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Massage Today
June, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 06

Summer Fun is Marketing Time

By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT

This is a wonderful time of year for marketing and it is in your best interest to capitalize on it. Not only will it benefit you immediately but your efforts can have lingering effects into the next season and even next year.

It is proven that people feel healthier and have more energy when the weather turns warmer and days are longer. Outdoor fun increases as we have more daylight hours to accomplish activities. In addition, people tend to eat healthier and find they shed some winter weight. Sun-kissed skin and bare feet replace long layers and shoes. Why not ride that health train and drum up some business?

In my own practice, I find my clients tend to take better care of themselves in the spring and summer months. It is a wonderful cycle to witness. Increased daylight leads to increased activity. Increased activity leads to weight loss. Weight loss leads to increased energy. Increased energy leads back to increased activity and so on and so on. Since my practice is full of these newly "fit" folks, it is easy for me to suggest increased frequency of massage sessions to them.

For example, if I see a client once a month, I suggest that during these months of increased activity, they come for an appointment every three weeks. Often, my clients are asking their bodies to perform a new activity or resume an activity they haven't done for six months. Things like bicycle riding, golfing, gardening and swimming (to name a few) all put extra strain on muscles that might not have been used for several months. Extra massage to alleviate the discomfort associated with the new activities makes sense. What I find is that clients tend to respond and like the new schedule and even after the summer months are over, they stick with it. On average, that means the client now comes to me an extra five times per year, totaling $500. If I see someone every 2 weeks, I recommend every 10 days or adding one extra session per month. That can mean as many as 10 extra sessions per year or $1000.

girl on computer - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The clients you already see have an affinity for you and your work. They are easy clients to market to. For the sake of argument, I will assume you believe in the cumulative benefits of massage. It is in your client's best interest to receive massage, to be on a maintenance plan and stick to a consistent schedule of receiving it. That schedule and frequency varies from person to person, but I urge you to help the client find the happy balance. It is also in the client's best interest to receive "more" massage and that means increasing frequency. I call it Lifetime Value of the Client (LVC). Your marketing goal should always be to increase LVC. With a population that already is familiar with your work, likes you, reschedules and pays you, it is easier than finding new clients. Remember, it costs less and takes less effort to increase LVC, compared to going out and searching for new business.

I have a client who I used to see monthly. Last spring she took up a new sport and was experiencing discomfort as her body transitioned into the new things she was asking of it. She commented that the week before our massage appointment, her body ached and she longed for the appointment. She was able to go three weeks without pain and complaints but the last week in waiting was "torture." I suggested she not wait the full month and that we see each other BEFORE she experienced discomfort. It was as if a bolt of lightning struck! "Genius," she said. I have seen her every three weeks for the last year and she (for the most part) remains pain-free between appointments. Rocket science? I think not; just good marketing.

There are also more opportunities to drum up new business in the warmer months. People who hibernated all winter have come outside to play, shop, dine and enjoy the outdoors. Moods tend to be better and I find people more approachable this time of year. Venues like street fairs, outdoor concerts, kid's sporting events, festivals and flea markets provide a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and discuss your profession. Be ready with what to say and have business cards on hand. Remember, you have five seconds to attract someone's attention. What you say in that initial five seconds can make or break a professional relationship. I know this kind of marketing isn't everyone's cup of tea but if you have the personality or the drive, it can be extremely beneficial.

Suggesting increased frequency of massage or LVC is a win-win for everyone. Warmer months and increased activity lends itself to receiving more massage. Most clients just need the seed planted. After you read this, pick one client to try it on. Make the suggestion to increase frequency or add just one more massage to their current schedule. What's the worst that can happen? They might say no but they won't leave your practice over it. But maybe, just maybe, they say yes. And then... imagine the possibilities.

Stay focused.

Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.


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