Because this month’s Marketing Tips newsletter is quite long (lots of meaty information), I’ll dispense with my usual preamble. Please print out this email, pour yourself a beverage and grab a pen to highlight important concepts and to jot down some ideas.
On the sofa yet? Let’s begin…
I often suggest that massage therapist use testimonials throughout their website and in fact, in all promotional materials.
Why testimonials? Despite what the cynics say, testimonials are a great way to build your credibility and establish trust. And we know that credibility is one of the key factors influencing someone’s decision to buy your services.
Testimonials also give potential customers the opportunity to understand in a more concrete way how you can help them. For example, because of your training, you may want to talk about how your massage can stretch fascia, improve range of motion and result in greater balance throughout the body. But that’s all too vague for the average person. They can’t relate. They don’t understand. Someone who reads that thinks, “zzzzzzz.”
On the other hand, if a customer says, “Mary did some deep strokes on my neck and when I got off the table, I couldn’t believe that the chronic nagging pain I had in my neck for the past three months was gone.”
That’s something they can relate to. Someone who reads that thinks, “Mary helps people with really sore necks. Maybe I should tell John about this. He’s always complaining.”
And even if they don’t read your testimonials, the fact that you have a list of raving fans willing to write about their experience means something. People took the time to praise you and they don’t do that without reason. You must be good.
But there are two kinds of testimonials: Ones that work and ones that don’t. And in today’s tip, I would like to share with you how to get testimonials that work.
The good, the bad and the ugly…
When I ask my participants of courses for testimonials I usually get lots of contributions because people benefit from the courses and they are happy to contribute a few words as a way of giving back. But the testimonials I get run the whole range of effectiveness and usefulness. Some are absolutely fantastic and others although well meaning, are simply horrible. (Sorry. I still love you and really appreciate your efforts.)
Here’s an effective testimonial that I got from a purchaser of the 60 Clients in 60 Days program:
“I thought my massage center was doing okay. I could make the bills and although I still had $$ in the checkbook I wasn’t paying myself yet. Something is wrong with that. I’d like to have some cash too. I also have two independent contractors working in my center doing a 60/40 split (mine is the 40%), but they’re not busy.
The 60 Clients in 60 Days sounded like the plan I needed to get everyone busy. I didn’t even work the program right. (I should have tripled all the numbers because there are 3 of us.) Even so we’ve picked up 111 new clients since Oct. 1. 32% rebooked before leaving. So my weeks are now filled with 20 to 25 appointments versus the 8 to 12 it used to be. Weekly sales went from $700 to $1400.
My office has been open for 18 months now and I still hear people saying, ‘I didn’t know you were here’. So I have a lot more work ahead of me, but I now have the confidence and knowledge to market my own massage business successfully.
P.S. They’re starting work on expanding my office space tomorrow. We’re going from two to four therapy rooms. Wow! I may have to get a couple more therapists. I’m no longer scared of being successful.
Thank you, Eric. Namaste and warmest regards,
Lynette M. Stauffer, NCTMB, ACMT
Would you like get access to that same course that Lynette took? Then check out the 60 Clients in 60 Days e-course.
The essential elements…
Let me point out some features that make Lynette’s testimonial so good:
- It’s specific
- It has a clear benefit or result
- It sounds natural – it’s a real person
- It uses her entire name
- There is no hype – there’s excitement without the hyperbole
Now let me give you a quiz. Choose the best testimonial below. (None of these are real people.)
A) “The fascial stretching and active release techniques really improved soft tissue mobility along with both my passive and active range of motion. I would highly recommend the benefits that are derived from a session of therapeutic massage with Paul. He has superlative skills.”
Barb B, Homemaker
B) “I had nagging neck pain and often got headaches as a result of a fender bender I had a couple years ago. I got so fed up with being in pain all the time that I decided to get some massage. I expected the massage to be painful, but it actually felt good. After just two sessions with Sally I had my first pain-free sleep in years. It’s now three months later and I’m pretty certain that my neck pain and headaches are pretty much gone for good.”
Bethany Miller, School Principal, Northworth, TX
C) “He was great! Really! I like the last thing you did. The finishing move was amazing! He has the softest hands with firm pressure!!”
Which one did you pick?
If you picked (B), you have an eye for an effective testimonial (as well as an eye for the glaringly obvious). It meets all the criteria listed above. She uses lots of specifics, states a clear and understandable benefit, speaks in a natural way, and demonstrates her excitement without any hype. It’s clear after reading this that the therapist can help people with painful necks and headaches.
I’m sure some of you picked (A) because that’s the way some of you think of the therapeutic process. The words are meaningful to you. Unfortunately, they mean nothing to the average reader. It’s just a bunch of mumble jumble. And the language is so technical that it’s not believable. If the testimonial came from someone with a lot of letters after their name (Dr Barb Butter, MD, PhD, M.F.R.C.A.S, Dip S.C.A) then we might buy it. But still, we don’t understand exactly how Barb benefited.
The third testimonial (C) has a lot of excitement to it, but it’s too hyped. They may have liked the massage, but did it do anything? Who would you think of referring to this therapist after reading this testimonial? I can’t think of anybody that has a real need for amazing finishing moves.
Now that you can see the difference between a good testimonial and a mediocre testimonial, let’s look at the next logical question…
How do we get good testimonials?
It’s actually easier than you think and I’ll answer that question in the next Marketing Tips Newsletter. Look for it in your inbox within the next week.
See you then,
Eric Brown, Director
PS A word of caution: It is important that you are aware of regulations in your jurisdiction. Some regulatory boards may not allow massage therapists to use testimonials. Stay in compliance with your local laws.