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Hi Everyone,

 

I've taken some time off from holistic work and massage therapy and finally have an space to practice again, which i am so excited about.  I have to start building my clientele from scratch again and want to make a good impression on new clients. Other than with the quality of your work what other types of things do you do for your clients to make yourself stand out? Do you great them with tea, or give them a treat when they leave etc?

 

I'm in an office space but want to convey a more tranquil environment any suggestions for "must dos or have's"?

 

I really appreciate any and all feedback, and suggestions. Thank you.

 

Teresa Avelar

Between Heaven & Earth Body Therapy

Relaxation for the Body & Mind

 

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Teresa, this website is an excellent resource for marketing your business - http://www.spaboom.com/ .

 

Also, one thing I wanted to bring up since you mentioned the office space is the "drop ceiling". Since our clients see so much of the ceiling (and the floor, I suppose), making it tranquil is vital! I rent a room in a salon and the owner found some bamboo and hung about 4-5 pieces from the ceiling (each piece is about the width of the room and hangs running perpendicular to the table). She then found a very neutral piece of fabric - like a really long sheet or something, and draped it from each piece of bamboo to the next so it drapes between pieces - it makes a HUGE difference in the room and I get soooooooo many compliments on it! She even took pieces of bamboo, cut it in half (long ways) and covered the window that's in there...such a cheap and easy way to create an incredible ambiance!

A great way to create tranquility and relaxation during the massage is to match your massage strokes to the rhythm of the music you are playing. That is one of my "secret" tricks to knock folks out! However I also use a drop cloth ceiling, neutral colors and other ways to create a tranquil environment. If you would like photos of my office, I can send them to you, just pm for the info.

 

Besides ambiance, there's other personal touches such as being consistent in how you greet the client. You should be about the exact same every time, that way there are no surprises. Even if you're having a bad day, or hurting, the client shouldn't know about that as it will make them feel uncomfortable. Also, make the client feel like your attention is completely centered on them and their needs. The room shouldn't be cool because YOU'RE hot, but b/c the CLIENT is hot!

 

There's a lot of little things you can do personally without making to many changes to your room, if that's not economically feasible and most of that consists in how you communicate with your client from the time they set their appointment to the time they leave their session.

 

 

Buckwheat neck warmers, ultra thick padding on all our tables, sinus massage at the end of the session, a couple of hot stones on the traps, thick robes for people to wear to the bathroom, water offered to everyone when they come in and before they leave, a bowl of hard candy and flowers in the lobby, unique ambiance in all the treatment rooms. And EXCELLENT customer service.

You are getting very good suggestions for the aesthetics of your room.   Reading a little between the lines of your question I think your main concern is building and retaining clientele.  I have been a massage therapist for almost 15 years.  Many people have told me reasons why they changed therapists and very few quit because of the aesthetics of the room or office.   They talk about too much or too little pressure, talking too much during the massage, not communicating what to expect during the massage, starting late, quitting early, promoting modalities they are not proficient with, hearing office phone/noise during massage and just not giving a good massage.   Don't lose sight of the need for good communication with your clients, listening and following their preferences and giving your very best to each person.  Then ask for their to help you build your practice.   One of the best ways to get immediate referrals is this.    When you finish and are being paid your client usually tells you how great they feel and commend you for your techniques.   Immediately thank them and tell them that you could really use their help to build your practice so you can always be there when they need you.  Give them five business cards (no more and no less) and ask them to give them all away by this time tomorrow and (the clincher) tell the person as you give them my card why you enjoyed coming to see me for massage.    If they really enjoyed your massage, you will be getting calls and building your client base.   Take care and enjoy the best way to make a living.      www.siouxfallsmassage.net

Great post Donald, thanks for the tips.

Remember it is about you and your hands. Be both professional and warm. Hands well manicured & soft. For us guys we need to learn that as it isn't part of our usual routine. For the women it is also different from the usual since the silk nails must go. Guys if you have hairy knuckles or backs of the hands - wax them. Yes the room must be comfortable, the table not too hard, but you must be a welcomed touch.

 

Personally, I don't use music, the rhythm is in the body, the dance is in the  touch of my hands. I go deep when needed but balance with soothing touch. Never lose sight of the fact that you can do massage any place, any time, in any position.  all that is always necessary is your hands, and a receiver with connection.

I'd love to see pictures, since I share the space I have to make sure any changes are approved but that sounds like an easy inexpensive way to change the look. Thanks!

Teresa

Rajam K Roose said:

A great way to create tranquility and relaxation during the massage is to match your massage strokes to the rhythm of the music you are playing. That is one of my "secret" tricks to knock folks out! However I also use a drop cloth ceiling, neutral colors and other ways to create a tranquil environment. If you would like photos of my office, I can send them to you, just pm for the info.

 

Besides ambiance, there's other personal touches such as being consistent in how you greet the client. You should be about the exact same every time, that way there are no surprises. Even if you're having a bad day, or hurting, the client shouldn't know about that as it will make them feel uncomfortable. Also, make the client feel like your attention is completely centered on them and their needs. The room shouldn't be cool because YOU'RE hot, but b/c the CLIENT is hot!

 

There's a lot of little things you can do personally without making to many changes to your room, if that's not economically feasible and most of that consists in how you communicate with your client from the time they set their appointment to the time they leave their session.

 

 

Teresa, I'm going to get you some up to date photos today and will send them to you this evening.
I find having plants and a wonderful scent in the room is a great way to add tranquility.

Okay, I left my camera at the office, so I'll try again for this evening. Sorry about that!

 

 

Here's how we put up the ceiling cover which was absolutely necessary due to the skylight and the black paper tacked to the ceiling. Fortunately, it's a high ceiling that angles downward. We wanted to use dowels, but for the length we needed would have been around $200/per dowel! Rope was much cheaper!

 

 

This is the therapy portion of the office. My husband built the screen as a separator. Here I have closed the screen for the photo.

 

 

Here is the other side facing the front door of the office.

 

 

This photo was taken with my back to the screen. The large chair is a zero gravity chair I use for Reflexology. However, I'm bringing that chair home b/c it takes up too much space & I only do Reflexology about three times a week, not worth the space. I will be re-arranging the furniture a little and adding 2 smaller chairs for a better flow.

 

 

 

The other side of the far end of the room. That window leads to the street and I made an acoustical soundproof foam plug for the window so you barely hear any traffic. The ceiling drape looks a little crooked b/c there was a leak in the roof of the office building a few months ago & I haven't re-adjusted the material yet.

 

 

This photo was taken in the front portion of the office with my back to the front office door. The dresser holds all my linens.

 

 

Here is the front portion of the office. To the left is another large glass door that covers about 1/2 of the wall on that side of the office. I hung sound dampening curtains with regular floor length curtains over those and that has really helped cut the sound of footsteps on hardwood floors. My husband made the fountain--very easy, if you want to know I'll share with you. The total office space is about 192 sq ft. and using light colors helps make it look bigger.

 

 

Forgot to add, the screen is 8' tall.

All good ideas above for everyone to incorporate!

But Teresa, since you asked for a way to help you 'stand out' I suggest you come up with, or pick a 'signature' piece. Recognize, though, some clients might NOT like your 'piece', but those who do -- will love it, and will talk about it to other friends and family!

A signature piece can be anything unique and different that reflects you and your message. It is a way to 'brand' yourself, so should be consistent with what you and your practice represents.

Here are 3 examples (I took from an article I wrote) from therapists who I've coached on how to stand out from the others:

1. Incorporate Tibetan bells at the start & end of each session,

2. Provide a hot chocolate chip cookie to the client on their way out. (this signature wouldn't be consistent with my message of being a nutritionist:)

3. Provide a moist hot towel after each session so the client can wipe off lotion and freshen up.

You can read about 5 more ways to be unique, in the rest of this article)

http://www.successfulmassagetherapist.org/members/Talk_About.cfm

(the article is for members only, but you can sign up as a Bronze Member which is free to do, just like you need to be a member on this site.)

Hope you see how a little creativity can go a long way, when you combine it with the other good ideas the other therapists are giving you here.

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