someone has massage therapy on a weekly, fortnightly basis, their sleep patterns become deeper; giving them a feeling of being more rested which meant more energy. She also said that when massage therapy treatments were provided once a week particularly, mental and emotional stress levels went down significantly and she backed this up with research from the Touch Research Institute of Miami.
Being significantly impressed with her follow up method, I posed a question. "Yeah but all us massage therapists know this, how many clients do you think knew this before their massage treatments?"
"Hardly any," she replied, "maybe like 1 out of 15."
"Why is that? Why do people know so little about the longer benefits of massage therapy?"
"Because we don't tell them I suppose."
"So do you think clients benefit more from seeing you because you educate them to the benefits of massage therapy long term and the benefits it has on other levels such as deeper sleep?" I asked.
She smiled "Oh yes, most definitely."
That was it. She'd just proven a fundamental problem with massage therapists. We expect that our clients know all the benefits already, so we don't open our mouths and tell them. I can also verify this in my own massage therapy experience. I had a higher rebooking rate with clients I educated, than clients I didn't. It's really simple and we often overlook this in our massage therapy business. It's such a simple thing and if we can increase the amount of times we actually tell them how massage therapy benefits them in others ways- ways that keep working long after the massage is over, then our clients will understand they are receiving a great value for the money and not just paying for something that lasts an hour.
Keeping Your Advice Relevant
Always remember to tell clients the long term benefits of massage, just like my client. Three out of five repeat clients is a very high number, and all because she strived to tell her clients of the long term benefits they would receive from their massage treatment long after they walked out of the clinic room. By not telling them it's almost a disservice to them. They should be fully informed and if you need to, you can write down a script for yourself as a guide to remind yourself to relate the full benefits of massage therapy.
Don't use big, technical language that only we know such as Lymphatic drainage or good for the circulation. Use words such as 'pain relief' and 'less headaches' and terms that mean something to them. You can surely tell them what Lymphatic means but keep it focused on what their problems are. For example, if someone has a massage treatment for back pain, don't tell them about Lymphatic drainage. Keep it relevant to their problem. Tell them how the tight, hard muscles will relax, give them less pain, and provide more flexibility to help them get on with the things they need to do in their life. Always keep it relevant.
Here are some ideas you can use with your clients just after their massage treatment before you leave the room You are going to talk to them and ask for another appointment:
- "How are you feeling?" "Each time you have a massage therapy appointment with me, we get closer and closer to helping your body give you less and less pain, giving you more flexibility to move around and have less pain in your lower back. I can also give you some stretching exercises to maintain the relief you are feeling right now, but it does work best if you have weekly or fortnightly treatments (for a while). Would you be interested to keep this feeling going by rebooking/making another massage treatment?"
- "I can see you can actually move that arm! That's great, are you experiencing relief? That's' great. I would be happy to design a program for you that includes massage therapy treatments and some exercises you can do at home. Would you be interested in that? This involves some regular massage therapy treatments with me for a while to help you gain more relief and be able to work on the computer again without the pain and aggravation you have been feeling."
So don't be afraid to follow up with your massage clients. Don't think that you are just trying to "get" something from them that won't benefit them, because if you truly feel that way you'll never be able to feel comfortable with this technique for rebooking appointments. Remember, you are advising them on a way to keep their body limber, in less pain, and in much better shape. The worst thing they can do is to say no. Even if one client says no, you already have the knowledge to gain one client, which means you will be able to gain another. By asking for another appointment you will find your rebooking rate becomes much higher.
Good luck as always,
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