If you have zero dollars to grow your business, don’t sweat it. There is one surefire way that you can bring in clients and get your business rolling: demo massages.
Demo Massage Your Way to the Top
Demo massage are done for free. Some say that if you give your massage away for free, you’re lowering the value of your service. But I promise you that you’ll never devalue your massage if you follow these 3 rules.
Rule #1: Not Free For Everybody
Only offer free demo massage to strategic business allies and their clients. A strategic business ally is someone who can refer clients to you, like a hospital, MD, chiropractor, PT, personal trainer, hotel, or retirement community.
Rule #2: It’s Free! (for 15 minutes)
Limit the length of the massage to 15 or 30 minutes. Typically, I’ll offer a business ally (e.g. chiropractor) a free 30 minute massage. And I’ll offer her patients 15 minute massages.
I give the extra time to the chiropractor because I want to demonstrate that I’m a good fit with her practice. For her patients, 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to find and treat pain/problem areas.
Rule #3: Limit the Time of the Offer
Offer free massages for 3 months (12 weeks). For the first 6 weeks, do demo massage once a week. For the next 6 weeks, do demo massages once every 2 weeks. At the end of 3 months, reevaluate and decide if periodic demo massages in the future are important to keep you connected to your business ally and her clients.
How to Pitch Demo Massages
Dr. Bernie Stern is a chiropractor and one of my business allies. I built a great business relationship with him through demo massages. One day I asked him how a massage therapist should pitch demo massages to a chiropractor.
He said it’s important to emphasize that demo massages add value to a chiropractor’s practice. Patients get a free massage and the chiropractor doesn’t have to pay for anything. He even has a special name for a demo massage day: Patient Appreciation Day. You can watch my interview with Dr. Stern here: How to Pitch Your Massage to a Chiropractor.
Here’s What You Need
If you’re really tight on money, just take the bare necessities to your demo massage: a table, face cradle covers (paper towels), whatever you use to clean your table and business cards. If you don’t have business cards, that’s okay. Have a sign-up sheet where a client can write his email address and/or cell phone number.
How you look, how you talk and how you use your hands are what’s going to sell you.
An Easy to Follow Demo Script
If you’re not good selling yourself—that can be a selling point. In other words, people appreciate not being sold. Here’s my non-selling sales approach.
- After the massage, I tell the person what I found (e.g., tight right levator scapulae) using an anatomy chart.
- Then I tell and show them what I did to address that area.
- I then make my recommendations (e.g., use a self-massage tool, like a tennis ball in a sock and lean against the wall to massage the levator scapulae attachment).
Nine out of ten times the client will ask for my card. If he doesn’t, I have the option to offer him one.
After the Demo
I always thank my business ally after I do demo massages. And I look for ways to reciprocate. If I think a client might benefit from my business ally’s service, I will refer her to my business ally. Sometimes I’ll introduce a business ally to my client base via an email blast. Other times I may run a free massage drawing for my business ally’s customers.
My goal is to establish a relationship that flows in both directions. I refer to her. She refers to me. And our mutual clients are happy.
If You Wait, It Only Gets Worse
The longer you wait to start demo massages, the longer you will be stuck in a job or situation you hate. If you’re still a little unsure about putting yourself out there with demo massages, check out Stalking Bernie (for referrals). In this post, I share my story about building my first practice.
Once you commit to demo massages, do a Google search for businesses that might be good allies. Call and set up your demo massages. Remember to:
- Offer the demo massages to the business ally and her customers only,
- Limit the length of the massage to 30 minutes for your business ally and 15 minutes for her customers,
- Limit the offer to 3 months, then reevaluate to see if you want to continue on a periodic basis.
That’s it. And once you get your first demo under your belt, the next one will be easier. If you need some help, I’m here. Just let me know what I can do by leaving a comment here or by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org). You’re on your way to bringing in more clients!