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June 28th, 2017

We all like discounts, what’s wrong with saving a little money, right? It’s fantastic but not so much if you’re the one having to give the discounts. Today, I want to talk to you about why discounting sucks and what you should be doing instead. So, here are three ways that discounting can have a negative impact on your massage practice. 

#1 You Attract Deal Seekers 

 These are the people who are only coming to you because you’re cheap. The ones who will most definitely get a massage anytime they can get some crazy deal on Groupon, but hold absolutely zero loyalty to a single therapist. They will most likely never become a regular client. There’s a rare exception here, but in general they have no problem going from one to the next to the next and hopping from table to table across town because they’re not looking for the best massage experience, they’re looking to cheapest. If you just need some quick cash, fine, run a big discount. But if you want to build a solid clientele it’s really not in your best interest. You will attract exactly what you put out there. If you’re constantly running discounts or special deals, they’re not really discounts or special deals they’re just really low, varying prices. 

#2 You Train Your Clients to Expect a Deal 

You know the kind, the ones who expect some kind of special price just for them. Apparently, you can call the electric company and tell them you have a very special client and they’ll just let that bill fall the way side right? No, but if you don’t have clear boundaries about your pricing, it’s very easy for a client to guilt you into some sort of discount either just for them or giving one out to everybody that you hadn’t planned on just because they tell you it’s going to get you some more clients. And, if you do it once they’re going to expect that you do it again, and again. You train your clients how to act by either having clear boundaries or caving to their every wish. Set your prices, and be firm about it.  

#3 You Look Desperate  

When you regularly run discounts, it can make it appear like you don’t have a steady clientele. Which, if you’re running discounts like that, you probably don’t. But even if that’s true, you never want to make that apparent. If you look desperate people will think there’s a reason, like maybe you’re not very good. So, if you haven’t already, go back and watch my video from last week about scarcity and why you never ever want to look desperate and how to make it focus like you aren’t. So, what do you do to build your clientele without running discounts? You add value. There’s a ton of ways to market and I could talk all day about that, but this is a big piece of the puzzle. Instead of saying you’ll take $15 off the massage which is 15 dollars out of your pocket, how about you entice clients with a little add-on. Maybe you do aromatherapy as an upgrade at no charge, or a hot towel treatment, or a foot scrub, kinesio taping or cupping added for free. Anything else you can think of, whatever you offer. Think about this way, what if every time you had a client come in before they left you reached into your pocket pulled out $15 and handed it to them how would you like that? You’re thinking heck no, why would I do that, right? They’re paying me for my time and my skills that’d be crazy but that’s exactly what you’re doing when you discount. When you add value instead, say you give a complimentary cupping add-on to their back while they’re getting a massage. It’s not any money out of your pocket other than a few extra cents it’s going to cost you to wash and sanitize after. And, you’re showing them another modality that they might like to upgrade to in the next session and pay for. They feel special, and it’s actually an awesome marketing tactic to get people to upgrade to more expensive services. 

So, basically to sum this up don’t discount, add value instead. It will get you not just clients, but the right clients to actually make your business successful.  

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