Lots of massage therapists I know talk about the need for getting new clients into their business. They feel that they just aren't seeing enough new faces in their doors or bodies on their tables. Perhaps the advertising and marketing vehicles they are using to attract new business aren't very effective. Or maybe the business' current clients aren't sending enough referrals their way. But while both of these situations are quite likely and deserve some exploration, I think it is really vital to look at ways to engage and encourage more business from your current clientèle.
My definition of "current" clientèle is essentially anyone you have done business with ever. With any luck you have a client list, computer database, or even a three-ring notebook filled with contact data for everyone who has visited or spent money in your business. In the best case scenario you would have their name, birth date, mailing address, phone number, email address, and dates of all purchases ad visits. (Note: There are numerous Point of Sale of software systems out there that make tracking this information very easy AND even easier to pull back out as needed with the touch of a button. But what can you do to reach out to these folks and increase their visits, purchases or sales?
Here are a few ideas:
1) Ask every client to rebook every time they come in.
This may seem like a no brainer, but just the simple act of asking every single client to come back and schedule their next appointment while they are there can make a huge difference in your overall retention rate and revenues. If you are treating someone for a specific condition such as a strained muscle, you can increase the likelihood of the client making another appointment even more by suggesting a treatment plan for their injury. (If you need some more pointers getting clients to rebook, click here
to take my free e-course on the subject.)
2) Offer every client an upgrade on the amount of time or service they usually schedule.
If you want to increase your revenue without adding more clients, why not offer a longer session for a special price. "John , I know you usually book an hour massage but I wanted to let you know this month I am offering a 90 minute session for just $20 more than a sixty minute session. Would you be interested in booking that his time?" Try it...you'll be surprised how often it works.
3) Recommend helpful products to your clients
. If you sell any products that will be of help to your clients in solving the problems they see you for or meeting other needs they have expressed, don't be afraid to tell your clients about them. One of the most popular products I sell in my practice is a neck wrap. I personally keep one in the freezer at my house to use on my achy shoulders and tell new clients about it after their first session. I explain how I use it, and then put it on to show them how easy it is to use. I sell one to about 50% of my new clients after that first visit or down the road after a few sessions.
4) Ask clients for their referrals
. Even though you are asking for new clients by asking for referrals, your current clients are better than billboards or any other type of advertising for getting new people in the door. Your honest request for help to build your business - along with some type of small bonus or incentive like a small discount or service upgrade - will give people who like your work an incentive to help you grow your business. Be sure to acknowledge each referral and to thank people in whatever way you promised each and every time you get a new client from someone.
5) Remind your clients that you sell gift certificates both in your business and online.
Let them know that purchasing a gift certificate from you is a great way to give a hassle free gift for any occasion or to get someone they've referred with no success to finally come in. If you have an email list of clients, make sure they know about your online purchase option in every single email or newsletter. No need to hit them over the head with it...just add a tag line to your email signature that says "Visit our website for instant massage therapy gift certificates" with a line to your website just below it. Then be sure your website has a "Buy Gift Certificate Now" button or link on every page. (If you need to add this service or feature to your website, I personally recommend TheGiftCardCafe
The bottom line is to make use of the resources and contacts you already have to increase your revenue and business. With a little work and dedication toward increasing your sales to current clients, you may soon decide you have all the business you can handle!