When was the last time you handed out your business card and said something like, “here is my card, give me a call if you want a massage.” How well did that work for you? I am betting not very well at all. In all likelihood, the person who received your card will pull it out of their purse or pocket and circle file it. It is nothing personal against you. They just do not see the value in the service at this time.
A different scenario: during the course of a conversation, a person mentions to you that they would like to get a massage. Then, is it okay to hand them your business card and tell them to call you? Well, maybe you might get a slightly better result, but then again, maybe not. When you hand out your business card and say “call me”, you have placed yourself in a position of sitting around and hoping that new business comes to you. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but it is now entirely out of your hands. If you are really busy or apathetic about working with someone, then perhaps this is the approach. If you are trying to create more business, keep reading.
Now, what if during the course of a conversation someone mentions that they are feeling stressed (who isn’t?) or has an issue with a painful area of their body. This is your cue to provide a little more information to them, perhaps offer information about a stretch or a posture re-alignment or describe a client who had a similar situation and how you had success with them. The person you are talking to should now be interested in what you have to offer, specifically, a solution to their stated problem. They will likely even ask for your business card. You will get the best time result from handing out your card when it has been asked for. In fact, some business gurus will tell you to only hand out your card when it is asked for. You now have a qualified prospective new client. They both have a need and an expressed desire to receive your services. They might even give you a call and book an appointment.
Now, let’s take this one more level. As massage therapists we often like to think of ourselves as healers, wellness practitioners, even artists. We should also be thinking like professionals trying to create new business. If, during your conversation qualifying someone as a potential new client you decide that this is someone who you can help and you would like to work with, then ask for their card or contact information. Offer to send them a link to an article, an invitation to an event that you are involved with, you might even give them a call to see how the suggestion you offered worked for them. Make sure you follow through. In some way add value to their lives and let them know you remember them, you care and you are willing and able to help them find the solution that they are looking for. Start to play a “social game.” It might take several contacts from you in order to book an appointment but once booked, you are in an excellent position to offer a package of services or otherwise create a long term relationship with a new client.