To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “21st Century Workplace Seated Massage,” by David Palmer, in the October 2012 issue. Article summary: For the past three decades, chair massage has ebbed and flowed with the growth and recession cycles of the economy. The high-tech and biotech sectors, in particular, typically lead the upswing and provide fertile ground for workplace massage. These companies are often created, managed and staffed by a younger generation more interested in quality-of-life issues.

by David Palmer

Outfitted with education, experience and selling points for chair massage, how do you locate some likely business prospects?

1. Finding receptive companies can be as simple as reading the business section of the daily newspaper, or its online equivalent. Local business articles provide a wealth of information about new companies, growing companies and the changing circumstances of established companies. Make a list and call the CEO or human resources department of these companies to find out if they already have or are considering a program to support workplace wellness.

2. You can narrow your marketing even further by identifying companies who already have an interest in workplace wellness. Theresa Crisci shows up every time her chamber of commerce invites local companies to describe their wellness initiatives at a health care council meeting. Invariably, four out of five of the companies will never even mention stress reduction as part of their wellness strategy, but are eager to hear her talk about it when she approaches them at the end of each meeting.

3. Piggybacking on firms that specialize in providing corporate wellness programs or employee assistance programs can save you a lot of legwork. Even if they don’t offer seated massage as part of their package of services, you can often get your foot in the door of local companies by offering to be part of the increasingly popular lunch-and-learn programs where you can talk up the benefits of stress-reduction services.

4. The most targeted and cost-free marketing is word-of-mouth referrals. Yuki Takaishi, owner of Touch Wellness in San Francisco, California, found that former chair massage clients who had moved on to other companies would often encourage their new employers to incorporate chair massage services into the workplace. Friends, neighbors and religious or social club contacts can also help you advocate for wellness in their workplaces.

David Palmer developed the first professional massage chair in 1986 and has trained more than 12,000 practitioners in seated massage techniques and marketing. Palmer can contacted for seminars and speaking engagements through his website, www.touchpro.com.

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