Why Discounting Without Benefits Doesn’t Work In A Massage Therapy Business

A massage therapist friend emailed me yesterday and asked me why he was giving away all his massage at a discounted price and still not getting the influx of clients he’d hoped for. I was so concerned about this I thought I’d email you as well.

I told him what I am about to tell you; please don’t discount your massage just for the sole purpose of gaining clients. Why? It’s simple.

Discounts, without benefits, don’t work.

Sure, they may attract a very, very small amount of clients to you SOMETIMES, but discounting your service is an ineffective way to generate new clients. You see, people want benefit. And the only way that this does work is if people already know the benefit first.

Instead of pushing the discount, push the benefit, and what you will do to make sure they get the best massage possible. Discount isn’t very powerful. Benefit is.

When you advertise, always advertise what your treatment does for them, how it helps them, and what problems you can get rid or, what benefits you can introduce. Educate through benefit. Forget discount as a “hook” it never works.

People come to you in the first place because of a benefit that it gives them. Not because you discount the price.

They want to know how your massage is going to make a positive difference in their lives. They don’t care about 10% off your massage if they have no idea if it’s going to help them or not.

They want to know that shoulder that’s been killing them for 5 years will regain pain-free movement again after your treatment. The woman across the street doesn’t care about 10% off; she wants to know if it’s going to make her lower back better during pregnancy after a few sessions with you. The old man in the house next door doesn’t care about 10% off his massage; he cares about gaining mobility in his arthritic hands so he can write to his granddaughter, because he doesn’t have email.

Let’s look here at what they want: Pain-free movement, improved lower back during pregnancy and mobility in joints in hands.

And even yourself….If you got a flyer in the mail about 10% off a massage, would you care? Really? No.

Why? Because you are not interested in discounts, you want to know that paying good money for something, regardless of discount is going to benefit your life. If I see a flyer about massage I look to see if the Therapist knows how to get rid of my shoulder pain, back ache or headaches, or whatever my problem is. If that person can give me a pain free existence where I regain mobility so I can live my life without discomfort then 10% discount is irrelevant to me. I would be happy to pay a 30% increase if I really want my pain to go away.

Our clients are not price orientated.

Okay if your massage was $170 per hour then they may ask why, but you get the idea of what I’m saying here.

When you’re in pain, as most of our clients are, they want to know that YOU ARE THE PERSON that can help them get a better range of movement in their back so that they can play sport with their son again. They want their headaches gone every time, that time of the month comes so they can work and function properly, and they want to know that their aching feet will disappear so that they can run again without pain……from YOUR MASSAGE.

So please, for your own sake, never use discounts as a “hook” to get new clients. You’ll be sadly disappointed and I don’t want you to feel like I did in the beginning.

Look, think of it this way. YOU know how good you are but they don’t. So tell them. Tell them what you can do for them, how you do it and how they will feel afterwards.

I never used discounts to get clients, EVER. And my practice was busting at the seams.

I just want to see you have a successful practice, so please, don’t discount your service, ever. Don’t get into doing this, even if you are desperate for clients, because it becomes a bad habit.

Amy Roberts


2 Responses to “Why Discounting Without Benefits Doesn’t Work In A Massage Therapy Business”

  1. 1 Deborah May 14, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Dear Amy,
    I am so glad you have written about NOT to discount! I have a delema. My colleage insists giving discounts,although I just rent a room from her she too is a LMT and landlord.How should I handle this issue? I am on my own,in other words I do NOT work for her.

  2. 2 massagesuccess May 15, 2007 at 4:49 am

    I will address this issue over the next couple of weeks Deborah, you’ve asked a brilliant question. Thank you for your contribution. Amy 🙂

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