By Tessa Brooks
Sales… Retail… Bottom line… Say any of these words to a Massage Therapist and watched them cringe. Why? It is in our nature to care for people, to help heal and comfort them, not sell products. The question is how to get over that feeling of being creepy or bad for selling someone a product. You can do this by doing 3 things: believe in the product, be knowledgeable about the product, and know that the product will help the customer.
First, YOU must believe in what product you are talking about. If you don’t believe in the product then you will feel bad for trying to push it on someone when you don’t think it will actually work. This will come off as fake to the client and you will not only feel like you did something wrong, but you will also have no sale.
Second, know which products your client needs. You are the expert, do not try to sell them something they don’t need or will not use. Your client can feel like they are not equipped to use what you have sold them therefore they are less likely to rebook with you. It needs to fit their immediate and long term needs and lifestyles.
Third, and most importantly, know that what you are trying to sell to the client is for their benefit. If they see that you care enough to try to help them outside of their time with you, they will be more likely to rebook with you. Also, they will feel more invested in their time with you and it will become a great working partnership for you both.
So, you know WHAT to do, now HOW do you go about doing it?
Start by familiarizing yourself with all of the products you have available. Test them on yourself first to gauge their efficiency and ease of use. This will not only help you to talk about the product but you can then make it personal by relaying your own experience with it. You may even love it so much your purchase one for yourself!
Next, figure out what product(s) your client needs and might actually use based on their interview and your findings during the massage. The product should be compatible with what they do as a hobby and what they do for a living. Ease of use is a large factor also, when you show them the product show them how to use it. Placing it in their hands and guiding them means that they are statistically more likely to buy it.
Last, but not least, tell them the long term benefits of using this product over others. Tell them when would be their best chances and times to use it during their daily routines. The more options in their lives they have to use the product, the more they will think about how you have helped them.
Massaging is a way of helping people to be healthier and perform better all around. Keep this in mind and you should have no problems being able to sell your client a product and feel great about doing so, while helping your bottom line.
We’d love to hear from you. Please tell us your thought on massage therapists using retail to enlarge and supplement their practice OR make us laugh with a story of the worst retail experience of your life!
25 thoughts on “Benefiting Your Client Through Sales”
These are helpful steps and ideas. It does help to have faith in your own product, it’s hard to convince someone to buy something if you can’t even talk yourself into buying it. 🙂
Mhmm to some degrees I’m fine with retailing the products that are being sold at Clary Sage as a learning experience . But, after externship start hopefully I won’t have to market because it just isn’t my thing, though I understand the importance of it and as students we should all be initially exposed to it. But only for a brief period of time, just to educate us of the concept.
I dislike playing the role of a sales person. Even as a kid going door to door trying to sell candles to raise money for camp. I love people but trying to get them to buy something is just so weird for me (even now!)! But I’ll think about those steps though!
I just want to back Ross up and let you guys know that everything he says is true. Don’t look at it as “selling.” Look at it as helping your client. Don’t push something you don’t think that they will need or use. If you cut yourself off from selling products you are 1.cutting yourself off from making more money (and lots of it I might add) 2.you are giving up the opportunity to showcase your knowledge in your field and 3. cutting yourself off from being able to show your client how you can more fully benefit them. Not everyone is going to buy stuff and that’s fine. When you get into the mindset of this being something that they need, it won’t feel like selling, promise…..Did I mention the $$$$$$ How do you want to help your client? You could sell muscle creams, beneficial oils, or Epsom salt. The sky is the limit!!!!
I have been a sales person before i didn’t mind it at the time it was my job. I once sold a lady three of the same types of just by playing with the toys. But I am not sure if I am comfortable with it now or not I guess I will have to see.
These are some very insightful steps! I always thought i would get a little jittery when pushing a product towards someone. Especially if I don’t really know what it is I am selling. Great tips! I’ll keep them in mind. Thanks.
Tessa, I so appreciate your balanced approach to sales. I am passionate about the healing, preventative health aspects of massage therapy. Not at all passionate about the sales aspect. You made good points about only recommending a product which we believe would help them outside our therapy room, and your point about being familiar with the products ourselves is well-taken as well. I will try to reserve judgement about this aspect of our externships until I know more!
My thought as a MT supplanting my practice for sales. Is dumb! Why in the world would I become a LMT to sell lotion in a spa?
Thanks for your alternate point of view. Not everybody is comfortable with these ideas.
I am not a very good sales person. I barely do it where I work at. But I would like a little bit more help on it. I wouldn’t mind knowing how to sales products the right way.
When we were first told that we must do retail at Clary, I was a little iffy. What do I know about trying to sell people stuff? What do I know about the products to recommend to them for whatever they may need? I think I have a general idea now of what tools to encourage them to buy, whether it be a theracane, tennis ball, golf ball, foam roller, etc. After trying these out on myself, I feel more comfortable telling them how to use them and possibly showing them how to use it, if Clary has it there for them to buy. But, with that said, I like Heather McArter’s approach to retail. She doesn’t keep most of the products on hand, she directs them to where they can buy them. I would rather do that than have to keep the products in inventory and have to deal with all of that mess.
These are some very helpful tips. One of my biggest obstacles is my communication skills and I do think that this advice will help once I get out into the field. Not with only selling product but also selling my services.
These are great tips, especially for people that do not particularly enjoy retail. Like myself. I do not have a problem informing people of the benefits of any product, especially if I feel it is going to benefit them. So that helps. However, I do not want to be like those pushy sales people that disregard the client/customer’s best interest and is only interested in making a sale. Selling a product that you can stand behind is wonderful. Especially if it helps the client. But I don’t think retail should be pushed on the therapist if that is not what they are comfortable with, or if the therapist is pressured to meet a quota in sales. That just puts the therapist in the position to become pushy. I am going to try to implement some of these techniques when I give my massage at Clay today.
I know a lot of people dislike it, and I totally see why, but I actually love selling. I have a lot of background in retail that will hopefully help me help my client. As long as it will help them feel better, and I am not being forced to push products on them, I have no issue selling merchandise.
My theory is, if I like a product and i KNOW it is helpful and does what it claims to do, then I can sell it no problem. I love sharing new useful finds with friends and family, so selling them shouldn’t be too hard for me. If it is going to be beneficial to someone, why not?
I DON’T like selling this to people. i feel as my job is to help the client’s I realize that selling the product will help the client but I didn’t go to school and get Message Therapy training to sell something but my skills as an Therapist.
It makes me a little nervous when it comes to retail but i do believe that if it is a product that I believe in and use on a regular basis I think it is a lot easier to sell it to your clients.
Being proud and confident of a product is very important while making a sales pitch. It sounds simple enough, but what would you say to a customer who asks you “Do I need this? Will this make my life better or more enjoyable?” If the answer is maybe, then you just lost a sale.
Good information. It would good to know these products!
I finally get it!! I can’t stand selling.. but than I am already in sales I am selling myself and my services, The more I learn about this profession the more I see how advising someone of an item that can be beneficial is not really selling at all but overall making a difference and helping someone and that is what I am here for
Not to sure how I feel about selling, products. But if it must be done then I can do it. I used to work in sales up in Washington State. So I Know how to do it nut I don’t like the idea of wondering if the client thinks I am just selling them a product to make a sale or help them with the product.
ive done this before
I would like to sell the products just need to think positive about doing!
I defiantly agree with janell I do not enjoy being a sales person or encouraging people into buying a product of any kind from me. I much rather do my job as aaa sage therapist instead of help sell a product.
Well my job is a sales associate, and I like it it is pretty hard and not my personal favorite job but I really do recommend you know as much as you possibly could on the produce that you are trying to sell.