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Tuesdays Top Tip was “Collaboration not competition” This really made me think about how we work and I thought I would share my thoughts with you.
Collaboration – what does that mean?
“Working with someone to produce something.”
I collaborate with a local PT. We have a great relationship where he refers all his clients to me and we can then work together to get the clients to achieve their goal.
Sometimes this referral is due to injury but also if they struggle completing an exercises or the PT notices an imbalance he refers them to me so I can assess them and together (myself, PT and client) we work a plan of massage, stretches and strengthening to help the client.
It works really well and clients have reported great feedback. With the clients permission to discuss the issues it means I can guide the PT to the areas of weakness and aid the client with massage as well.
If we didn’t have this collaboration we would need to rely on the client understanding and passing on the messages. Some clients do have an understanding of their anatomy and an interest in how it works but quite a few say
“just tell me what to do to fix it and I will do it!”
Being able to talk to their PT really helps to reinforce their after care. Especially if they have been injured and on the road to recovery.
I also refer some of my clients to the PT as an option for them. I have seen this PT myself and trust his work. We work really well together to help our clients feel better in their bodies.
We also have discount rates for each other so I attend his classes and he receives massages at reduced rates. You don’t have to do this but if you are going to use their services why not?
All his clients have a free initial consultation. This is something I thought long and hard about, usually I charge more for initial treatment but I wanted to encourage them to see me. Some of them had never had massage before and were feeling anxious – making it free gave them the extra nudge to go for it.
So far everyone has rebooked and most I see on a monthly basis so it was worth the free session to get them in the door and realise I can be beneficial to them and keep them working out.
In the massage industry sometimes it can be very lonely, by making connections like this it can not only increase your client base but also make you feel part of a team.
Collaborations don’t have to be with a PT, think about the focus your style has or the clients you want to attract and this will guide you to a person who could become mutually beneficial to that client.
Also other Massage therapists! – YES other MT’s! We should not be in competition with each other, life is hard enough without spending time on negative energy.
If you aren’t already in a supervision group or friendly with a few massage therapists go find some! Have a look on social media and get in contact, arrange to meet up, maybe arrange a swap – who wouldn’t want to give a free massage knowing they were going to receive a free massage?
We all have different styles and treat our clients differently. Think about it, I am sure you have a favourite GP you like to see or favourite person you like to be served by in the local shop even. The same goes for massage.
We could be the best MT in the business but the client may want a different style or simply not have a matching personality and that’s ok. It may even be the case that you don’t like your client! Maybe they make you feel uneasy for no particular reason. Obviously if they are after something other than massage thats a different subject but it’s great to be able to suggest another MT for them and refer them on.
Every time I have a new client I start by explaining that all MT’s are different so as I massage them I would like feedback to help create the best massage for them that I can (e.g. – more pressure, less pressure – more work in certain area etc..) but at the end of the session if they weren’t 100% happy I’d rather they say and let me know what was missing and maybe I can recommend another therapist.
I have had clients say they have a friend who wants a massage but doesn’t feel comfortable with a woman, thats fine as their comfort comes first but it means I can refer them to a few different male therapists I know and trust.
I’ve been asked if I massage pregnant women, I told them that I do but if it’s someone I’ve not seen before I also make them aware of a fantastic MT who specialises in pregnancy massage and they may prefer her. Its not about turning clients away but rather guiding them to the best massage for them. I hope that if they get asked about their massage they would refer new clients to me as they know I’m not after the money (although I can’t live without that) but my priority is getting the best massage for the client.
I know that my MT friends would do the same for me.
By sharing information and helping each other out we work together to produce better treatments for our clients. Remember we aren’t in competition to be the best! You already are the best at being you so don’t try and be the best at being someone else! Be the best at helping your client and sometimes that means to refer.
The other collaboration I must mention of course is BusyHive, working together Krzys we are producing as much great content as we can for fellow MT’s. We are constantly looking at how to improve the site and help. We love it when you guys get in touch too.
So go out and share the love, make friends, arrange swaps, talk to local therapists in all different types of therapy. Be part of something bigger. Don’t forget to like and follow us on social media and subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss anything.
Also we would love to hear about your collaborations – tell us in the comments below.
Much love. x