Fill your appointment book! Rescheduling techniques that work
Let’s talk about rescheduling techniques. Even if you give the best massage in the world your business still will not grow if you’re not skilled at rescheduling your clients. This skill comes naturally to some people but for those of us that are shy or uncomfortable with any type of sales it takes some learning and practice to become really good at rebooking clients.
There are several ways that you can reschedule clients. Choose what is best for your comfort level, and do some experimenting with different techniques and just see what works best for your business.
The first thing that you want to be sure to do is to simply ask your client when they would like to come back, Not IF but WHEN. Also offer an explanation of why you would recommend that they come back to see you and a time/day or a choice of times/days.
For example: you might say, “ Mrs. Jones your neck and shoulders were quite tight and although we made some progress today loosening them up I would recommend that you come back in 1 to 2 weeks for a follow-up session. We can do a targeted session on your neck and shoulders or combine that with a full body massage. Is Thursday afternoon a good time for you?”
Using that kind of a rescheduling technique makes them feel more like it’s necessary for them to come back just like seeing any other health professional would be necessary. This is not a pushy technique at all; it’s very easy for them to say that they’d rather check their schedule or that they need to call back. I try to really encourage them to rebook at that time by being specific with them why they should come back. Offering them a few timeslots will greatly improve your rebooking rate.
Another technique that you can use is a self-care approach. When they come out of session ask how they feel and then mention some of the benefits of massage for helping with stress and for a good self-care. I would say something like “I know that your life is busy and that you’re under a lot of pressure but in order to take care of others, we have to take care of ourselves! I would recommend you come in every two to four weeks to experience the ongoing benefits of massage therapy.”
I think that sometimes people just really need someone to give them permission to take care of themselves.
What should we say when people say “I just can’t afford massage?” That is probably the number one objection to getting a regular massage. I would offer the following solutions: let them know about any discounts that you that you offer such as a discount for booking that day, discounted prepaid packages, make sure that they are signed up on your mailing list and your Facebook page, or maybe you have a membership program. Another option would be to recommend a shorter session that is targeted on their problem areas
For some clients it works better to come in twice a month just for a neck and back massage and that will actually give them more stress and pain relief then doing an hour full body once a month. Make sure that you’re really customizing for each client and offering solutions so that they can make massage therapy a regular part of their lives
I also mention gift certificates. I know a lot of people that would rather have a massage gift certificate than any other gift! Between Christmas, Birthday’s, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day they could probably have half of their massages paid for by somebody who loves them.
If you’re trying several different rebooking techniques and people are just not rescheduling you may want to trade massages with a few experienced therapists and ask for some feedback. There could be some issues things in the space that you’re working that’s making people uncomfortable. There could be some techniques that you can improve on. We can continually improve our listening skills to make sure we are really listening to clients and giving them what they want/need.
Occasionally what clients want and what we think will really help them are different things. What I would recommend in that situation is to do a combination of what they want and then explained to them the other muscle groups that may be causing their problem.
Let them know that you’ll need to work on where they feel the pain but also with the other muscle groups involved for the best results. Some clients just need to relax! Be mindful of that as well.
Rescheduling your clients is very important even if you do not own your own business. If you work at a franchise, spa, resort or contract somewhere and you depend on other people’s efforts to bring in clients you may experience slow times when you’re not making enough money and not busy enough. By rebooking effectively the slow times will not affect you because your schedule will be full of your regular clients!
I hope that these tips will help you to build your business. ~Gael~