by Ira Bornstein

8 Steps to a Healthy Client Relationship, MASSAGE MagazineIn the business of massage, there are clients and customers—the difference being that a customer simply buys a product or a service, whereas a client truly seeks professional consultation from a massage therapist or bodywork expert.

Within the business, some have failed to capitalize on recognizing the true value of delivering esteem to clients through appropriate and consistent relationship-management best practices. Here are suggestions for how to treat clients each time they walk into your practice.

  1. Greet your client appropriately. Make eye contact, use an appropriate tone and thank them for their visit—it all goes a long way.
  2. Build a rapport. Get to know your clients. Ask about their home life, work life, etc. to identify where you may be able to provide additional advice in areas where you may have expertise, such as ergonomics, lighting or sleep patterns.
  3. Qualify the client. There are some clients who are either not right for you or you may not be right for them. Invest the time to find out if there’s a good synergy first.
  4. Present a solution. Before starting a massage session, tell the client what your intentions are. Then ask to move forward, and address any objections prior to starting the massage.
  5. Provide your service. This is what you do best!
  6. Accept payment. Payment solutions from point-of-sale systems (POS) and wireless solutions for remote processing are more affordable than they’ve ever been. Leverage the power of the Internet and smart-phone technology to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  7. Document results. This is important, since clients often come back and discuss prior visits and their results after the last service. Use client-management software to keep track of events.
  8. Follow up. By following up with clients, it shows you truly care and are invested in their well-being.

If you follow this process with every client visit, you will build secure and valuable relationships with your clients. After all, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” Create a consistent and superior client experience.

Ira Bornstein, chief operating office for American Bancard LLC, holds degrees in finance and management, including a master’s of business administration from the University of Miami. He holds expertise in business management and payment-automation systems, and is an investor in multiple small businesses. American Bancard is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and is a leading provider of electronic payment-processing equipment/POS and merchant processing services. It also offers working capital to small and mid-size businesses, gift and loyalty programs, EBT cards, and check guarantee and conversion programs. For more information about American Bancard, visit, and