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Keeping It Simple

By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

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Need a Massage? Call Your Competition for an Appointment

Who do you call when you need a massage? Many therapists schedule with someone they know from school, met at work or at a seminar. However, who do your clients call when they are in crisis, need a massage and you are on vacation, a conference, unexpectedly out of town for a funeral or caring for a family member, are unable to work due to injury or just so busy you have no appointments available? Do you have a backup plan? If you cannot provide the service, whom do they call? Where else could they go? What questions will be asked? What will they see, hear, feel and smell? What techniques does the therapist integrate? What products do they use? Does the therapist offer self-care recommendations? Are Wellness Packages for regular massage treatments available? How much is a session and are they a good value? Would you consider rescheduling and referring your clients? The answers to these and many more questions are easy to learn. There is much to be learned by placing yourself into the role of the consumer.

The process helps you appreciate what the public experiences when looking for a therapist. After receiving treatments from others, you can refer with confidence based on your own personal experience. Clients are grateful for your efforts of referring to ensure they always receive care. Do not fear that your family, friends, co-workers and clients will permanently leave if you refer them to another therapist. Both my dentist and doctor, over the years on rare occasions, have referred me to other practitioners when they were out of town and I have always returned. I have referred clients to other therapists and they have also returned.

It is human nature to be curious and when a new store, restaurant or massage therapy establishment opens, people want to go check it out. If you owned a hamburger or vegan restaurant and another one opened in your area, would it be reasonable to go visit the location, experience the service and taste the food? This self-care strategy will "keep your finger on the pulse" of the various services, techniques, modalities and rates throughout your community.

Do not be intimidated to call the competition. They are open for business, happy to see you and provide the service. Have fun and enjoy the process aach time you decide the type of therapy and call a mobile therapist or go to their clinic or spa. At the end of each session, you should write a list of everything you learned about the intake process, sheets, table, hot packs, table warmer, music, techniques, modalities, packages, retail merchandise, etc. Next, list the areas of your practice that could improve based on your findings. Then, follow through and take the actions necessary to implement the changes.

You have invested a lot of time, energy and money establishing your career. There are many factors influencing consumers looking for a massage therapist in addition to location, availability, technique, quality and price. Being a consumer and paying for the session is very enlightening. There is a big difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. Going to other therapists provides a unique perspective of the big and small things often overlooked but that are vitally important to the success of a practice. Stay informed, connected and on the cutting edge of your profession. Keep an open mind, be aware, observe, experience, learn and implement. Caring for yourself is a smart way to learn how to better care for your clients. If you are not available, pain will drive your clients to seek massage elsewhere, so be a helpful resource by guiding them to the right place. Referrals are an extension of your practice, so make each one count. Now is the time to call the competition and schedule a massage.


Editor's Note: Visit www.massagetoday.com to watch David Kent's video related to this article.

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