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Massage Today
April, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 04

You Are in High Demand

By Cary Bayer

Wouldn't it be fabulous if you could own a business in which virtually everyone you met wanted what you offered? Imagine how much a business like that could be worth. Even a multinational giant like Microsoft isn't in demand by everyone because not everyone owns a computer.

But there is a business whose service is desired by virtually every adult alive - it's called massage therapy. The reason everyone wants what massage therapists offer is because everyone has a body. And almost everyone's body is in some kind of pain. Your market as a therapist is greater than the market for Microsoft! Who would have thought?

Few of the massage therapists I've coached these past three years recognized this reality when I first started working with them. They were so focused on making ends meet that they missed the big picture - namely, that anyone they meet can become a client. (This is also known as missing the forest for the trees.) Even fewer therapists were marketing themselves with this kind of positive thinking dominating their consciousnesses. The absence of this insight is the invisible cause for the financial struggles of far too many massage therapists. Too many of you talented healers are unable to massage fulltime because you have overlooked the enormity of the market in front of you; instead, you take other jobs to pay your bills. If you have time and energy left over, you do some part-time sessions. This is a great loss for you and those who could be benefiting from your healing hands.

By realizing that virtually everyone you see each day wants what you offer, you'll feel encouraged to be more enthusiastic, dynamic and bold in how you speak with people. (Being more enthusiastic, dynamic and bold - the result of this insight - also helps create new clients.) If you think this way, you won't have to rely on gift certificates, discount packages, coupons and free chair massages to land new clients. While those are marvelous marketing stratagems, none is as easy as meeting someone at a party and booking a session for them.

When people ask what you do and you tell them that you're a massage therapist, more than likely they'll express interest in what you offer. Sometimes, therapists laugh and reach for the spinach dip; others reach for business cards. But the therapist who knows that massage therapy is in demand, reaches for the appointment book and asks when the person would like to come in for some relief. Landing a new client can be that simple. That's why it's important to get into as many conversations with people about what you do as you can, which is usually the second question you're asked when you meet someone for the first time. Next time you tell a person what you do, observe their reaction, and pull out your appointment book. Have your appointment book with you at all times - you never know when you might need it.

Someone who sells life insurance works hard to get appointments. That's because people don't like thinking about their mortality. Fortunately, as a massage therapist, you offer immediate relief from what ails people. People like talking about having such a treat in their lives. Don't just give out your card and ask the person to follow up and make a call - they might have second thoughts. Sadly, many people don't recognize they deserve the pleasure of ongoing massage. Carpe diem and carpe clients.

You might also want to have some fun and play a little new business game with yourself. You can target, say, one new client out of your morning shopping trip, one new client from your afternoon yoga class, and definitely one new client at the party you're going to that night. Sure, some of you might consider this audacious, even presumptuous. But what have you got to lose?

I'm not encouraging you to crassly drop business cards everywhere you go. I'm simply encouraging you to adopt four easy strategies:

  1. Recognize that every adult you meet is interested in relief from physical pains, and/or desires deep relaxation.
  2. Tell people what you do when they ask. If they're interested, wait for them to say they'd love a massage.
  3. Once they've said that, take out your appointment book and ask when they'd like a session.
  4. Stay open to the reality that this can happen anywhere at any time.

Goal Setting

Start creating and tracking goals for your massage business. On Sunday night, write down your goal for the number of sessions you want to give in the coming week; the number of new clients you want to gain; and the number of discount packages you'd like to sell. When the following Sunday night rolls around, review your results that pertain to your goals and adjust your aspirations for the coming week. If you reached the goals, stretch them for the next week. If you didn't meet your goals, see how you might change your manner of speaking or your actions. You might also track some new categories, like the number of strangers you asked if they'd be interested in getting massage, the number of business cards you gave out, etc. The power of your intention to grow your business and the power of your attention to recording your results helps stimulate your successes.

The remarkable thing about getting clients in this radical new way is that it's mostly a matter of staying focused on it in your daily life - and having the courage to do it. I say courage because many of you - even if you see the wisdom in these ideas - might easily revert back to being like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and let fear stop you. Here's an affirmation to help expand your thinking to incorporate this breakthrough approach: "Since everyone wants what I do, it's easy to get a new client every day." The more you let this thought grow in your consciousness, the faster it becomes the way you think, the way you speak, the way you act and the way you expand your business.

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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