Hopefully you’ve powered through the questions you need to answer before starting a monthly membership. If not, do yourself a favor and give it a read. If you’ve got a firm handle on how you will tackle those frequent questions regarding your membership terms and cancelation policies, it’s time to start enrolling members.
This is the easy part!
Some of you reading this will disagree with me. You’ve probably tried for a few months or maybe a few years to sell your membership and have gained nothing more than a few takers. You’ll tell me it’s not that easy to sell a membership, and I’ll ask you why high school students who know nothing about massage and facials are able to sell 12 month contracts to a place you swear isn’t worth the $49 it boasts.
The reason independent owners struggle to enroll members is because many are not good at sales. We are great at our trade. We know the ends and outs of our profession and could explain all the benefits to a client without ever breaking stride. But when it comes to sales and closing we miss the mark. Here’s what successful business owners know that independent owners can’t seem to accept.
CLIENTS DON’T CARE ABOUT GENERIC MASSAGE BENEFITS. THEY CARE ABOUT WHETHER YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR SPECIFIC PROBLEM AND CAN FIX IT.
We are now in a time where if someone wants to know the general benefits of massage, they will do a quick web search and have an answer in less than 15 seconds. What clients want to find online is that independent Nancy LMT specializes in treating clients who have chronic neck pain and migraines. She pairs advanced techniques with years of experience to improve range of motion, decrease pain and leave clients feeling the effects for weeks at a time. When that client tries out independent Nancy, they agree!
Now what? Nancy knows this client needs frequent massage to improve their quality of life. That client thinks they’re healed after one session. It’s up to independent Nancy to push this membership that is mutually beneficial. Client continues a scheduled regimen. Nancy receives stable cash flow. Win Win!
But when that client checks out Nancy doesn’t know what to say. She says “How are you feeling? Here’s what I felt. Would you like to reschedule.” Client says “I feel great. That sounds interesting. Let me check my schedule.” Nancy loses out. Client is in pain after two weeks and feels like the massage wasn’t beneficial.
Here’s how that conversation SHOULD go.
Nancy SHOULD say. “How are you feeling? Here’s what I felt… Sporadic massage will only provide temporary relief. Considering your history of pain and migraines, we need to get you on a routine to start managing this problem. I have an opening in two (3,4) weeks. Does this same time work for you?”
Client, “Yes I feel great! I haven’t been able to turn my head for a few days. I usually take medicine for the migraines. Yes this time works fine for me.”
Independent Nancy, “Great! Since you’re scheduled for your next massage, you may want to consider our membership. Here are the benefits of our membership. Let’s get you signed up today so you can receive the membership pricing on all your future appointments. If you don’t sign up today, we’ll honor the membership price for you if you decide to enroll in two weeks.”
Now many of you may disagree with me about how you should proceed with YOUR membership.
Here is my question to those who feel clients should not be sold on a membership. What is your reason for implementing a membership within your business model? Is it to generate steady cash flow or is to provide simple “convenience” for your clients?
If your answer is convenience then this article is not meant for you. However, many businesses choose to include a membership into their business plan because they understand that cash flow is the lifeblood of a company. Ultimately the choice between a passive or aggressive sales approach is up to the owner. Regardless of the choice, it only benefits the owner to outline the selling process.
By outlining the selling process, both the owner and staff understand how the customer should be treated when it comes to enrolling them in the membership.
This doesn’t mean treat each client who walks through the door like a sales unit. Nothing irks my soul more than a business that treats clients like a unit or counts them as transactions. The unfortunate reality is that when considering membership, service alone will not determine the success. Your membership MUST be sold. If not by you then whom?
Kamillya Hunter is the owner and founder of Spa Analytics. She encourages independent owners to focus on The Details That Matter when running a business. She’s a mom of two, an army wife, author and a self diagnosed “Spa Junkie” who lives, eats, breathes and sleeps the personal service industry.