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Massage Today
December, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 12

The Perfect Gift

By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

It's hard to believe that the season for gift giving is upon us once again, and if your year has been anything like mine, you've weathered a ride on an economic roller coaster that would give Mr. Toad a run for his money.

Fortunately, many economists predict brighter times in the near future; however, it's likely that you may be reeling from the recent ups and downs, and gift giving may be the last thing on your mind. At the same time, your loved ones may be wondering how to best choose a gift for you that fits within their budget.

This article will provide tips for gift giving on both sides: how you can best offer the perfect gift to friends, family, and clients and how to inform those close to you what you would consider the "perfect gift" from them.

The Gift of Massage

Perhaps you don't have the funds available to spend buying oodles of gifts for your friends and family this year. Why not give the gift of massage? It's both personal and practical-and it's especially useful during the stressful holiday season. Create gift certificates especially for your friends and family with a personalized note. If you are like most massage therapists, you rarely-if ever-provide massage to those closest to you. And as much as a friend or a family member might want a massage, he/she may not be comfortable asking for one from you. A personalized gift certificate opens the door for them to receive the gift of touch from a trusted source.

If you feel that "gifting" massage to your friends and family would be awkward, there is another way to show your appreciation to the loved ones in your life. Host a small holiday gathering with your closest friends and family. Have your massage table or massage chair set up in an out-of-the-way spot and then offer each guest a 10-15 minute massage. It will be a welcome-and unexpected-holiday surprise.

Client Gifts

While it is important to give gifts to your friends and family, it is also important to show your clients how much you appreciate their business and referrals. Offer each of your regular clients 10 percent off their first session in the New Year, along with a sample or two of a topical analgesic with your contact information attached, as a way of thanking them for their continued patronage. You might even sweeten the deal by offering your regular clients 10 percent off one session for each new referral they send you in the New Year.

Making a Wish List

As the holidays approach, it is very likely that your friends and family will ask for gift recommendations from you. And giving is even more special when the recipient receives something that he/she really needed. At the same time, you want to offer ideas that are budget friendly for everyone. Below are some gift ideas you can offer to your friends and family.

  • Client referrals. Your friends and family may not realize it, but one of the greatest gifts they can give you is that which will help your business thrive in the New Year. In this case, new client referrals. Remind them that they can purchase gift certificates from you, as well.

  • Practice tools and resources. There are, undoubtedly, tools and/or resources you have wanted to buy for yourself, but haven't had the available funds. Perhaps you've been eyeing a set of bolsters, a DVD program, a special seminar, music CDs, linens or charts. Now is the perfect time to put these items on your holiday wish list. If your selections are from a catalog, tab the pages and highlight the items. If they are online, print the Web page, or copy and paste the Web address into an email. Be sure to include the name and phone number of a reputable supplier that has an excellent track record for customer service. Also include the item name, product number, and price. If you are aware of discount codes or special savings, or you know that your request is time sensitive (e.g., seminar registration, etc.), make sure to include this information as well. The gift giver will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • Massage. Massage therapists know how important self-care is. Ask for a gift certificate to your favorite clinic or spa for a massage.

In some cases, the more you purchase, the more you save. If there are combination discounts, let the gift giver know; then he/she has the option of purchasing more than one item and holding onto them to give as future gifts.

"Wrap" It Up

People want to give you gifts because they love you and care for you. By making a gift list, you'll get something you really wanted and/or needed but may not have had the money to purchase for yourself. Your loved one will have the satisfaction of knowing that you will treasure the gift they gave and that particular gift will always be uniquely connected to the person who gave it to you.

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and rewarding holiday season. I'll see you in 2010!

Click here for previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.


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