As a massage therapist, you sell every day. What do you sell? You sell your time, expertise and ability to identify and respond to clients’ needs. If you don’t expand your sales into retail products, you will miss a valuable opportunity to better support clients while making more money.
“During the California Gold Rush, it wasn’t the people panning for gold who made the fortunes,” says massage-business expert Irene Diamond, R.T. “It was the smart retailers selling shovels, pans and blue jeans.
“When you choose to add retailing to your business model, you add a higher level of customer service as well as increase your bank account,” she said.
Here, Diamond and fellow business expert Cherie Sohnen-Moe give you 11 reasons to offer retail in your massage practice.
- Retail Sales Help Meet Clients’ Expectations
Product sales are a natural extension of the standard of care associated with massage therapy. Clients expect you to have more knowledge than they do about products and assume you will carry the best ones. They will trust your recommendations, especially for products used in the session.
2. Retail Sales Add Value to Sessions
You will increase the benefits your clients receive during massage by using appropriate products in the treatment, then offering those items for sale. Value is also added when you create packages in which you use specific products in a session and the client takes home those products.
- Retail Sales Solve Clients’ Problems
Stock a small selection of products that solve clients’ needs. By researching and choosing products and brands you feel are best for them, clients can buy from you with confidence—and when you make it easy for them to walk out your door with items they need, you simplify their lives.
If a client purchases an item at a store without your assistance, she is on her own. It is less confusing for you to show her when and how to use it. Personalized hand-holding is great customer service and builds client loyalty.
- Retail Sales Add Convenience
Clients appreciate the convenience of purchasing from you. You save them time when they don’t have to make a special trip, spend hours researching online, or wait for an item to be delivered.
Most clients would rather purchase directly from you, their trusted practitioner, than from an impersonal company. Plus, some are willing to pay a slight premium for the convenience.
- Retail Sales Increase Passive Revenue
Passive revenue is income generated from sources that are not dependent on your time. You may sell products as an add-on at the time of payment or as stand-alones, either in your physical location or online.
You’ve heard of making money while you sleep, right? This is how you do it. Offer your products for sale on your website to increase passive revenue and engage clients with your brand between sessions.
- Retail Sales Let You Offer Unique Products
As a massage therapist, you have access to many professional-grade products that aren’t available to the general public—they must be purchased by a practitioner and then sold to the client.
- Retail Sales Increase Booking Frequency
When clients use a product at home, it reminds them of the treatment they received—which may inspire them to book another session.
This is particularly effective when the product is used in the treatment, such as a topical, essential oil, hot/cold pack or even the music played.
- Retail Sales Cultivate New Clients
If you stock a branded product line, people can often find your business listing on the main website for that line, if the site has a where-to-buy search feature. This will expose your practice to potential new clients.
Speaking with people about a product can provide a natural segue into discussing massage services.
- Retail Sales Help You Better Understand Clients’ Needs
If you ask clients what products they would like you to carry, you gain a deeper understanding of their needs.
Some might want you to sell healthy snacks; others may prefer heat or ice packs, relaxing music or topical analgesics.
- Retail Sales Make You Stand Out
Carrying a unique selection of products—chosen with your dream clients in mind—sets you apart from the competition. When you offer clients a product they can’t get elsewhere, you become the go-to place to buy it.
- Retail Sales Extend the Benefits of Massage
When a client’s session ends, his needs do not. What could you sell that supports his wellness at home, in his car, at his office or while traveling?
Retailing products such as a sleep pillow or self-massage tool can provide him between-session benefits.
Attend a free MASSAGE Magazine webinar, “Retail Mastery for the Holidays and throughout the Year,” presented by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, on Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. EST.
About the Contributors
Irene Diamond, R.T., is the founder of Active Myofascial Therapy—The Diamond Method and creator of the Successful Massage Therapist online resource. Cherie Sohnen-Moe is a business coach, international workshop leader and author of several books, including Business Mastery, Present Yourself Powerfully and The Art of Teaching.