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Sometimes selling massage therapy can be a challenge, but most of the time it is relatively easy. Just about anyone who has gotten a good massage knows just how wonderful it makes them feel whether or not they understand about the health benefits. Most massage therapists would never even think of trying to be aggressive or confrontational about getting someone to schedule a massage.
Most of the time you, as a massage therapist, are not even thinking of your services as something you sell. However, whether you are offering a product or rendering a service in exchange for money – it is considered selling.
If, in addition to offering massage therapy, you decide to expand your practice in to the area of retail, you will need to add the role of product supplier and seller to that of service provider. The good thing is that both your services as a massage therapist and the products you choose to sell will require a light touch technique to be effective.
The first thing in making sales easy is to choose the right products. You offer massage therapy, a service with health benefits, and your products should be compatible with what you do. You wouldn’t choose to sell cigarettes or sugary drinks. You may opt for essential oils, beeswax candles, relaxing music or meditation CDs, eye pillows, natural soaps or books on health and well-being.
You want to bring in products that you believe in, that you know about or can easily learn about. Ideally the products should be ones that you use in your practice. The client who loves the music you are playing during a session can then buy a copy of the CD to take home. Playing it at home will remind him or her of the lovely massage received in your office and hopefully inspire the client to make another appointment!
You can offer samples of the soaps you carry. As well as displaying them with other products for sale, another idea is to place them in the bathroom for clients to see. They may ask you about them, so make sure you are familiar with the ingredients and the qualities of the soap.
The Soft Sell Technique
Have you ever gone into a showroom, maybe for cars or timeshares? Have you been allowed to roam, quietly reading brochures, looking at photos or models of products? Or, has there been a pushy salesperson with a quick-talking style and an urgent manner telling you that this model is going fast and the price is going up tomorrow? Most of those hard-sell techniques have lost favor with the public. Little by little a softer approach is being used, in large part, because it works. Customers are put off by a salesperson who tries too hard, is overly aggressive or abrasive in manner. On the other hand if a seller allows the customer to make an informed choice by presenting information, options and excellent quality products – then the merchandise almost sells itself. Of course it helps if the seller is enthusiastic about the product and knowledgeable enough about it to answer any client questions. As a massage therapist, clients trust you and they will take your recommendations seriously. They will also see through any insincere endorsements. At the very least their trust in you will be shaken if they purchase something based on what you say and then find out it does not meet their expectations – or your promises.
Using a soft sell approach to retail is the easiest way to sell products in your practice. By carrying products you believe in and use yourself, you can share the knowledge with your clients and provide them with healthy, useful and affordable items that will keep them coming back again and again.
The most often heard statement made by a massage therapist when it comes to sales may be, “But, I’m not a salesperson!” Don’t think of it as selling when offering products in your practice. What you are doing is sharing your expertise and your experience with your clients about the items. You are enabling them to bring a bit of your healing energy home and extend the massage experience. By having relevant products available at your office you are actually providing better service for your clients!
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