No matter how enthusiastic new clients may be about the benefits of massage, some still will be apprehension about the experience, especially since it involves removing clothing. As part of your initial intake conversation to find out what pain or discomfort a client is experiencing and their treatment goals; you’ll also want to find out if they are at all uneasy or self-conscious about the new experience. Discuss draping and find out if there are parts of their body in particular they prefer you don’t touch and others that they want you to focus on.
First time clients also may be wonder how much they should communicate during the session if something you are doing is painful or uncomfortable of if they should assist you in any way in terms of moving or lifting parts of their body. Don’t wait for them to raise these issues; address them during the intake session, including your tipping practices, if you expect a tip and clients don’t know accepted industry practice.
More ways to make a client at ease
Addressing concerns and answering questions about the treatment is the first step to put a new client at ease. But there are other things you can do to create a relaxing experience.
Convey warmth and interest: Whether a client is nervous or not, you always want to convey a warm, caring attitude. Smile when they walk in and look at them when they talk to you. Your facial expressions and the nod of your head indicate you are listening.
Create a relaxing environment: Find out if your clients like music and what type. Have a selection of music to play and make sure it complements your work. Music should be in the background and not so loud or intrusive that your client thinks more about the music than the massage. Also avoid music with a distinct tune or sing-a-long type lyrics since they can interfere with a client’s ability to relax.
Make sure room is ready: When a new client comes into the treatment room, they want to be confident room is clean and sanitized. Make sure your massage table and chair is clean and that the sheets are fresh.
Have your license ready: Clients may not ask to see your license, but have it ready if they do or have it on the wall where they can see it.
Encourage talking: Suggest clients keep talking throughout the massage, if they choose, and to ask questions. If you are doing something that is uncomfortable or painful, they need to let you know.
It really doesn’t take much to make a new client feel at home in your spa or massage practice. Asking questions, watching facial expressions and encouraging clients to communicate should do the trick.