Massage & Bodywork

September | October 2014

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24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 4 best practices 10 Lessons Learned By Les Sweeney, NCTM, and Kristin Coverly, LMT LES'S TOP 5 1. Get Your Oil Changed Here's a question I've asked students at massage and bodywork programs since the late '90s: how often should you get the oil changed in your car? Nearly every student speaks up when I ask this question, and the overwhelming reply is, "3,000 miles!" And … that's probably not the right answer. If you drive a Honda, the manufacturers say you should change your oil every 7,500 miles (or 3,750 if you drive in extreme conditions, which apparently are defi ned as "Colorado," where we live). Volkswagen? They say 5,000. So why does Jiffy Lube tell you 3,000? Hey, wait—you don't think they're trying to drive sales, do you? In whose interest is it for you to change your oil every 3,000 miles? Well, your car probably won't mind, but eventually, your wallet will. In whose interest is it for you to tell your clients to get treatments 20 times a year? Everyone's! They benefi t because regular bodywork makes a difference; you benefi t because having a little Jiffy Lube mentality in you isn't all bad. And more bodywork doesn't contribute to climate change, either. BUSINESS SIDE 2. Show Them You Care Answer the phone, call customers back, and reply to requests promptly. This one just happened to me last fall, and was revisited recently. My wife and I needed to have our fence replaced to keep this guy out of our yard: … and this guy in: I called a fence contractor and left a voice mail. No response. After a week, I called back, because I was hoping to have something done before winter. I left another message, and this time the contractor's wife/offi ce manager called me back within an hour. We set up an appointment time. Day of appointment? No show. So much for that contractor. Fast-forward to this spring. Connect with another contractor. Leave message, get immediate follow-up. Set appointment. Day of appointment? Contractor is late, so I call him. He didn't write the time down, but he was very apologetic, and made a sincere, concerted effort to reschedule within 48 hours—and this time he made the appointment. He'll end up getting my business, even though he, like the fi rst contractor, failed the fi rst time. Why? Because he showed care and effort. I am not perfect, nor do I expect perfection. But I do expect care and effort. The rarest thing in business today is outstanding service. Deliver it, and you will stand out. 3. Ask the Right Questions One of my less enjoyable working experiences was at a clothing store in the Washington, D.C., area when I was 23. I was also working full time elsewhere, but I was a young pup low on the totem pole and wanted to pick up a few extra bucks to take my girlfriend (now the lovely Mrs. Sweeney) out to dinner on occasion. I didn't love the retail job (actually, I hated it), but a valuable service lesson was provided to me. My manager instructed me to never ask a customer a yes/no question. How do fi xing a fence, buying in bulk, and celebrating Grandparents' Day make you a better business owner? Les and Kristin each share fi ve lessons they've learned as consumers and employees that you can apply to your practice today. 24 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 4

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