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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Series: How To Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 2

Last week I posted the first in this series to rev up your referral program for your massage business.  The first tip was to ask for referrals.  Did you ask some clients for referrals this past week?

Let's move on to the next step.

Referral Fire Starter Tip #2: Set Up a Successful Process

In an article in a sales magazine, a successful veteran sales manager stated that when his team received stacks of business cards and leads from the marketing team after a multi-day trade show, the leads often sat on the salesmen’s desks, or ended up in the garbage. What a waste! Hundreds, if not thousands, of leads – left to shrivel up and die. Just imagine the unclaimed revenue for that company…
If you don’t have a process set up to handle your incoming referrals, you might be committing the same referral crime. Here’s how to create a successful referral process:

  1. Map it out. You ask your client for a referral, and you get one. Now what? If you get the name on a card or sheet, where does that go? If you get it via email, what happens with that information?
    A pile of papers scattered throughout your massage studio isn't likely to result in a fired-up referral program.

    Grab a large piece of paper or a mind-mapping software program and go step-by-step through your process. Start with the request for a referral and keep asking yourself “Now what? Now what? Now what?” until you’ve worked the entire way through your process and that referral has now been converted to a client.  Have a planned process to send each referral a postcard offering a discount off their first session, or some other enticing introduction to your business. 

    Also include a plan to easily track who referrals come from.  As I mentioned in the best thing I ever did for my massage business, this can be as simple as index cards in a recipe box.
  2. Look for problems. After you’ve implemented your process according to your map, give it a month or so and then revisit it. Are referrals being held up at a particular step? Are things going off-track? Figure out where and why, and figure out how you’re going to fix it.
  3. Refine. Times change and people change. You decide to close your Twitter and Facebook profiles. You revamp your entire massage business… As a result, you need to revisit and refine your process as your business changes and your client profile evolves. Everything might still be okey-dokey, but you may need to adjust things to accommodate how referrals are coming to you, or how you’re contacting referrals.
Processes can seem stilted and, for some people, boring. But getting it down and getting it right is a critical step to making your referrals pay off. 

Do you already have a process in place for referrals?  What has worked well for you?

Be sure to stop back next week for tip #3.

Series wrap up in case you missed it:
Part 1

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be really interested in hearing others opinions on how their referral programs are laid out...