Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2011

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'round the table GO AHEAD, SPEAK UP DO YOU SELL GIFT CERTIFICATES? GIFT CARDS? regular massage more quickly, so they become regular clients very easily. JULIE WHEELER HARTLAND, MICHIGAN Yes, I do sell gift certifi cates. My business is home-based, and I'm fortunate enough to live on a busy road. I have fencing where I hang two 10-foot banners. During the holidays, I have banners that advertise "Gift Certifi cates Available" with the theme of the holiday. I also donate gift certifi cates to local events. I got one of my best clients from donating a gift certifi cate to a Fourth of July raffl e. I also donate to school functions and, in turn, the school purchases teacher appreciation certifi cates from my business. I am happy to say that after two years in business, I am still receiving new clients weekly—mostly from referrals! LISA JACKSON AUBURN, CALIFORNIA I have been in business for myself since May 2010, and I have made gift certifi cates available from the very beginning. I only sell them in person and have also given some away for raffl es in the community and for special events. I have found the best way for me to get more clients and returning clients is to offer a special of "buy two, get one free." People seem to book their massages close together and can see the benefi t of Our gift certifi cates are personalized. They are prepared to satisfy the needs and wishes of the person that will get them. We sell gift certifi cates in our massage salon and also through our website. This way our clients can give their family, friends, or business partners the possibility to try something new or just the possibility to afford a massage that maybe they normally couldn't. Then, it is on us to create a good service. Usually, these potential clients become regular clients. MARTINA BORŠTNAR LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA I have been successful in selling gift certifi cates to my current clients. I steer these clients to buy certifi cates as gifts for their friends and relatives, in order to share the wonderful benefi ts of massage therapy. My current clients already strongly believe in massage therapy, and they are in the best position to pass their positive referral comments of my service on to the gift recipients. I love having the certifi cates given to people who are massage newbies. When they come in, I more fully explain the positive research on massage and the importance of regular treatments. Many of these folks return as repeat clients, and one has told me, "Massage redefi nes what feeling good really is!" JAMES C. FINCH AMHERST, NEW HAMPSHIRE I am a massage therapist currently working in a chiropractor's offi ce. I sell gift certifi cates and I also sell chair massage punch cards in person, but not on my website. The gift certifi cates aren't really a big mover for me unless it's around a holiday, and I think that would probably be the general consensus among most massage therapists. I believe that, to a certain point, many people still think of massage as a special luxury that is only justifi able as a gift for the holidays and not an important piece of health and wellness. With the chair massage punch cards, my clients, or the chiropractor's patients, can buy a punch card for, say, 15 minutes, split into fi ve-minute increments, and then they don't have to worry about bringing cash or a check with them. The price isn't discounted, but it does add some convenience to the clients who typically have some bodywork done before or after their adjustment. Overall, with the gift certifi cates, I've noticed that you really have to sell it after the massage to get return clientele. I've always been of the mind that your work should speak for itself, and that's just not always the case. Sometimes you really do have to sell yourself to get that client to come back, which I can say I'm still working on myself. GARY MITCHELL FROM MASSAGEPROFESSIONALS.COM Upcoming Topics When we face fear, it dissolves. What is your number one fear as a massage therapist? Deadline: June 15 Publication Date: September/October 2011 What basic skill do you fi nd yourself needing an occasional refresher in (e.g., draping, new client intake, A&P)? Why? Deadline: August 15 Publication Date: November/December 2011 earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, www.abmp.com 27

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