Saturday, March 31, 2012

We Sell Ourselves! We Walk The Talk!

"People who succeed in Massage Therapy simply are Massage Therapists either by natural talent or through hard work and craft! Whether you succeed financially, however, depends on whether you learn to be a businessperson..."

- Collin Powell     

You Sell Yourself!

Massage Therapy is about business. Business is about selling! I work part-time in a wellness clinic, the owners, if you ask them what they sell, would say that they sell "time". They have 17 rooms with therapists, and they are selling 1 to 2 hour long time-slots for their massage therapists to perform custom sessions! In my point of view as a Massage Therapist, the product is a "relationship." We - the therapists, are trying to develop an ongoing relationship where we provide massage! If we do it right, they sign-up for a membership, come back and request us again! I believe all business are about this - developing lasting relationships - the wellness clinic to the customer , to the community and to other businesses!

So technically speaking - we are selling ourselves! In the point of view of the business owners - the product is "US". So therefore, we should embody our work, continue our education, hone our talents, perfect our personality, improve our physicality, communicate our sincerity and empathy! Put it this way: If the work is good, but the package is unappealing - the relationship will not last! If the package is very appealing, but the work is half-hearted - the relationship will end just as abrupt!

I believe there are GOOD and BAD ways of selling ourselves! Something like an "aggressive sell" a.k.a. preacher-talk sale, is not very good in the world of "touch". After all, we are meant to be felt, not heard! GOOD WORK will always be our best selling point! By word of mouth, that is how you get requested, that is how people come back to you for another session - that is how business grow!

Another good way of selling yourself is to practice what you preach! Imagine a massage therapists preaching about health who smell like smoke! If you are a healthcare worker - shouldn't it be just proper that you be healthy yourself? If you want to become successful in massage therapy, then change your lifestyle! If the work that we do agrees with our lifestyle, then our clients will recognize that we are speaking based on experience! If we are speaking based on experience, our clients tend to trust our opinions more! And as we all know, lasting relationships are based on TRUST!

There are many other ways that we can sell "ourselves"! Being knowledgeable in Anatomy for example can make us sound professional and educated! If you can answer simple questions like: What is the cause of muscle tension? - then you educate and impress your client at the same time! You should also learn how to listen - with your ears, your hands and your intuition! Clients know we care if we listen! Another very simplistic approach of selling yourself, and sometimes may sound silly is SMILING! Clients, believe it or not are attracted to friendly people! Tired, worried, sad, chatty, complaining are such turn-off that push clients away! And what even makes a smile better is a polite gesture! Offer tea, offer another layer of blanket, ask if the face cradle is comfortable! Things like that will help sell you more!

Another good way of making relationships with our client last is the way we communicate! It should be articulate, professional, with empathy and compassion! Again, the effect of proper communication will be amplified with another polite gesture! Try this: as a default, unless the client say otherwise, address them politely and professionally with a Miss or Mister followed by their full name, do it with a firm hand-shake! It is such a turn-off to clients if you address them "sweetie", "my dear", "cupcake" on their very first session with you! And after the session, if they hug and kiss you, then that is fine, but please do not even attempt to hug and kiss them on your own! Our "touch" ends upon the withdrawal of their permission - remember that!

There are so many other ways of selling yourself to promote lasting relationship with your client to build your massage therapy business. Just always remember to do it one massage session, one client, one relationship at a time!

Do you have any more fabulous ideas to share on how you can sell yourself? Please feel free to comment below! Communicate! Let us listen to it!

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     

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