Using Your Massage Menu to Help Your Massage Business
A lot of massage therapists I talk to have a common frustration of being misunderstood.
You've spent hundreds or even thousands of hours of training and you get phone calls from consumers asking for a “back rub” or from those creepy prospects who wonder if you might provide a “complete” massage (and they mean more than just effective).
Even your own clients, sometimes long-time clients, don't know the extensiveness of your abilities, the scope of your practice and the exceptional number of problems you can assist them with.
So what's a massage professional to do?
“Education! We have to educate prospects!”
That's the solution that's inevitably proposed.
But here's the problem...
Massage practitioners do a inadequate job of educating the public about the benefits they provide.
Don't tell people what you do...
Many therapists take the “what I do” approach. Here's an example outside of massage so you better appreciate what I'm saying.
I'm at a party and I'm networking and introducing myself to people in the room. I stop at the snack table and begin chatting with this dude. I ask him what he does for his livelihood and he announces,
“I work at creating an intuitive interface among project teams and the technology they use by exploiting cross platform compatible server side applications.”
Okay. I have no idea what this guy does. I believe he may work in an office. I'm not sure.
Now imagine yourself at a event and some guy asks you what you do. Here's your opportunity to make an impression. So you tell them,
“Oh, I do soft tissue work. I use Swedish massage techniques to help with decreasing neuromuscular tension, although I'm getting increasingly interested in craniosacral work. It's incredibly effective at getting at the deep fascia.”
Okay. The person you're hanging with doesn't have a clue about what you just said. This person thinks you perhaps work in a lab!
The problem with educating people about what you do in this kind of way is that you are defining what you do. You are describing a process.
Who really cares?
That has absolutely no revelvance to others. They may like you, but what you are telling them has no relevance to them. They don't honestly comprehend and they really don't care.
Be sure to outline how they benefit...
So in educating people you need to take a totally different approach: You have to help them understand how your work BENEFITS them or people they know. If you want people to listen to you and understand you, you have to talk about how you are able to serve them. And you have to tell them in a language they can understand, making the positive results of your work crystal clear.
For example, you're at the same get together and this woman asks you what you do for a living. This time around you say,
“Do you know how a lot of people have incredible tension in their shoulders and get awful headaches from sitting all day at a desk? Well I help those people remember what it's like to have a relaxed, pain-free neck and I get rid of their headaches.”
Now that description of what you do defines how most people can benefit from your work and does it in a way that's easy to understand. In the mind of the person you're talking with a link is formed: you = headache relief.
Now when that person runs across someone who complains about a headache, that little association is triggered and they say, “You have a headache? I know someone who can help you.”
So here's what I suggest you do today. Come up with what you may normally think of as a “menu of services”. But instead of listing things that are meaningless to customers like “60 minute myofascial massage $60” you will produce what I'll call a Client Situation Menu.
Creating a massage menu
Rather than writing down your offerings on this menu, you'll list the situations (i.e. conditions or issues) that you can assist customers with - just like I did in the example above.
It's important to be very, very specific. You will not be limiting your potential pool of prospects by being specific. Even though some of your examples of what you can do may not necessarily fit a particular client, that client may at least will get a sense of what you can do. And, when you share with them several things you can do for clients, they may well be able to weave your comments together and see the fabric, if not the thread.
Come up with situations that real people find themselves in and need helpwith. And outline them in the customer's language not your technical lingo (i.e.achy back vs. minor strain of the thoracolumbar fascia)
Jot down 20 specific things you are certain you can do for these individuals. Don't over-think it; just write. When you are finished that, review your notes, taking each item and try to make it as specific as possible. If there words that your average person wouldn't understand, get rid of them or exchange them with something more accessible. When you are satisfied, type it up and you have your special Client Situation Menu.
Use this in your waiting room, in your marketing materials, at networking events and on your website. You won't spend your time on meaningless education that that people can't connect with. Instead you will truly be educating people as to how your massage treatments can assist them.