In many industries, they call them “tire kickers.” They are the prospective clients, who ask you lots and LOTS of questions about your services, but in the end, never commit to an appointment. They may even go so far as to say they are seriously interested but can’t book something right now.
Prospective clients such as these may be shopping for just the right massage therapist, in which case the lack of a commitment may indicate you didn’t offer the right type of therapies or the chemistry was off. But many enthusiastic prospects never commit to any provider. In fact, they may go through many cycles of enthusiasm about massage checking followed by repeated failure to book a session. In these cases, something is holding the prospect back. While you can’t spend lots of cycles trying to convert a “tire kicker” to a paying client, if you feel someone has a genuine interest in your services, it’s in your best interest and theirs to get them to give a try.
Here are some things you can do to move prospects off the fence and onto your massage table:
Ask lots of questions: Move the conversation from talking about your services to talking about their problems. Ask why they have been considering massage – to relieve pain or relaxation? Find out what their goals are for the treatment. You also should find out what concerns they have about the massage. Are they uncomfortable about disrobing, for example? Money may be an issue, in which case you might be able to offer less time to accommodate someone’s budget.
Pay close attention: While you are talking to someone, don’t just listen to what they say; look for nonverbal cues. If someone looks away when answering a question, they may be self-conscious? (Looking away can also mean someone is trying to organize their thoughts. If the prospect crosses their arms, they may be feeling defensive or uneasy. When you get one of these signals, try to adjust the conversation to find out what may be causing the person some discomfort.
Use testimonials: Third-party validation of your services can be a compelling way to convince someone to try your services. Interview current clients that you’ve helped and write up their testimonials. Have them handy to show prospects with have similar issues. Include testimonials on your website and direct prospects to them.
Encourage social network following: Invite prospects to follow your social channels where you can post industry information, including the latest research on massage, treatment options, and expected results, and questions to invite interaction. The more prospects learn about you and see you interacting with others, the more comfortable they may sign up for their first session.
Getting people to say yes can take time, but you may develop relationships that last for many years.