Last year, I had the good fortune of being referred to the clientele of another ashiatsu therapist who had enrolled in nursing school and was downsizing his practice. At the time, I saw this as the best networking payoff I’d had in the history of my practice. Lately I’ve been wondering if that was really the case.
The referrals from him actually started in 2016. Two of his clients booked same-day appointments because he wasn’t available. Both seemed pleased with my work but neither rebooked right away. After he reached out to ask if he could send clients my way because he was in school, one of them booked again and continued to visit once a month to take advantage of my loyalty program five more times.
When she called one Saturday morning wanting a massage that day because she had just hurt herself in a fitness class, I didn’t have any openings until later that week. I was also reluctant to treat such a recent injury. I told her I’d be happy to see her in a few days and gave her some self-care instructions in the meantime. She said something to the effect that her former therapist had accommodated her in the past with these types of injuries and that it had worked well. I texted her two days later to see how she was feeling and offer her an appointment. She declined and I haven’t seen her since.
Seven other clients have visited as direct referrals from that therapist. Three came in once with same or next day bookings, one took several months to get started and came in twice, two others came in for a few months but have since fallen off, and one has been in every three weeks for the last three months.
I wonder if that therapist referred me to all of his clients or just those he saw occasionally. I also wonder if his course load has lightened or if he’s finished with school and has resumed his practice. I know he didn’t tell his clients that I only offer ashiatsu because some of them have been surprised to have that as the only option. I also know that his clients are extremely fond of him.
I can only be who I am. I choose to practice within the professional boundaries I’ve set. I trust my instincts and experience when faced with contraindications, and I have my own unique treatment and communication style.
Taking on clients from someone else can be challenging. We won’t have their personality nor can we duplicate their touch. Overall, this was still a great thing for my practice although the effects have been short lived. Those clients helped fill openings in my schedule and I know I provided them with high quality services. I just didn’t do it the way their beloved former therapist did.
Acquiring those clients didn’t cost me any money and the only time I spent on that initial interaction was receiving a massage. I’ll continue reaching out to local practitioners to not only create the possibility for more of these opportunities, but to have a network to refer my clients to should the need arise. Perhaps they would respond to a new therapist in the same way. Established, mutually fulfilling relationships that are difficult to replace is a natural development in the practice that I love!
Have you taken on clients from another massage therapist? How did it go? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!