Massage industry leaders know that retail sales remains one of the greatest untapped potentials for profits. It’s time for the industry to focus on the power of retail sales success.
Retail can create a wealth of opportunity, from increased education for your team members and clients, to creating a stronger guest loyalty, to greater personal financial gain.
Sales Success Factors
Why don’t massage therapists take advantage of this untapped opportunity? In my experience, the reluctance to pursue sales success is usually due to one of three things that therapists tell themselves:
1. “I just want to focus on my clients.”
Therapists who fall into this category simply want to focus on the manual therapy they provide. They like to let their hands do the talking. They wonder how a retail product could be better than that.
Yet, the thing these therapists don’t understand is how retail sales can affect the client’s overall treatment plan.
True, the therapist may provide an excellent therapeutic service, but what about when that client goes home and his lower back starts to spasm? Or what about when the client can’t come in every two weeks and must go a month or longer without seeing his massage therapist?
With the right retail product, your client can have a hand in his own pain management. By recommending an item that he can use at home and in between sessions, it also has the ability to make your job just a little bit easier.
When clients use a product you educated them on, at home, it keeps their bodies and minds more relaxed, their muscle tissue less tense and their pain levels lower—and you can start to make more effective and efficient progress during sessions.
2. “I don’t like retail products.”
Massage therapists who tell themselves this don’t know what they’re missing. When a massage therapist tells me this, it’s usually because she has a lack of personal experience with products and sales success. This is understandable, because you can’t judge what you haven’t experienced. My advice is to get out there and try some therapeutic products.
If you have the ability to attend any massage conferences or conventions, do so. Most conferences have vendors who give demonstrations and samples of their products. If you are unable to attend, start making connections in your massage therapy community, reaching out to your peers to see what they are offering.
Get feedback on items they like and items they don’t, and why. Ask if you can try out any items you may be interested in; most therapists are more than willing to help their peers and industry evolve.
3. “Retail is too expensive, so my clients won’t buy it.”
The massage therapist with this mindset might be sensitive to his client’s pocketbook, but is ultimately doing his client a disservice. This is all about perception of value and customer self-placement.
You must always keep in mind that you are not the one potentially purchasing these products—your client is. It is our duty to our clients to do due diligence and recommend what we think is best for them. It is not our job to know how much money they have in the bank and make a financial decision without even consulting them.
Remember, you never know what someone might give up to be in less pain, or what she already has given up. The worst thing that will happen is that she will tell you “no,” and that is OK, because at least you did everything in your power to help with her overall treatment plan.
Sales Success Made Simple
Whether or not you tell yourself one, two or all three of the statements noted above, there are additional reasons why retail sales success is something you want to take advantage of:
Retail is an extension of the experience you provide.
Ask yourself, what are the areas of opportunity wherein an experience can have a multitude of therapeutic benefits for the client’s body? Your welcoming is pleasant; your room has the scent of your calming essential oils; and there is mind-escaping music in the background.
Imagine that during your service, all of your clients’ senses are being engaged, and the only thing that is running through their mind is the state of sleep and awake.
Then after that experience, they are recommended a product that can bring back a neurological memory of that exact experience. Think about the release of chemicals within the brain itself and the side effects it has on the body.
Your massage and professionalism with that client will go far beyond any 60-, 90- or 120-minute session. That retail item is an extension of their experience. It’s an extension of you.
You have valuable education worth spreading.
One of the greatest values of having a high-quality product line available is knowing that everything you are recommending to your client has therapeutic value. You have the opportunity to share with and educate your client on something that can help improve his health and sense of well-being.
And when you have a product line you truly believe in, you are excited to share it and you are passionate about the extra help you can offer to clients. You then start to take your practice and your therapy to the next level.
You can increase personal revenue.
One more reason to ride the retail wave is it allows you another source of revenue, without putting more strain on your body. Massage, as much as we love it, does take a toll, especially if we aren’t practicing proper body mechanics or implementing any form of self-care.
We can help compensate for that if we have an additional resource. Retail sales success made simple is the perfect way to go.
The more products purchased by your client, the fewer massages you will have to do in order to make that same amount of money. For example, say you pay yourself somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of the cost of the product you are recommending, and on average your products cost about $20 each. If you average about 25 sessions a week, you are looking at an additional $200 to $600 by the end of the month and an additional $2,400 to $7,200 at the end of the year, before paying taxes on your profit.
Retail is a wonderful option to add to any business, or to promote in any current business in which you may already be involved. Understanding why it is important to a massage therapist and how it can help both you and your client is key.
Once you have a clear understanding of retail sales success, you can take your practice to even greater heights.
About the Author
Nichole Velez, L.M.T., is training and development manager for Massage Heights Corporate.