If you missed Part 1 of this series, read it here.

As the year comes to a close, anticipation and excitement for what the future holds begin to build. At the same time, the frenzy and chaos around year-end activity — shopping, parties, family events and seasonal weather changes — can induce anxiety and elevate stress levels.

Massage is a perfect antidote for this harried time of year. Not only can therapeutic services provide stress relief, but some take-home products can also help reduce tension.

Whether you own a small massage practice or a larger spa business, there are several ways to use your sales skills to offer clients stress relief, according to Laura M. Cummins of Nine Dotz Consulting.

Pair Products and Services

For example, from December until January, folks in retail typically stand and deal with a lot of stress throughout their shifts, which creates total exhaustion from head to toe.

“A small practice could offer a holiday special on reflexology for local retailers,” Cummins said. “Practices could even recommend that business owners purchase gift cards for individual services that they can gift to employees that go above and beyond during this hectic time of year. It is a great incentive, plus creates a company culture that embraces self-care for its employees.”

Cummins pointed out that spas can cross-promote services with products “that will really wow customers and entice them to tell their family and friends about their spa escape — especially via platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc.”

Depending on geographic location, a spa could offer treatments that infuse seasonal or indigenous ingredients. “For example, a sugar and spice body scrub treatment makes a lovely prelude to a coconut milk massage with warm stones,” said Cummins. “Just be sure the retail area is stocked with these products so the customers can continue the spa experience at home.” 

Even though retail and sales skills are not always a priority for massage therapists, every practice should offer products that complement services for home use, said Cummins.

“Herbal soaks, medicinal balms, stretch bands and foam rollers are just some products to have in stock to help clients further expand and relax the muscles in between treatments,” she said. “Spas do focus on the therapeutic value of massage, but they are centered in an environment where they can include add-ons like a sauna, hydrotherapy, body scrubs and wraps, plus much more. Product-wise, there is a little more variety in the treatment room and the retail area for home care.” 

Partnering Perks

Cummins reported that partnering is a wonderful way to promote any business. “For example, a teashop could create a signature tea for a local spa or massage practice that could be served to guests. The tea company could bag the tea and have the spa sell it in their retail area,” she said. “The tea company could promote the spa in their retail space by stating how they custom-blended a tea for the business and have their brochures displayed.”

For any upcoming holiday or special occasion, massage practices and spas could cross-promote with another business by assembling different gift baskets that include product and gift cards, according to Cummins.

“For example, a gift basket filled with herbal teas that promote relaxation, a soothing bath soak and body balm, and a gift card for a 90-minute massage. What a great way to build community, brand awareness, and boost sales!”

Michelle Melo, manager at Hand & Stone of Lake Nona, Florida, pointed out that partnering with other local companies could provide benefits for both entities. “You both occupy the same community and share some of the same guests,” she said. “It’s nice to swap ideas. It helps both businesses.”

Theme Weeks

Melo drew upon her nine years of sales skills as a retail manager to initiate some successful marketing ideas at the spa. For starters, she suggested pairing a therapeutic service with one or more products. She indicated that this was a good way to extend the treatment and continue the benefits of the service.

Last year Melo created a theme for each of the weeks leading up to Christmas. The first week focused on light, so the spa offered soy-based candles at an extra 10% discount. “We paired this offer with Himalayan salt services and LED services,” she said.

The second week featured hydration; the spa provided coconut water to all guests and made water enhancers and moisturizers available for purchase, according to Melo.

Throughout the year, therapists are encouraged to escort clients to the spa’s “massage wall,” which contains a selection of products. Melo educates all therapists on the products and urges them to suggest to their clients items that complement a massage service. “I teach them how to pair services with the retail wall,” she said, noting that the spa creates attractive displays and holds fun contests all year long.

Year-Round Stress Relief

Cherie Sohnen-Moe, founder of Sohnen-Moe Associates, communication and ethics educators, pointed out that the winter holidays are not the only time of year when stress reaches a high point. “Graduation, Mother’s and Father’s Day, even tax time can produce different types of stress,” she said. Regardless of the occasion, a fun, personalized basket of goodies that complements a massage treatment could ease tension, she noted.  

When it comes to filling those baskets, Sohnen-Moe suggests a variety of anxiety-busting products including a topical analgesic, essential oil, stress ball, eye pillow, self-massage tool, CD of soothing music and a small book of inspirational or humorous quotes. Gift bundles in a range of prices and options offer something for all budgets and interests, she added.

And by all means, be sure to include massage gift cards.

Sohnen-Moe pointed out that massage businesses might consider promoting these gift items not only for those looking to relieve stress but also for those who would like to preventit. “Even if you’re not easily stressed, you need to do self-care,” she said.

Use Your Sales Skills

You and your clients already understand the stress-relieving benefits of massage; bundled products designed to “take you away” can help extend those benefits and keep clients coming back for more.

About the Author

Phyllis Hanlon has written nonfiction articles and book reviews as well as human interest stories, profiles and award-winning essays. Her specialty areas include health and medicine, religion, education and business. She regularly delights in the joys of massage.