Creating an instant rapport is an amazingly valuable skill for putting massage clients at ease and everyone else you meet. If you take the time to do this right, you’ll find that your clients will fall into the zone very quickly and make your job much easier! However you do this is up to up but I have a few suggestions for helping the process along. Here’s what I do to establish an instant rapport with my massage clients.
1. Smile and introduce yourself. There’s nothing more disarming than a smile. When you smile, it tells the world that you’re open and ready to receive. One smile simply has the power to abate anxiety, fear and insecurity in others. Most of the time when you smile, the other person or persons will smile back.
2. Shake their hand and make contact. Shaking their hand shows people, that you are confident and not afraid to touch them. People love a firm confident handshake. Be sure not to overdo it! Nobody wants to shake hands with a bone-crusher! Seriously, I’ve had to coach people on this one. Looking them in the eye shows them you are ready to communicate and receive feedback during the massage.
3. Ask them what are their goals for the session? Are they in need of pain relief, stress relief or a little of both? Find out what, where and why. Ask them how much time they’d like you to spend on the areas of concern and then give it to them. There’s nothing worse than having back pain and the massage therapist waits until the very end to work on it for five minutes. Have you heard this complaint about other therapists? If you haven’t yet, you will.
4. Reassure them. Let them know they’re going to get a great massage and that you’re going to take care of them. You can even say something like, “Don’t worry, I’m going to give you a great massage!” This puts people at ease right away. They don’t have to worry about getting a good massage because you told them they’re going to get a great one!
5. Give them clear instructions. Let your massage clients know what you want them to do and let them know what you’re going to do for them. Telling them exactly what will happen and when will smooth out the process and the client knows exactly what to expect. E.g. “While I wash my hands in the restroom, you can undress to your level of comfort and get under the massage sheets face-up or face-down.” Clients worry about comfort so let them know when you come back that you will make certain adjustments for their comfort.
After many years in my practice, these techniques have served me well in creating an automatic report with my clients and have kept them coming back for more. What ideas do you have for creating instant rapport?