Do You Really Need MORE Clients?

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It’s common business knowledge that it takes less time, money and energy to keep customers than it does to acquire new ones. Having a thriving practice is the perfect combination of attracting new clients while retaining those we already serve. When it comes to our marketing efforts, do we really need more clients or can we achieve the same results by leveraging the ones we already have?

When we say we need more clients, what we really mean is that we need to make more money. The clients we have established relationships with are who we should be focusing on. They are our best advocates because they know first-hand how working with us improves lives. We should be using this to our advantage by giving them reasons to visit more often, book longer appointments and refer others.

Encourage Frequent Visits

Massage franchises offer discounted memberships and packages because it makes them more money overall. They know that a customer coming in once a month for $50 will earn them more in a year than if that customer comes in every other month for $75. In order for this to be effective, there has to be an incentive to stay on schedule, which is typically an expiration date. Enforcing it can be the hardest part because we don’t want to play the heavy, but it’s crucial.

I find that explaining how the loyalty program benefits them rather than concentrating on when it expires makes them easier to sell. Making the terms reasonable limits the number of expired specials, thus minimizing those uncomfortable conversations. Shoot for offers that reward at least one massage per month. For example, I tell clients that they will save 25% if they visit once a month or more. I don’t go into what happens should they be unable to do that unless they ask.

When I only offered discounted packages, I’d say they had two more massages to book before it expired (I now have packages that don’t expire for less than 10% off). I gave credit for any money already spent if a package did expire because it just felt like the right thing to do. So if all three massages weren’t redeemed by the expiration date, only the difference between my regular fee and what they already paid for that last massage was due.

Booking Longer Appointments

Longer appointments may not make you more money per minute but they can increase your total income. Do some number crunching to see if this approach will benefit your practice or not. Obviously, if we have an open thirty minutes, filling that will add money to our sales total for the day.

There are two main reasons why we hesitate to ask clients if they want to add time to their sessions: we’re afraid we’ll alienate them or we don’t know what to say (or both). Letting someone know you have an extra thirty minutes to massage them will most definitely not upset them. In fact, most clients prefer longer appointments (they may book shorter ones only because they believe that’s what their budget allows).

Once someone gets a longer massage, they seldom go back to a shorter one. There’s no harm in asking, “Would you like to add thirty minutes for an additional $30 (or whatever you charge)?” If it feels too awkward, start practicing when you’re exercising, taking a shower or driving until you feel comfortable. I promise it will be worth it!

Reward Referrals

I’ve seen a little controversy surrounding this topic. Some think that a sincere “thank you” shows enough gratitude for referrals. If that describes you, I honor your beliefs. We have to be true to ourselves to create businesses we love.

I give clients $10 off when a new client names them as a referral. It’s a small token of appreciation in addition to a sincere “thank you” that I feel better demonstrates how grateful I am that they are endorsing my practice. I find that once a client gets that credit, they are motivated to tell more people about me. I’ve even had clients who had fallen off the face of the earth make another purchase when they learned they had a $10 credit.

This credit is given in addition to any other frequency discount they would ordinarily receive. Not only is it easier to calculate, the extra few dollars I might make from some kind of reduced referral credit for my best customers diminishes the message I want to be sending. One referral can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars over time, so being generous with those credits is worth every penny.

There’s also the argument that referral credits may be considered fee splitting.  I’m not a legal expert, so you’ll have to decide if this is a concern for you. As for me, I’ll take my chances.

Acquiring new clients comes with the territory of owning a business, so we must continue the marketing efforts we find effective. While we wait for those to manifest, maximizing the income potential of our current clientele is not only efficient, it promotes better outcomes and builds loyalty. It’s an essential principle for sustaining the practice that I love!

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How do you make the most of the clients you already have? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

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Which Modalities Get the Most Clients?

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In the beginning of every massage practice (and along the way), there’s a decision to be made. What services and modalities will be on the menu? This decision says so much about us and yet, we often don’t give it enough careful consideration. Getting this right makes all the difference in setting ourselves apart and attracting the best clients for us.

What do you love?

There should not be anything you provide to clients that you don’t love doing. We may think we have to offer Swedish massage and other general modalities because we’re expected to. The downside here is that schlepping through techniques you don’t actually want to do will be noticeable. Perhaps only on a very subtle level, but something won’t feel right. If you don’t love it, let it go no matter how essential it may seem.

When I opened my current practice, I wasn’t confident enough in my ability to build a practice solely with Ashiatsu. Even though doing massage with my hands was no longer serving me (I had a back injury that flared up bending over the table), I had traditional injury massage on my menu so I would appeal to more people. Over time, my injury clients got curious and tried Ashiatsu. Once they did, they never booked a hands-on massage again, which leads to the next criteria.

What’s most popular?

Giving clients what they want makes them happy. I suppose there’s a chance that your most popular service could be something you don’t enjoy, but that seems pretty unlikely. More often than not, your most popular offering(s) are what you do with joy and complete presence. That’s why clients like them so much.

I recently took 30-minute massages off my menu. I wanted a lower cost option available to accommodate tighter budgets and a shorter service people could grab on their lunch break. Since I opened, I haven’t booked more than three a year. Obviously, they’re not desirable enough to keep offering.

What makes you the most money?

Some treatments require additional supplies, which makes them more expensive to offer. Doing more of them may be enough to offset that or you’ll need to charge more for those to make it worth it. Depending on how your schedule is organized, there may be a length of service that’s more profitable.

To calculate which length of service is your most (and least) profitable, divide the amount you charge by the amount of time allocated for treatment combined with the time afterward used for prep/clean up. You may be surprised to find longer appointments aren’t necessarily making you more money. The amount I make per service from my membership clients (25% off visits once a month or more) doesn’t vary enough to matter (literally, the difference is one cent per minute for each length of service). Since 90-minute appointments maximize my schedule, I set up my online scheduling to make more of those available (they also happen to be the most popular).

Cutting things out of our menu can bring up some resistance. Often, it’s because we’re basing our decisions on outdated business advice or don’t want to exclude anyone from our practices. Some common challenges with this can be:

We don’t want our time and money wasted.

Massage school and continuing education are expensive! Of course we want to earn back what we spent. I took a manual lymphatic drainage course thinking it would be in demand, only to find most clients wanted something more mainstream. I wasn’t serving a specific enough population to utilize those skills. Should that be the case for you, chalk it up to experience and begin investing your continuing education dollars in building on the skills your clients want most.

We want to appeal to as many people as possible.

Trying to please everybody is a common marketing trap that leads to lots of one-time client visits. When we own what we love to do and articulate who we serve best, we attract more clients seeking our expertise. Get clear on what you excel at and promote it to provide a client experience geared toward those who need you most.

We want to appear well-educated.

Just because we learned something in school or took a weekend workshop does not make us proficient. Nobody wants to get reflexology from someone who has to review their notes. If you haven’t done a modality you offer in six months, it’s time to refresh your skills or take it off the menu.

Clients like having choices but too many actually backfires. Personally, I’d draw the line at five. Since I started giving only Ashiatsu massage, my confidence has grown and my practice has strengthened. Plus, it makes it so easy to weed out the people I’m not a good fit for which makes me more available for those who are. Sharing my passion and boldly scaling back has done nothing but benefit the practice that I love!

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How many different modalities/services do you offer? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

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How Using Groupon Keeps On Giving

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Last month, I kept a client diary at Booked and Busy on Facebook to illustrate how using Groupon continues to make me money even though I haven’t had an active deal in six months. The results were extraordinary! If you’ve thought about trying it, this post will bestow you with a bit more savvy. If you’ve dismissed Groupon as a bad idea, it may sway your opinion.

When I decided to use Groupon for the first time, I was desperate. I had been in business for three months and was going down in flames. I had resisted Groupon because I had heard only cheap people buy them and never return, but since I had nothing to lose I went for it. Had I not used Groupon to jump start my practice, I sincerely doubt you would be reading this right now.

I had a clear vision of what I wanted to accomplish and incorporated several key strategies to convert more of these new clients into returning clients. I ran my first deal March-July of 2014 and sold ninety-nine vouchers (seventy-one single sessions and twenty-eight three session packages). Of the eighty-eight that were redeemed, twenty-eight returned at least once and of those, eight still visit either regularly or occasionally (I got two awesome referrals, too). What I learned from this campaign is that customers who buy packages are overwhelmingly more likely to continue long-term than those who buy a single. What I didn’t do was ask those who bought the singles if they wanted to pay me the difference for a package. I would have made more money and possibly converted more clients.

I did my second deal to give my practice a boost two years later. Several clients had fallen off the schedule for various reasons and I needed more new clients fast. This time, I used both Living Social and Groupon (Groupon acquired Living Social in 2016, so now Groupon merchants are on both sites). This deal had two phases. The first phase was the same deal I had done in 2014. It ran March-mid June 2016, during which time I sold ten Living Social deals and forty-seven Groupons (only a single session was offered on Living Social). I redeemed nine Living Social vouchers, resulting in one regular client who is still active, one who visits occasionally and sold one package at regular price.

The Groupon deal that coincided had thirty-seven vouchers redeemed. Six returned at least once or referred, one of whom is an active regular client and another visits occasionally. So what made the conversions so much lower the second time around? I’m pretty sure it’s because my regular fees were higher by then so the stretch between what they paid for the Groupon and what they would pay me was more than they could justify. If I were to do this again, I’d price my Groupon closer to my frequency program. Regardless, the two monthly regulars who still visit from this campaign book during weekday afternoons, which are typically my least popular times. I paused both this deal and my original one when I was booking clients two weeks out.

For phase two of my 2016 deal, I tried an experiment. I offered the option of a single 60-minute or 90-minute session priced very closely to what the price per session was for the discounted packages I had at the time. This ran from mid June-February 2017 and sold very slowly due to the higher cost. Of thirty-two redeemed, four clients have returned at least once or referred someone and one is a monthly regular who gets two hour massages.

The biggest lesson I learned from this incarnation is that offering a 90-minute session doesn’t serve the business owner at all. Since that’s what most of the vouchers purchased were for, I wasn’t able to upgrade them to a longer service that would have put additional money directly into my pocket. Without a package, I didn’t attract as many clients interested in ongoing treatment.

So what were the results of my client diary? Clients who came to me through Groupon or Living Social (or were referred by someone who did) accounted for 25.6% of my total income for the month! Some of these clients have been coming in regularly for over three years now and probably would never have known about my practice had they not found my daily deal.

Keep in mind that Groupon is merely the tool I used to get exposure. It’s the overall strategies and skills I employed to either earn more by upgrading when I could or give them a reason to return that makes this work. These techniques will get results with more traditional marketing, too. Using Groupon accelerates the process.

Did you happen to notice that I only mentioned the clients who came back rather than those who didn’t? I have no doubt that focusing on what I wanted and what was getting me closer to my goal instead of worrying about how many clients weren’t signing on had as much (or more) to do with my success as the marketing tactics. Taking chances and being open to unexpected outcomes has become common place in the practice that I love!

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What have you heard about using Groupon? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy in 90 Days™ combines guidance for creating a Groupon deal that promotes business growth with sound marketing to fill your practice faster. Learn more here.

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5 Business Beliefs That Keep Us Stuck

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Our beliefs are an integral part of who we are. We make all of our decisions based on them, whether or not those beliefs truly support our growth as people and business owners. Most of our beliefs go unchanged and unchallenged because we aren’t consciously aware of them. That’s how they continue to hold us back.

But once we’re aware of our beliefs, we can examine them objectively and determine if they are contributing to manifesting a life that we want. As we identify those that limit our potential, we can begin to form new ones that create possibilities and opportunities we couldn’t have imagined with our old belief system. Where they came from isn’t really important. What allows us to free ourselves from limiting beliefs is simply knowing what they are and being brave enough to try something else.

This is a list of limiting beliefs I know well. They have kept me from taking risks, following my truth and controlling my destiny throughout my life. But as I seek to fulfill my purpose, I’ve realized I have to let go of them. It’s scary to leave the familiar behind because we associate what we know with being safe, which is one of the most basic needs for survival. And yet, the safety we strive for exists in the unknown, too. We just haven’t experienced it.

Belief #1: Resistance to Change

Change is hard. We are wired to repeat behaviors that result in reward and avoid those that don’t. But just because something is comfortable doesn’t make it rewarding.

When I opened my current practice in late 2013, I decided to specialize in deep tissue massage. I had read that choosing a niche would be more effective than trying to appeal to everyone. I thought I was doing that, but I wasn’t all in. My desire to be liked, guilt about not helping everyone I could and fear of there not being enough clients who wanted Ashiatsu caused me to offer traditional injury massage as well. I knew I was really good at that but doubted my ability to have a thriving Ashiatsu practice because I had so little experience.

Most of my clients did book Ashiatsu because that’s what I promoted but I kept injury work on my service menu so I would be more legitimate to health care professionals and insurance companies. What I found was that my injury clients would get curious about Ashiatsu and try it. Once they did, they didn’t book another hands-on session again.

This wasn’t a reflection of my skills, just a testament to the effectiveness of Ashiatsu. After two years in business, I decided to not only take traditional injury massage off the menu but to change my business name to highlight my exclusively barefoot services. This has made me a more confident provider and tells potential clients exactly what I do so there’s no confusion. I have now stepped into who I was meant to be as a healer at this point in my career.

Belief #2: Unwillingness to Invest

Saving money is smart. Or is it? Generally, a reliable car costs more because we pay for routine maintenance on it instead of saving that money (or spending it somewhere else). Sounds like an analogy for getting regular massage, too!

There’s a difference between operating conservatively and being cheap. Sure, all those little expenses add up but when we deny ourselves the chance to make more money because we aren’t willing to invest in our business, we end up stunting our growth. Considerations such as location, cell phone performance, online scheduling and the massage products we choose should be carefully evaluated. What seems like a great deal may actually be costing us big time by giving clients a compromised experience, making rebookings and referrals less frequent.

When I started my first practice in 1999, I shared space with a truly wonderful person and therapist. As I got busier, it got harder to accommodate clients with my limited schedule. Another space opened up in the tanning salon, and I decided to stop sharing space and have my own. This more than doubled my rent but also let me concentrate on earning a living exclusively from massage and leave my part-time job behind.

Belief #3: Projecting Expectations

In order to validate our beliefs, we often project them onto others. One of these is how much our clients have or are willing to spend. Most business owners are on a tight budget when we start out (I know I was). That doesn’t mean our potential clients are, too.

I’ve held the belief that keeping my prices on the low side is important for keeping clients. This belief came from feeling I didn’t have the discretionary income to spend on massage. The truth is I still keep my prices lower but only in exchange for frequent visits. Although each individual session may cost less, overall spending might be quite high.

Early in my practice, I stumbled upon the power of the discounted package. They were easy to sell and kept clients coming in regularly. The problem was, I couldn’t get a handle on my cash flow getting paid sporadically in large chunks rather than daily. After almost three years of constantly being behind, I changed to a pay-as-you-go membership. I was worried about how my clients would react but knew I wouldn’t be able to stay in business if I didn’t try something different. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made! Now I’m making enough money to stop relying on trades and pay for the bodywork I need to take care of myself.

Belief #4: Lack of Action

Fear is a powerful motivator for keeping us stuck. We often don’t try another approach even when our plan isn’t working because we’re afraid of making a mistake. There are few things you can do that will destroy your business unless you don’t stop them soon enough. Heed the red flags early on because what we fear most is more likely to happen if we don’t switch gears than if we do.

Another common reason we don’t take action is a lack of knowledge. If you feel you need more business and marketing skills, learn them! There are so many resources available. Yes, some cost money. If you’ll make that money back (and more), then they are an investment. I’m a firm believer that any program will yield results if it is done consistently. Don’t get hung up on which one you should try. Find something that fits your budget and has the features and benefits you’re looking for. Then commit, make a plan to implement it and follow through.

After a year of writing the blog, I wasn’t getting the traction I wanted to get my message out there in a big enough way. I happened upon a coach on Twitter who helped me get focused. She turned me on to techniques and resources I either didn’t know about or wasn’t using for maximum impact. If you heard about me for the first time recently, it’s probably from something I learned from her. Now I have a direction and the fire is burning brighter than ever!

Belief #5: Impatience

There is a universal Law of Gestation that states that what we ask for takes time to manifest. If what we want is quite different than what we’ve settled for thus far, the time required to line things up will be longer. This means we must continue taking action for a while even if the results we intend don’t happen right away.

I’ve been guilty of deciding something doesn’t work after only one try. Now that I know about this universal law, I give new ideas three months of consistent action before I evaluate them. If nothing has changed by then, I give it up and try another angle. More often than not though, I see progress by then and keep going.

I tried a boosted post on Facebook once. It reached 10,000 people but no one booked from it, so I decided boosting on Facebook doesn’t work. What I’ve learned since then is that the audience you choose is vital to getting the response you want. Stay tuned for more in-depth success strategies for that. 🙂

We are often our own biggest obstacle to success. Developing an awareness of the beliefs that lead to our actions (or inactions) can be transformative if we’re willing to dig deep and step outside what’s comfortable for us. It’s ok to start small. As we gain clarity, we experience more abundance and become more willing to take chances. For me, that’s the most crucial element of having a practice that I love!

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What business beliefs are holding you back? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

Did you know I have a series of Massage Mindset Minute videos on my YouTube channel? They’re packed with easy to use techniques that dismantle limiting beliefs that keep us stuck. I invite you to check them out!

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8 Ways to Provide an Exceptional Client Experience

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Getting and keeping clients is by far the greatest challenge massage therapists express about their practices. Seeing clients only once will not create a thriving, sustainable business. We have to bring them back often to make our livelihood stable and truly make a difference in their lives. I’ve written several posts about how to provide an exceptional client experience, but you deserve more than my perception alone. So I reached out to other massage therapists, educators and bloggers to get their take on it. Once again, their insights are spectacular!

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Elefteria Mantzorou, Flow Wellness & Training

There are two key words for providing exceptional services to clients: intention and experience. Once you have the intention to truly offer quality services, you are halfway there. Many therapists merely want to finish their work quickly and get paid. If you love being a therapist, this will be reflected in your touch and your manipulations.

Of course, experience is always important. As you gain more experience, you know how to make clients feel that they receive something really special. Also, your touch becomes more refined and you know how deeply you should press and how slowly you should move. Clients (especially those who have received many massages) understand this at once. Start from intention, and build it with experience!

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Cindy Iwlew, LMT, Co-founder Bodywork Buddy

I think it’s really important to follow the client’s lead as far as talking during their session. If they ask questions, keep your answers short. If they are silent, respect that and stay quiet. Let the client sink into their relaxation without any expectations that they need to chat through their session.

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Savanna Bell, LMT, My Massage World

The key to providing an amazing experience is to think about what your clients want. It may seem simple and obvious, but it’s often not taken as seriously as it needs to be. You need to design the entire experience into something that will wow them at every step. From the way you speak to them on the phone, to what extra amenities you offer, and the ways you say thank you – each stage of their experience with you needs to make them stop and think, “WOW, that’s amazing!”

The way to do that is to give them 100% of your attention in every moment and do everything you can to make them feel like the center of the universe. It’s not about what’s the easiest and cheapest for you. When you design a client experience strategy around what will make your client say, “WOW!”, they’re guaranteed to become a loyal client.

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Felicia Brown, Spalutions

One of my core philosophies to provide amazing client experiences is to target your ideal clients in all your promotions and marketing efforts. This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many professionals struggle to succeed when they did not apply this mindset.

Start by writing a list or description of the type of client you most enjoy working with, who you best serve, and who will fit your hours, location, pricing, and so on. Once you have a clear picture of your ideal client, reach out to those who fit the description in your current client list and ask for referrals of more clients like them, often their friends and family. If one of their key qualities somehow relates to work or personal activities, ask for their help in finding places where you can meet others with those qualities. For example, if your ideal client is a runner, ask them if they belong to running clubs or groups, work with a running coach, or participate in any specific running events or races where you can make similar connections.

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Jamie Johnston, The Massage Therapist Development Center

I honestly just think it’s all about building relationships, but as far as an exceptional experience…just try to make them feel better than when they came in. Make it so when people think of you or your clinic, it’s an emotional reaction that makes them want to be there.

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Tim Cooper, Wellness Business Breakthrough

Sometimes how to create an exceptional client experience isn’t obvious. When it comes to spa based services, the experience is generally centered on a welcoming, warm environment, peaceful music and soothing strokes.

I come from a remedial massage background where the setting is usually cold and clinical, and the treatments often have an element of discomfort. For many years I believed the client experience was dependent on a good outcome: Relieving people’s pain and helping them cope with injuries.

In the later part of my time in private practice, I came to realize that results only played a small part. We are in fact in the “relationship” business. Welcoming people, making them feel important, being empathetic and demonstrating that you truly understand what the client is going through has in my experience, created a wonderful client experience in my field of practice. After all, everyone wants to be understood and made to feel important.

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Rajam Roose, Grow Your Massage Business

Providing an exceptional client experience can help us stand out from our competitors and keep clients wanting to come back. One of the most powerful ways I found that helped me really stand out was focusing each session completely on the client. It’s harder work than you might think!

No matter what my day was like or how I was feeling, I put that aside to give the client my undivided attention. During our intake, I repeated their words back to them to make sure I understood what they were saying. In the massage session, I kept my attention focused on the client’s breathing, how their body was responding to my touch, how their tissues felt, and so on. It was almost meditative in a sense but enabled me to give each client an individual experience.

Additionally, I was consistent in how I greeted my clients and how I talked about the whole process: getting ready for the massage, moving around on the table, getting dressed, and checkout. People knew exactly what to expect which contributes to feeling safe. People can feel when you are paying attention and even more so during a massage session. Again, it is not as easy as it sounds but helped me keep a 90% re-booking rate with new clients.

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Cath Cox, cathcox.com

Do what clients ask you to. It’s disappointing to spend time and money on a massage that doesn’t address their primary concerns, and leaves them feeling confused, unheard and hopeless. Ask if their priority is a full body massage or more specific work, and then honor their response. Set realistic expectations and explain why you may not reach the desired outcome in just one session. Check in with open-ended questions to verify their needs are being met. As service providers, we are obligated to create an experience that our clients want, not what we think is best.

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Building a practice you love can only be accomplished with satisfied clients who not only choose to visit regularly, but refer others. When we strive to give nothing less than an exceptional client experience from the beginning to the end of each visit, this dynamic is inevitable. Thank you to the dedicated contributors to this post for describing so many different ways to do that!

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How do you give your clients an exceptional experience? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

Posted in Client Experience, Collaborations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Second Year Success Stories

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In this past year of writing the blog, my practice has risen to new levels. The cash flow and tax payment inconsistencies that have plagued me from the beginning are over! Most of my triumphs came from going against traditional wisdom and standard massage therapy business advice. What I’ve discovered is that when my intention is clear, the answers show up (usually from within). I’m sharing the stories that best represent how I’ve gotten past these obstacles so that my experience can ease the growing pains in your business.

Flexibility is the Best Policy

It had become obvious I needed to update my cancellation policy. I was conflicted about making it too rigid, not because I don’t value my time but because life happens and I wanted to accommodate that without being taken advantage of. The solution I came up with has virtually eliminated lost income from short-notice cancellations and strengthened my client relationships.

Getting Clients to Come Back Sooner

I had offered discounted packages as an incentive to visit frequently since January 2014. Most of my regular clients purchased them. Sadly, I just couldn’t get a handle on my cash flow using that system, and I was doubting my ability to make my practice work for me while meeting clients where they are. Switching to a pay-as-you-go membership has made me more money and eliminated my cash flow problems without sacrificing client satisfaction. Sweet!

Where Are Your Clients Coming From?

Knowing what marketing activities are actually bringing in clients is what makes a marketing plan effective. This simple process keeps me from wasting time and money on things that aren’t working. Since writing about it, I’ve added a template to streamline the process even further. This post is also the debut of the blogcast (for those who would rather listen than read). It’s a little passion project that I anticipate will be sweeping the blogging community any day now. 🙂

Achieving Estimated Tax Payment Mastery

So many truths about my business were reflected in my tax management (or lack thereof). This has been my greatest challenge by far since 2015 when my income from my practice really took off. Now, I have a system in place that will keep me caught up and worry-free going forward. There’s a tax prep checklist and email sequence bonus at the end to take your taxes from to-do to done!

How To Get and Keep More Clients

On the email sign up forms to subscribe to the blog and get the various resources offered within it, I ask what your biggest marketing/business challenge is. The overwhelmingly most popular answer is getting and keeping clients. No matter how much marketing we do outside of our treatment rooms, it’s what happens while clients are with us that builds our businesses.  In addition to the five strategies included here, you can get a free guide to turn more new clients into regulars that’s full of no-cost ideas to provide an exceptional client experience.

The road to get where I am has been a wonderful adventure. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m grateful that you’re sharing the journey with me and truly humbled by your support as I continue to grow a practice that I love!

Which post(s) from the last year have inspired you or brought you success? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

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I’m unveiling a whole new Booked and Busy in 90 Days™ program to better serve different kinds of business owners who want fill their practices faster!

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Posted in Boundaries, Business Practices, Client Experience, Marketing, Money, Pricing, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Get and Keep More Clients

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Getting and keeping clients isn’t rocket science. It’s really more of a social science because it’s like hosting a party (or several short parties per day). So what makes a party so exceptional that people will remember it, tell others about it, and want to attend again and again?

There are many elements that go into a memorable party. Since we (most likely) won’t provide food, cocktails, clowns or piñatas, I’ve chosen these five because no matter the occasion, they hit the mark. Integrating them into your practice routine will keep clients coming back and asking for your business card to pass along.

A personal invitation is your marketing message. It should speak to those clients you prefer working with and help most. This is your guest list. By being more specific on your website, within your professional network and at the events you attend to showcase your practice, you’re setting yourself up to retain more new clients. When we try appealing to everyone, we make it harder for those who are looking for us to find us (who would invite anyone and everyone to a party?). Describing the results they’ll get from your work tells them how you can solve their problem and improve their life.

Make them feel welcome and at ease with a smile and a handshake. Once they arrive, give them your full attention and offer them something to drink (just like you would if they came to your home). Clarify their expectations by giving them options and sharing your treatment plan. Ask if they have any questions before leaving the room while they get on the table.

Atmosphere matters. Keeping your massage environment clean and tidy gives a good impression (you’d clean your house before a party, right?). Your decor, lighting, music, room temperature and table comfort also influence your client’s perception. This doesn’t require spending tons of money. The best way to experience what your clients do is to ask a friend to trade in your space. Ask for their feedback about these items and notice them yourself while you receive. Then ask each client about them to accommodate individual preferences.

Stand out from the ordinary with thoughtful details (a great host makes sure everyone has a good time). Use their name when you check in about pressure or time spent on problem areas. Refer back to what they told you during the intake to give them a customized treatment that shows you listened and care about their input. Unless they request total silence, most people want to have a say in what they’re paying for. If the massage is going to run longer than the scheduled end time, let them know ten minutes before then so you can make adjustments should they need to be done on time.

Have you EVER been to a party where the host wanted you to leave (if so, I bet it’s a crazy story)? Not being rushed after their massage gives clients permission to savor the effects of our time together and shows our appreciation for them choosing us. If you find yourself getting anxious to finish up with one client so you can prepare for the next, or you’re consistently running behind, experiment with having more time in between (some or all) of your appointments. It’s much easier to rebook happy clients or give clear self-care instructions when you have plenty of time.

A friend of mine called the clients where we worked together “guests” (from her background in Las Vegas spas). When we treat our clients as a guest who we want to enjoy themselves, they feel special. Combine that with a tempting incentive to return (such as a discounted package or other loyalty program) and they’ll gladly become a regular client. Striving to create the best experience I can for every client, every time they visit keeps me celebrating the growth of the practice that I love!

What other elements do you use so clients feel special? What have you experienced during a massage that made you feel special? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

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Posted in Business Practices, Client Experience, Marketing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments