Massage Marketing Tips - How To Use Your Listening Skills
Massage Marketing Tips to improve your massage business,
generate more prospective clients and earn more income with your existing clients ...
... just by being a massage therapist that Listens!
Massage Marketing Tip ... #1 Always Listen
Listening, being one of the most important activities in our massage therapy business, helps create great relationships with prospective clients. It is a creative act that improves as it is practiced and is one of the most important massage marketing tips I can provide you!
By effectively listening we open opportunities to explore our clients wants, how they feel, and what they think. It also gives understanding of who they've been, who they are, and who they will be as individuals.
Being a skilled listener opens our minds!
The key to this is really knowing how to listen.
Massage marketing tip: There are three levels of listening.
On the first and lowest level, we just listen to the words.
Then on the second level we listen for meaning, trying to fit what is being said into our own pattern of thinking, our own belief systems.
But the third and best way to listen is to look through the words to the truth about your self. It is not my truth. It is not the teacher or client saying something so profound.
Someone may be speaking, but everything that you experience when you listen is you!
Everything that you experience in a massage session, that's all you.
Whether you are dealing with the teacher or another client, you are only dealing with your own experience.
This is why the massage community needs good listeners with open hearts and clear minds. Good and accomplished listeners can create strong relationships by knowing what transformational questions to ask themselves AND to ask others.
Please remember: We are not only learning to listen for our own sake, but to really figure out our prospective clients wants and needs on an emotional level. Effective listening also improves our current relationships with our existing clients so that we can better serve them.
Massage Marketing Tips: Listed Below Are Effective Listening Skills That Will Help You Become Better Listener
Stop Talking so Much!
To stop talking so much is one of the most basic things required to become an accomplished listener. During conversations with clients or prospective clients, observe who is doing most of the talking. Is it you or the prospective client? (This is the best massage marketing tip I can offer you.)
The first thing to do is to notice yourself; this primary awareness is a good start. The massage industry is already full of speakers; being a listener will make you stand out.
After awareness comes a possible array of options. First is simply to decide to stop talking so much. This may be achieved by asking questions such as: "What are your views?" "What is on your mind?" Another method of passing conversation is by acknowledging with a smile or a nod; this encourages prospective clients to talk.
Create a Culture of Trust
Effective and meaningful communication exists when there is trust is my next best massage marketing tip.
To become a skillful listener, you have to build trust. There are different ways to establish trust and the most common is to become trustworthy. You achieve this by always putting trust and integrity above everything else.
Be Slow to Disagree, Argue or Criticize
When you engage in such behavior you cannot hear what the other person is trying to say. With this behavior you continuously try to get your point across and become less of a listener.
Skillful listeners will allow others to speak and say what they need to say prior to commenting - another very important massage marketing tip.
Pay Special Attention to the Need for Control
If the prospective client and yourself are talking at the same time, there is often a subtle power struggle that happens. When such conversations arise, it is really an exercise in one-upmanship and competition for control. But if you learn to selectively attend to content and emotional tone this will allow you to hear the deeper needs that are expressed by the prospective client.
Get Comfortable With Silence
Silence is critical to becoming a skillful listener. It is in silence where ideas unfold because prospective clients get to think. You, the listener, allow others to discover what they think, feel, want and how you can be of service.
In silence, you not only listen to others but you also listen to yourself and discover what it may take to solve what's on the prospective clients mind. This is another huge massage marketing tip you need to apply.
Don't be an Emotional Terrorist
Emotional reactivity interferes with listening and can even damage relationships.
People who frequently communicate in this manner tend to justify their actions. Such a way of dealing with reactivity only shows little understanding of the negative effects of this communication process.
Avoid "Lecturing" People
There are times when you simply give out advice. As well-meaning as you may be, advice doesn't work - yet another huge massage marketing tip.
Inside each person is a wisdom that is more reliable, insightful and trustworthy than any advice from someone else. Telling prospective clients what they should do when they do not solicit for advice will result to interference with internal wisdom, or worse, you will seem to be judgmental or disrespectful.
You, the skillful listener, will continuously encourage others to look at themselves and to take initiative.
Hold on for just one moment while I explain these massage marketing tips pointed out above just a bit further...
Please keep in mind the difference between, "when you encourage others to look at themselves and to take initiative," and "convincing someone to do something."
When prospective clients accept within themselves that you and your service are what they need, they will gladly accept your relationship and be one of the best clients you've ever had.
When a prospective clients is 'convinced' by some exterior method, they are never really quite sure about what they are getting themselves into, and this makes for a poor relationship. What happens then are no-shows, you having to constantly call them to re-book their appointments, etc., etc.
See the difference?
Refrain From Ridiculing, Blaming, Shaming, or Condemning.
This will help establish yourself as someone people can speak the truth to and is more common sense than a massage marketing tip, but you'd be suprised how some therapists treat their clients!
Regularly Practice Kenosis
Listening is more than just taking in words - it requires you to react in order to connect with one another. Kenosis meaning "to empty oneself," is a state for high level listening.
A related meaning of kenosis is "revealer." Listening allows the prospective client to discover possibilities and see from a larger perspective.
Another meaning of kenosis is "mediator." Listeners often become mediators because they can help prospective clients see the exact nature of the problem. This fits right in for massage therapists and is a great massage marketing tip!
Listen as Practice of Presence
Presence is a result of listening to what lies at the heart of your work. Practicing presence is to live life in the here and now. It invites you to let go of your own convention and it allows you to maximize what it is to "be here now." Good practices for this would be to try to talk to someone you normally have difficulty listening to.
Avoid Letting Your Story Take Over THEIR Story.
Ugh, yet another common sense massage marketing tip! When listening, you often have similar thoughts and experiences that make you want to tell your own stories. You must resist this impulse because it doesn't work.
When you tell your own story, you cut off the prospective client and shift the focus away from him or her. When this happens, you change the mood of the conversation to something worse. By interrupting, you imply that what you have to say is more important, even if this is not what you want to project.
Check for Meaning
Meaning comes from inside you. Because of differences in knowledge, attitudes and experiences, you often misinterpret the prospective client's message. One way to counter this misunderstanding is to repeat and paraphrase what you think you hear. Be prepared to be wrong because this practice takes time before you can get it right.
Be Genuinely Curious
Curiosity is something that can be learned and developed. Try remembering how it was as a child when everything was new and fascinating. If you see prospective clients with the same amazement, you become more curious about them and what they have to say. Curiosity creates sincere interest in the clients you listen to. This is a very valuable massage marketing tip!
Listen for Underlying Wants and Needs
Skillful listeners try to look for underlying wants and needs directly or indirectly expressed by prospective clients. To be able to identify such, you can ask questions such as "why do you ask?" or "what do want exactly?" Remember, clients purchase with their wants, not their needs! Another huge massage marketing tip if understood.
Listening helps identify common interests. Almost all communication is intended to express different needs. A skillful listener constantly tries to listen for those needs.
Listen for Differences
In general, people don't want to hear differences in opinion or way of thinking.
Differences make people uncomfortable. Skillful listeners however will try to look for these differences because these differences interest them as it presents the individuality of each and every person. From this process of learning to listen for differences we begin to honor the special uniqueness of each prospective client.
Listen Between the Words
Listen to what is not being said as well as to what is. Research shows that only 10 percent or even less of the information is conveyed by words. The rest is taken from what is not said. Another exciting massage marketing tip.
Learning to listen to what is not being said is seen in the body language, facial expression, tone, context, etc. If there is something not being said, ask your prospective client what they really want to say.
Champion the Timid
The timid voice does not bring out the wisdom in each of us for many reasons. Some feel unsafe to speak while others may just not be clear with what they want to say.
Championing the timid voice is creating a place where prospective clients can speak comfortably. People don't usually know what they think unless asked for their opinion; which often turns out to be surprising to both the prospective client and yourself!
Listening for Inconsistencies
Inconsistencies are mismatches between what is being said in words and the content of communication. Skillful listeners notice inconsistencies. To address these inconsistencies as a successful massage marketing tip, respond in a compassionate way that does not increase defensiveness.
Listen With a Soft Belly
When we listen to viewpoints that differ from ours we often tense up and become irritated. Listening with a soft belly is to take slow breaths all the way down into your belly enough to push out all the air. By relaxing during a disturbing conversation it allows us to be open to new and creative solutions.
Important Massage Marketing Tip: Ask Smart Questions
Smart questioning is an approach to solving issues through holistic listening and thinking.
There are three foundation smart questions:
- How can we treat every issue uniquely for each prospective client?
- What purposeful information do we need to create solutions?
- How can a larger view ensure the solution we are creating will work?
There are also four phase questions to the smart question approach to further your massage marketing tips:
- Prospective client involvement
- Future solution
- Living solutions
Develop Methods for Skillful Self-Listening
Skillful listeners are able to listen to themselves well. Listening brings out the riches within you. A simple and direct way to question yourself is by asking: Who am I? What do I love? What do I love most?
The two very powerful questions that you should keep repeating to yourself are: What's true for me? What do I want? Asking these will help reinvigorate and re-inspire efforts that may have been temporarily halted. This is a difficult one, yet another very important massage marketing tip.
Skillful listeners are patient. They are willing to temporarily suspend what they have to say to give way to prospective clients who have something to say. They can control self expression and let prospects continue to express their point. With practice and the understanding of the benefits of patience, you can learn to cultivate patience within.
Be Mindful of Age, Race and Gender Bias
More often than not, we subconsciously filter what people are saying with gender bias, race and age. Skillful listeners are conscious of these biases and they correct any deficits in their listening accordingly. We listen better when we listen to the hearts and minds of prospective clients and not their age, race or gender bias.
Break the "I" Habit
The word "I" creates problems by always shifting the topic to yourselves. Thus, creating a barrier in learning anything new from conversations. It hinders creative partnership, teamwork and finding new ways to fulfill other's needs. The word "you" will open up a new world in conversations that are limited by "I."
Ask Specific, Clarifying Questions
We often assume we understand what is being said to us, but more likely is that we do not understand these things in the way prospective clients wanted to point out. First thoughts are like first drafts in writing, they require a good editor to clarify the intent of the text or, in this case, the words. As listeners, try asking questions to clarify these vague ideas and find ways to get your prospective client to be more specific.
Say What's Useful; Say What's True
The approach of a skilled listener is to be factual, true and beneficial to others. Being a skilled listener is also being able to understand what others are able to or ready to hear, in addition to being truthful.
Inspire and Encourage Robust Dialogue
Robust dialogue often occurs in a culture of accountability. Robust mindedness that originates from open mindedness and no ulterior motives sets the atmosphere where ideas can be freely expressed.
Learn to Listen Beyond Your Own Filters
Because of the way we are shaped as children, we learn to pay attention to some things and filter out others. As a result there are gaps or spaces in our knowledge. As listeners we must recognize that these gaps and spaces exist in us. Thus we become more open and compassionate to prospective clients and to our own shortcomings.
Practice Strategic Questioning
Strategic questions are asked to reveal ambiguity and open up other options and solutions. Strategic questions invite growth and new possibilities. These questions assume human equality and are respectful to prospective clients and their individual capacity to grow in healthy ways. They intend to support human personal and professional transformation.
Continually Minimize Distractions
Eliminating or reducing distractions is a requirement to become a skillful listener. Distractions both internal and external must be dealt with to become a skillful listener. Examples of both internal and external distractions are phone calls, personal concerns, ambient noises, etc.
Learn To Say "No"
Saying no can be very difficult, but to say no is better that to simply say "yes" just because you are afraid to say "no."
When someone requests for you to listen, it is just fair to ask for time and think it over. It is only until such time when you can learn to say no that people will believe that your "yes" means "yes" and your "no" means "no."
Don't Interrupt Unnecessarily
When we listen to prospective clients, there are things they say that activate us to speak up in some way. These impulses of ours must be controlled to become a skillful listener. When we interrupt the prospective client, we send out the message that what we have to say is more important than what the speaker is saying. By learning how to control our tongue, we considerably improve our listening skills.
Give Up the Need to be Right
Many conversations end up in head-to-head arguments on who is wrong and who is right. Skillful listeners recognize the benefits of not always having to prove themselves right.
The insatiable need of always having to be right creates a fear of being wrong. Skillful listeners initiate, invite and help manage it for themselves and others as skillfully as possible. Ok, that's enough for my 'listening massage marketing tips.'
Ok, time for a pop quiz!
Here are nine levels of listening. At which two or three levels do you typically converse with prospective clients?
- Not there physically. (You didn't attend or show up.)
- There physically, but not mentally. (Not paying any attention at all.)
- Hearing prospective client, but doing something else at the same time. (Such as watching elsewhere, reading, or thinking about a different matter.)
- Interrupting prospective client soon and frequently.
- Interrupting prospective client later and less often.
- Allowing prospective client to finish, but meanwhile intensely thinking of a counter argument or response.
- Allowing prospective client to finish while earnestly trying to understand what is being said, and then replying immediately.
- Allow prospective client to finish, pausing, thoughtfully considering what has been said, and then replying.
- Allowing prospective client to finish, pausing, summarizing what you think you heard, and only then replying.
How did you do?
Is there room for improvement?
Wow! That was a lot of information! Congratulations on making it all the way through!
All of this can seem intimidating, but it's really not. Work on a couple of these at a time.
The secret is to keep working on this. Practice! Practice! Practice!
You also may ASSUME that you already are an accomplished listener. If this is the case, get with someone who knows you very well and ask their opinion in regards to your listening skills.
You may be in store for a big suprise! No matter though...just keep at it!
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