Laura Allen recently blogged about the reasons why some practitioners have a difficult time getting repeat customers. One section mentioned how some practitioners try to sell energy work or other non-massage techniques to people who think they are buying massage.
That reminded me that one question rarely addressed by massage schools and the profession as a whole is the ranking of the commercial viability of various approaches or techniques in massage.
Here is a list of some obvious hierarchies here that, when addressed realistically can contribute to success.
- More people would prefer to lay on a table than on the floor when getting a massage.
- More people are looking for simple relaxation/stress reduction/circulation massage than a treatment for a particular condition.
- More customers are able to pay $15 for a chair massage than $75 for a table massage. As Massage Envy and the thousands of Chinese immigrants in malls across the country have irrefutably demonstrated, massage consumers are highly price sensitive.
- Rolfing, Trager, Feldenkrais, and Rosen work (to name a few brand-name styles of bodywork I love) have, typically, far smaller potential audiences than more generic approaches to massage like Swedish or acupressure.
- There are more potential customers of massage then there are clients. There are more potential clients of massage then there are patients. Choose your language and intention carefully.
- And, yes, when people pay for a massage, they don’t expect long periods when they are not being touched or the hands touching them are not moving.
To be absolutely clear, I am not ranking one approach to massage as “better” than another. I, personally, love them all. I am simply noting how markets for massages services narrow or broaden depending upon certain characteristics. Schools do not do their students any favors by pretending that all approaches are equal in this regard nor by pretending that the more approaches they teach the more successful their graduates will be.
Any other additions to this list?