How to Make Your Services Needed [VIDEO]

A massage therapist who focuses her work on the relaxation benefits of massage wrote in to ask, “How do I make myself necessary and needed?”

It’s a great question because sometimes relaxation gets filed away in people’s minds as “nice, but not necessary.” In this video, I’ll explain 3 steps to bridge your client’s mind-body connection so they can identify just how much they need you.

Prefer to read instead of watch a video? Here's the transcript:

Jaya Savannah here, strategy coach for holistic businesses. I got a reader-submitted question from Nakia Campbell. She’s a licensed massage therapist in Tullahoma, Tennessee and Nakia wants to know, how do I make myself needed and necessary in massage? I want to focus on relaxation, not clinical massage for my niche.

That’s a great question, and I’m going to give you the answer in today’s video. First, let me preface my answer by giving you three qualifiers that any potential client must meet in order to be considered a long term client prospect for you.

Number one: Someone must want what it is that you do. Obviously, if someone doesn’t want massage therapy or it doesn’t want your particular style of services, then it’s not going to go anywhere.

The second qualifier that someone must meet is that they need what you do. They’ve got to not just want it but need it enough that they really want to make sure that they have you in their life, and that’s kind of the core of your question.

The third qualifier that someone must meet is that they can afford what you do. Obviously, if they really truly can’t afford it, or don’t want to afford it because they don’t feel that they need it or want it enough, then they’re not going to be a long term candidate.

You want to try to find those people that want, need, and can afford what you do.

Now, for any potential client to get in a groove with you and start to become a long term client, you’ve got to be able to help them tap into that need so that they keep coming back, and I’ve got a 3-step process that’s going to help you do that with every client that comes through your door. This is not just for massage therapy. This is true for any wellness-based business.

The key to making these steps work is you’re going to find ways to bridge the mind and body connection of your client, and have that be communicated to you so you can get to know them better and become an advocate for their self-care.

Step 1: Tune in

The first step is to tune in, and this happens at the very first client appointment. Beyond asking them basic background questions such as do they have injuries, or if there is anything, in particular, bothering them today, I want you to ask questions that open up the mind-body connection and help them become aware of their tension.

I’m going to focus on tension here because for relaxation-based massage, that’s really key and I don’t just mean body tension, but I mean their emotional triggers and emotional tension, too, because that is where your work is very powerful.

On the body level ask them questions like: “Are you aware of any tension patterns where you might hold tension in your body?” Let them think for a moment and connect and they’ll tell you: “Yeah, I hold it in my shoulders or my quads or my back.” Let them connect that for you. Some clients may be so locked up they don’t even know, but you asking that question will get them to connect for a moment and think about the connection of where they hold that tension in their body.

Now, it’s also important to open up the emotional connection between you and your client and your client and themselves. You should also be asking a question that is more emotional in nature, something along the lines of: “Is there anything in your life that causes your tension to get worse?” Ask them to kind of flip through the Rolodex in their mind about what triggers their tension.

It’s often the case that someone will say, “Oh, yeah. Whenever I have a bad day at work, I just feel it right in my neck,” or they’ll have a certain situation that triggers them. You want to find out what their triggers are and hold that space for them to communicate that with you. In fact, sometimes, you might be the only person they tell these things to. It’s a very important bridge between you and your client, as they’re starting to understand what their tension is and to trust you to hold that space. So, tuning in: that’s step 1.

Step 2: Turn on

The second step comes at the end of that first session. This is where you’re going to explain to them what you discovered as you were working on their body. I call this the “turning on.” So, you tuned in in step one. Now, you’re going to turn them on to what’s happening in their body. After you’ve worked on their body, you will have noticed where their tension patterns are. It may or may not even be the same as what they identified. Quite often you’ll find that as a practitioner (as well as for us consultants and coaches) that someone will come in with what’s called a “presenting problem” but once you dig in a little bit you see there’s actually something else underneath it.

If you have something that you’ve discovered in your work by looking at their body, share that with them. You will teach them so, so much about their body. Explain to them things like: “Yes, I saw the shoulder pain you were talking about, but I also noticed that your right hip is tense, and that I think is helping to pull on your shoulders and make it worse.” Those kind of things — those inner connections – is how you can teach your clients. When you turn them on to that information, you are going to be switching on the light bulbs of how their tension works. After helping them self-identify the problems, they’re going to see you as a need, because you’re teaching them something they didn’t know about themselves.

Now, the other part of turning them on is that you want to make a good recommended treatment schedule for their next appointment. You’re going to take what you learned about their body, and you’re going to make a recommended time for them to come back. That might not be the standard 30 days or 6 weeks (or whatever you feel is an average for someone in good shape.) It might be that they need to come in about three days from now. Maybe they should come once a week for a month. Whatever it is, don’t be shy about making the best recommended treatment protocol you can to help them get over their tension and get into a healthier state. If they can’t afford to come that much, they’ll tell you, but I want you to make the best recommended protocol you can to help get that tension down and get their body feeling amazing.

Step 3: Tune up

Step 3 is when you give them a tune-up at their next session. When they come back in for their next appointment, the tune-up part is basically a lot like the step 1, but you’re following up on what happened in between that last appointment. Ask them: “So how’s your tension now?” Follow up on the same questions you asked in the beginning. “How’s your tension now?” Find out when they got triggered. “How many weeks after your appointment did you start to feel the tension again?” Maybe it’s not even how many weeks, but sooner. Maybe for some, their tension came back the next day.

You need to find out what their tension pattern is. You’re keeping that conversation going. That whole process teaches them. It helps them identify their needs, and it will help them stay on the treatment program with you so that they can get those needs met on a regular basis.

I hope that helps. If you have any more questions, you or anybody else watching, please leave a comment below, and I will get back to you. If you would like to have your question answered in the future video, there’s a form to ask me a question on the blog page right next to this video, and you can submit your question to me, and I will see you on the next video.

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About the Author

Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.