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Discounting Fees / Volume Discount Packages...Beware!

To discount or not to discount?  Author and super-marketer Harry Beckwith warns us to beware.

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Gotta elaborate on that one, i'm too freaking lazy to go look this dude up. what's a forum for right?

I did post an article but it was removed by this site's administrator because they felt I was soliciting sales for Mr. Beckwith's book.  Sorry :(

I haven't started my practice yet, but I've been informing myself a lot in regards to this because I also help my girlfriend with her services-based office. I'm actually looking forward to using generous discounts, especially the volume packages, when I start. The reason is because I want to fill up my schedule from the beginning and have the chance to reach a lot of clients, and giving them a really good deal price-wise is one of the best ways to bring them in initially. The volume deals in particular are great because then you have a few opportunities to demonstrate the value of your service, and avoid losing all of your reduction on someone that would never have came in anyway and would never stick around after that anyway. 

Hi Willows of Saturn: Be careful with that. Once you offer generous discounts it is hard to get clients to want to pay regular prices. Also, the huge discount deals typically draw in the type of clients you don't want, i.e. the ones that are discount shoppers and don't pay for regular priced massages. They are not ideal.

willows_of_saturn said:

I haven't started my practice yet, but I've been informing myself a lot in regards to this because I also help my girlfriend with her services-based office. I'm actually looking forward to using generous discounts, especially the volume packages, when I start. The reason is because I want to fill up my schedule from the beginning and have the chance to reach a lot of clients, and giving them a really good deal price-wise is one of the best ways to bring them in initially. The volume deals in particular are great because then you have a few opportunities to demonstrate the value of your service, and avoid losing all of your reduction on someone that would never have came in anyway and would never stick around after that anyway. 

Well it would be more important to be able to gauge it just right if you would be accommodating a larger group and one that would most likely work with what you need and what is being required of you.

It would ultimately depend on the management who will handle everything anyway so better pass the responsibility to judge on those who are more keen to getting things done.

I have a lovely massage therapy studio at home. I have a nice menu that has package discounts listed...I haven't had one person buy a package and I have been in business for over 1 year. I also have referral cards that are worth $5 each...dont get much from those either! Plus, my hourly rates are $10-$25 lower than the going rate because I work out of my home. People don't really appreciate the discounts that much. I give discounts to lots of people....I would be better off rigidly sticking to my menu because when you give discounts clients don't tip either... Of course, i live in 'hicksville' ---But, I am still new at this....I'm learning as I go! I wish you great success!

There is a certain truth to the statement "you get what you pay for".   Many people want a good massage and the price of the session is not their top concern, especially if it's a matter of only a few dollars.  And these are the clients we want, not the discount seekers, as Tonya points out. 

So, given that, what's the marketing message that an MT is sending if they always offer discounted session? To me, it comes across "probably not a very good massage"!

I agree, if we don't keep the standard high, our profession will turn into a "massage mill" concept...like all the "cheap nail places on every corner"- lol.....on the other hand, I feel that massage is vital for maintaining good health...I want to keep it affordable...since I work from home and my overhead is lower than a spa, salon or chiro office I can easiy do that. So, as for discounts...the referral cards I will keep...clients have to work at that a bit! I will continue to offer package deals, they are very popular in my city. I always put my "all" into every massage...my clients get quality whether they pay or not:-))

I have a full practice. In my own practice I have never offered discounts. I never try to sell anything. In today's world we are bombarded by sales, sales, sales. I try to create a space where there is no sales pressure what so ever. But what I DO do is give the client in front of me my undivided attention. And I create an inner belief for myself,  that I project, that I am neutral. I try to have no judgement about the body, thoughts or spasms my hands encounter. I kick back and observe without judgement. I find the more neutral I can become, the better results my massages produce. I never offer for a client to rebook. I have a knowing that the people that would like to come back or  need what I have to offer will rebook. Offering discounts creates a space where SALES happen and I think removes neutrality because you are hoping for an outcome--the rebooking. I have massaged some clients for over ten years. So that is my advice to a new massage therapist. Give undivided attention to the client before you and be neutral with what you do with that attention. Good luck to you. 

Great advice! You're right...it's not about money...it's about people! Unfortunately, where I live... The first question potential clients ask is..."how much does it cost?" It's sad.....people are out of work and losing jobs every day, hours are getting cut and benefits are being taken away, peope are in debt up to there ears and stress is at an all time high! I am a very generous person, I will help people out whenever I can. This is a business, but it's a business where people come first, for me anyways. I suppose we must determine on an individual bases what we can live with. It took some time...a lot of figuring and scribbling to decide what I was willing to do and for how much. My prayer is: that every MT is doing what they're meant to do, loving every minute and that they prosper and be in health. Blessings to you all!!!

IMHO, the key behind offering packages is making certain those sessions are truly priced correctly for your practice and aren't putting you in the hole.  I have my prices set so even the package I offer with the largest discount still affords me the session price I need to meet all of my expenses plus produce income.  Once I determined that amount I based all my other package/program prices accordingly.  I sell quite a number of packages and am happy to do so.  

FWIW,  I'm neither the highest or lowest priced MT in my area even when you factor in my package with the biggest discount.  While it is true there are many clients shopping for the lowest price not all of them do.  Clients become regulars because they love your work. 

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