No Cold Bananas


When I’m in the office, my preference is to bring my lunch to work rather than eat out (I’m not as good at this as I should be). Sometimes I make my lunch, but usually my sweet wife does. I usually bring along a banana, but I don’t stick it in the fridge with the rest of my lunch—I keep it at my desk. Why? Because if I get hungry mid-morning, it’s better to eat my banana than hitting the pretzel jar or Connie’s candy dish. But there’s another reason—I don’t like cold bananas. I like my banana to be room temperature. I don’t why, that’s just the way it is. And that’s just me.


What does this have to do with anything? Good question. But here’s what I think—if it matters to me, it matters. Just like your clients. Too hot? Too cold? Jazz instead of dreamy massage Muzak? What matters to your clients should matter to you.


If you don’t already, you should begin creating a dossier on your clients­—likes and dislikes in the treatment room, before, and after, as well as birthdays, hobbies, kids, pets’ names—you name it. If your objective is to establish a meaningful business relationship with your clients, the quicker you embrace the fact you are in a service business, the better.


You can use an Excel spreadsheet, a notepad, or a more robust client-management tool. The medium can be helpful, but it’s the discipline that counts. Intake forms are critical, but so are customer notes. No practice should skip on either. Charting and notes are what make you a professional; understanding your clients (and delivering for them) keeps you in the profession.


Discover your clients’ “banana” preferences and use these understandings to make connections that help lead to client retention and practice success.



Follow Les on Twitter: @abmp_les.

12 thoughts on “No Cold Bananas

  1. well Les.. you had me pulled me in!.I was reading your title and thought Hmmmm? how DOES a banana relate to massage clients..I enjoyed the read!

  2. I like the visual links! Fun idea. I liked the reminder to know my clients better – to build relationships that matter – and to run my practice and my life with my heart first. One point of clarification – you don’t want to put these personal, not-related-to-the massage-session notes on your formal intake forms or chart notes because they are inappropriate if you should need to share (with the client’s consent of course) the client’s forms with another health provider. You didn’t suggest that they go on formal intake forms but it still seemed worth clarifying.

  3. Attending to client preferences helps them to understand that their sessions belong to them. It lets my clients know that I truly listen to their concerns and helps them to let go to a greater degree during the massage. I have clients who prefer no music at all and one who can only relax to heavy metal! Some cannot tolerate the scent of essential oils while others love to be just about bathed in them. It truly is all about customer service to build client trust and repeat business.

  4. I feel the same way, Les…a banana should be at room temperature and knowing (y)our clinets likes and dislikes is critical. Some times I feel as if I “check-in” during a session too much until one day I did not, check-in enough. The next week when I saw the same client she said to me…”this time during our session would you please apply more pressure, last time it was not enough…” Wow, I thought, you can never assume and it is always good to ask, know and understand what a client likes and needs are…before they ask!

  5. This really works. I’ve always included notes about my clients – their likes/dislikes, personal preferences, or made sure if they talked about an event or trip they were going on…then asked them at their next visit if they enjoyed it. One client review I received from my last client survey…said “I continue coming back because of you, you listen to my concerns and remember the things we talked about. I feel this is more personal then a place with multiple therapists. You have amazing options no other place I have been to has… You obviously have a passion for what you do and that makes all the difference.” A simple passion is why many of us chose this career and it is fundamental that we remember this during every customer contact.

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