Massage therapists often have an inherent resistance to "selling" themselves. If you find yourself reading this article: Congratulations! And just so you know, you are not selling out. You are providing a communications platform so that those who need your services can actually find you. That is a service in itself.
There is a logical principle that if you solve a client's problem better than your competition, under the same conditions (price, availability etc.) and communicate this to your potential clients, success (however you define this for yourself) is unavoidable. This simple statement opens up a whole drawer of possibilities of refining your communications practice to attract more of what you want.
What many do not realize is that it is not the product or service that the client desires, but rather the feeling, emotion and sensation that ensues when their problem is solved or improved. This should be the result of using the product or experiencing the service. A client's problem is not finding a massage therapist. The client's problem is that they are not feeling the way they would like to. And you might have the solution to that problem.
Here are some examples so you get the gist:
Starbucks does not sell coffee, they sell a community meeting place.
Mercedes does not sell cars, they offer status symbols.
Gatorade quenches thirst.
What is your solution?
Anticipating client problems, associating them with a demographic profile and offering a solution is essential to being able to address them successfully and critical to attracting that client group.
Every demographic has there own common set of problems. Yes, everyone is different, but based on commonalities such as age, profession, location and other keys we find that certain groups have similar needs. We often can define groups based on age, income, mobility, education, employment status, and even location.
Some examples of the more obvious groups are :
Traveling business people
Some examples of the less obvious are:
People with fibromyalgia
Children with Down syndrome
What does this mean for your practice?
When you define your product or service, think about what you really provide. You may not always be able to directly call it by its name, but you should try to get as close to describing it as possible.
And then think about whom you can really relate too. Often this is based on your own life experiences during which you developed a deep understanding of a situation and are relaxed about it. It's important that you can relate without judgment to others experiencing the same situation and dealing with these people will not pose a difficult situation for you. The area where you can develop a deep rapport, is where you will likely be most successful.
The more accurately you can define your solution to an existing problem, the easier it is to communicate with your target market. Does that make sense? If you know that you are catering to senior citizens, it is easier to find out where the congregate, which publications they read and what other forms of communication they tend to prefer. It is also much easier to formulate the solution (s) you offer.
The question is always: How can I improve the client's experience in their current state by guiding them to a future state in which they have a better experience of themselves.
The next question is: How can I convey this information to them?
While there are many details that can be refined in this process it is important to return to the original thought of: "What problem am I solving here". I find that there are primary issues and secondary issues and sometimes even a third or fourth layer that offer opportunities to provide a unique service.
Let me provide an example.
Most likely the primary reason your client is showing up (for the first time) is that they have a PAIN in their … Probably one of the main reasons is that they have not spent the time to RELAX and by booking a massage they are giving themselves permission to do so. Maybe underneath all that is that they find themselves in a situation that will not allow them to take TIME AWAY from the circumstances and by visiting you they are doing so.
While the primary issue is often addressed by many: example: "relieve your pain with massage therapy", secondary and tertiary layers often go unmentioned.
For example: "Get immediate relief from your migraine headache, relax deeply and give yourself the time out you deserve".
Now, if your communication says (and this is a real example):
"[Name Removed] Massage Therapy is one of the more experienced massage practices in Los Angeles (located in North End, LA). I draw from 23 years of experience in healing work and massage therapy and a strong, intuitive, compassionate, and uniquely healing touch. I am versed in Swedish , Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, On-site Chair Massage, and Energy Healing. "
This statement not only requires the client to figure out on their own what the benefits are, but also leaves everything open to interpretation.
Would it not be better to say the following ?:
"If you are looking for someone who will really listen to you and knows how sensitive you are, can alleviate the little aches and pains with comforting touch and send you off feeling like a new person, your should call … for a free consultation . "