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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, September 3, 2012

Series: How To Set Your Massage Referral Program On Fire / Part 5

Last week's tip to set your referral program on fire was to give great service.  That brings us to #5 in this 10 part series.

Referral Fire Starter Tip #5: Gather Client Testimonials
One of the most powerful tools you can have at your disposal when working to gather referrals is client testimonials.  Last week I wrote about easy ways to get testimonials from clients, but this post is more about why you should be using testimonials.  Testimonials from satisfied clients work in a few different ways to strengthen your referral program:

  1. They make the existing client more committed to you. If their name and/or face has appeared on your website, in a direct mailing piece, or in a newsletter, they are going to be much more invested in your success. They’ll want you to succeed and be willing to help make sure that happens by referring friends, family members, and acquaintances to you.
  2. They hold more weight with referrals. When a potential client sees a whole page full of quotes and testimonials from existing clients, it further cements the idea that you’re someone they want to do business with.
  3. They help with “cold” leads, too. The next best thing to a direct referral is a “cold” lead who sees page after page of satisfied, smiling clients. Why do you think so many plastic surgeons and weight-loss experts use before-and-after photos? THEY WORK!

Gathering client testimonials can be a little bit daunting, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, and in what format. Here are some tips:
  • For websites, video testimonials are great, but not necessary. A text quote is fine, and as many people are hesitant about appearing on-camera, they’re often much easier to get from your clients.
  • If you use online scheduling, many of these services include collecting reviews or testimonials from your clients.  It doesn't get any simpler than this!
  • If you don't use online scheduling, make it easy for clients to give you a testimonial by having a questionnaire for them to fill out. The better sense they have of what you need, the better they’ll deliver.  Create a simple questionnaire with questions like: "how do you feel when you need a massage?"; "how do you feel after a massage?"; "what do you like most about Cindy's massages?"; "would you refer a friend to Cindy? Why or why not?".  Remove the questions, string the answers together in to a paragraph - and there you have a testimonial.
  • Make it a habit to ask for testimonials. Once someone refers a few client your way, follow up. Say, “You seem to really like our services – and we love you! Would you be willing to record (or write) a short testimonial we can use in our marketing materials?”
  • Edit judiciously. Some people will go on and on. It’s great that they’re so excited, but the reader or viewer just wants the main points. Cut where necessary.
  • Reward them for helping you out. If you’re using their image and/or words to get more business, they should be rewarded for doing so. But don’t make it a straight, “Give me a testimonial and I’ll give you a free treatment;” that could be seen as bribery. Instead, send them a small thank-you well after the fact, or put them in a drawing to win a larger item.

Testimonials are a great addition to any marketing program, and will make your current referral program even stronger.

Exercise for this week: gather at least 2 testimonials from clients!

Series wrap up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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.

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