I have what the late great Ann Sweeney, my wonderful mother, called “the gift of gab.” I got it from her; she always said it was our Irish heritage. Wherever it came from, I can’t disagree; my wife and my staff will tell you I am rarely at a loss for words. That doesn’t mean they’re always the best words, mind you, but I’m not usually left speechless.
Earlier in my ABMP career, I spent a lot of time on the road visiting massage and bodywork schools. I still do on occasion, not nearly as often, but it’s still one of my favorite things to do for ABMP; I really enjoy the energy present at a massage school.
One of the fun parts about visiting a school is speaking to a group of students. I always enjoy interacting with those about to enter the field. I particularly like to find out what their plans are after graduation and how they intend to market themselves. I start by informing them that by attending massage school they are embarking on a career in sales. This usually gets a few funny looks. I then explain that you are going to ask someone to come to your office, take off their clothes, and give you $50 (or more). You better be good at sales.
While the auto industry gets a little CPR this week from the cash for clunkers promotion, I’ve been thinking about the massage therapist as salesman/saleswoman. No, you’re not kicking the tires on old cars and asking people to overlook the damaged bodywork around the fender, but you are compelling people to address their bodywork. And like a car salesman, part of your job is to help the client understand how their life can improve by upgrading. They extol the virtues of leather seats; you educate them about unwinding fascia. What does your sales pitch sound like? Are you comfortable explaining who you are and what you do? Can you explain why that person you just met should come to your office, take off their clothes, and give you $50?