resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
Promotion and Sales: What language do you speak?
By Lisa Curran Parenteau, LMT, NCTMB
Editor's note: This is the second article in a four-part series discussing marketing in the massage industry.
I know you desire more success and abundance in your practice and in your life. Even now, you are improving your practice by keeping current with your professional journal Massage Today! I also know that you are curious about how to promote your business in some new ways. Strong communication skills are a key building block to successful promotion and increased sales. When talking about massage and your practice, what language do you speak?
Effective communication, listening and being compelling enough to be listened to, is truly a skill that is a life-long pursuit. This quote by Edith Wharton illustrates my view: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it." Some folks are better listeners (mirrors), while others are better speakers (candles). I want to focus this article on building some skills to help us communicate about the art and science of massage with more ease, poise and illumination. My hope is that this will not only impact your business, but also our profession as a whole.
If you are like many therapists, you are probably a very good listener, both verbally and non-verbally. Likewise, your skills and confidence in clearly articulating what you do, why you do it and how you might provide an invaluable service may be a challenge for you. I invite you to move out of your comfort zone and consider trying a few new tools. First let's create a new (or updated) "elevator speech" (or pitch). Stop rolling your eyes. I promise you, if you give this a try and practice it, your confidence will soar! The second tool is developing a bullet list of solutions that you can offer to your potential perfect clients.
A few questions to put on the table in preparation for developing your pitch: What would you say if you ran into an old friend or classmate in the street that you hadn't seen for awhile and you told them you had become a massage therapist? How do you answer the question "What do you do?" Can you sum it up in a few minutes, with passion?
Elevator Speech: Your "Pitch"
An elevator speech is a short and sweet opening to your professional side. Add a bit of your personality and you will be set to capture the attention of potential clients and widen your professional network. This miniature speech should be a prepared presentation that sounds "off the cuff."
Step 1: Brainstorm some descriptive language about what amazes and thrills you about your work. Jot down words and short phrases as they occur to you. Don't worry about making sense or connections. You are simply gathering raw material. Be authentic and use words that you would really say in conversation!
Step 2: From this list, choose two words that you find especially evocative - that really tug at the heartstrings of your passion for your work. Trust yourself and go with your instincts here. If you can, look up each word in a dictionary. Contemplate what you have chosen and what it really says about why you are a massage therapist.
Step 3: Gather the pieces.
Step 4: Now, put it all together in one or two sentences. This statement, in 60 seconds or less, should introduce you and what you uniquely offer the world. "I do (nature of service) + for (ideal client) + so that they can (benefit to the client)".
A good elevator speech will most likely evolve over days, weeks, or months. Start the evolutionary process by writing your first draft today. In other words, don't wait for the perfect elevator speech. Write an imperfect one, use it, and the perfect one will evolve in time. Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, states, "Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."
Bullet List of Solutions
What is your solution to your potential client's problem or need? This bullet list of talking points is an expansion of the third part of your elevator speech. Why do most of your perfect clients seek you? Injury related pain reduction, sports conditioning, an energetic modality, or simply 60 minutes of serenity? Remember, YOU are the good listener, and you are probably very intuitive as well. Think of some health benefits of massage, quotes from experts and research some statistics from one of our professional association Web sites: American Massage Therapy Association http://www.amtamassage.org/news_editors.html; Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/benefits.php; and/or Massage Therapy Foundation http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/researchdb.html.
Do a Google search on your massage specialty and interests. Write a clear and concise objective list of the benefits of massage for your perfect client or target market. Because of my special area of massage, my bullet list of solutions or talking points focused on promoting massage for elders and those in end-of-life care. They address the improvement in the quality of life for this fragile population:
Massage Benefits For Elders
I would also add some quotes from experts in the field:
To educate myself, I also have some stats about the opportunity for massage to serve folks in these special settings as part of my list. These trends help me feel passionate about my work!
What specific benefits, expert opinions and market trends define your special area of massage?
One Final Note
This article focused on verbal communication. Now align your newly crafted elevator speech with everything that represents or brands you in the professional world. What do you want to say in your printed marketing collateral and on your Web site about what you do and the benefits to your specialties? What about your facebook profile, business page or group, and your LinkedIn profile? As your practice grows, changes and is re-defined, take the time to refresh your branding. The good news is, today is the first day of the rest of your professional life!
I touched on the concept of your "perfect customer's characteristics" in Step 3 of the elevator speech construction. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and assisting you in defining your perfect customer in my next article. Until then, Namaste.
Lisa Curran Parenteau is a specialist in marketing and practice development. She serves as marketing consultant for the Center for Compassionate Touch, LLC and contributes to curriculum and program development. She also consults with other businesses, non-profit organizations and professional associations. Lisa serves the American Massage Therapy Association as the 3rd VP, webmaster for the Mass. Chapter website and will serve as a 2009 Mass. Delegate to the 2009 national AMTA conference, where she will be presenting a Position Statement to the 2009 House of Delegates. She also serves the Massage Therapy Foundation as a member of the Community Service Review Committee and the Chairperson of the newly formed Marketing Committee. Lisa can be reached at
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