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A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 23 Write a Letter If you think phone calls are retro, how about going back to 1860 and the Pony Express? One way would be for you to buy a horse and deliver a letter yourself; interesting, but overall probably not terribly efficient. Horses eat a lot, and after they eat … but what about sending a handwritten thank-you card or invitation to book? I recently got a handwritten thank-you card from a company I ordered swim trunks from! The card is still on my desk, because, it's awesome, and makes me like the company even more. Be Like McDonald's Bet you weren't expecting that one, huh? I don't mean give out Happy Meals, or create a hamburger that looks like you sat on it. I mean, offer some gimmick that gets people to come back. How many times in our adult lives has McDonald's offered that Monopoly game? Why? Because people love Monopoly and burgers that look like you sat on them. You, instead, can come up with a scavenger hunt game, or some type of "collect all 7" promotion, and deliver awesome massage instead of chicken nuggets. Use Technology First, a comment, which some of you may not like: if you are not using scheduling software, or your free ABMP website, or a smartphone to help manage your practice, please stop reading this, roll up the magazine, and swat yourself with it. Why are you reading this article about helping your business when you have these tools sitting right in front of you? Why? OK, where were we—well, we already talked about texting, but what about social media? Are you on Twitter? It's a good way to pick up savvy clients—take a more unconventional stance and become the "personality" on Twitter that shares goofy videos, funny stuff, opinions, and also shoot out tips, self-help info, and session offers. Get your clients' Twitter handles and follow them, and ask them to follow you back. Facebook is a more obvious target (which we've discussed before)—try Twitter as an additional strategy. Another idea could be to hire a receptionist service—make your bones on the phone. Make sure there's a live person who can book sessions on your behalf. WAYS TO DELIVER THE GOODS Just a reminder, dear reader—this is the "half-baked ideas" edition. Not all of these may work (maybe none of them will, who knows). Give Free Time My favorite massage therapist occasionally offers extra time, and while in many cases it is not taken advantage of, it fosters loyalty. At the beginning of a session, ask, "What's your schedule? I was thinking I'd like to add another 20 minutes today, if you're able to stay a bit longer." Add Something Another one of my favorite massage therapists brings me a bottle of water for each session. That's a nice touch. Change It Up If you have the ability to do this, ask your client if they would prefer you come to their home or office for this session. Not something you'd want to do regularly, but they may enjoy it, and again, it's another level of service. Buy the Massage If you're feeling particularly generous, tell your client, "This one's on me." Or give them a free session coupon to give to someone else—it might gain you another client. Some of these ideas are close to fully baked (perhaps just a bit "al dente"), while others might need to go directly to the garbage—it's up to you to decide what to do with them. My intent is to challenge your assumptions and standard line of thinking. A favorite line around here has become, "Inertia is the strongest force in the universe." Who said it? I did! The worst thing we can do in life—whether in your practice, relationships, diet, you name it—is to get in a rut. Don't be afraid to be creative and recognize that not all ideas will work. But you gotta go for it! See you around. Les Sweeney, BCTMB, is ABMP's president. Contact him at and read his occasional blog posts on BUSINESS SIDE

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