As a massage therapist, there will always be people asking for a discount. We have become a discount economy. They may have found someone else charging half of what you are charging or they just want a discount. If people are asking you this just remember that you NEVER have to explain why you charge what you charge. Don’t take it personally when they ask.
People are used to getting discounts . Just because they ask you doesn’t mean they are bad people or are destined to be bad clients. It also doesn’t mean they’re challenging your value personally. You know you are taking it personally when you respond with something like the quote:
My Prices are based on my talents,
not your budget.
The problem is that this was actually found on a sign and other massage therapists were using it to promote themselves. This just is unprofessional. Claiming that your talents are worth more than anyone else’s is really not true. Telling clients that their budget may not be able to afford you is really shaming them for not having enough money or not budgeting enough for massage. You just don’t know why they were asking for a discount. Be curious and find out!
This isn’t the way to make a good impression. Your prices are not based only on your talents. Your prices should reflect your skills, trainings and time. They reflect how much you pay for rent and advertising. They are not really about YOUR value or how much you are worth. How much is a massage worth anyways? How much is it worth to be out of pain and have the weight of the world on your shoulders relieved? $70? $100? $1000?
The best way to handle this is to make sure your work speaks for itself and that also means your website, social media and other places where people find you.
The Best Way to Handle A request to reduce your prices.
Depending on the situation and if there is time to respond – start with asking the person why they are seeking a massage. Do they have something that they want to achieve or some goal they are working towards? Are they in pain or stress and need some relief from that?
When people are talking about money and prices, they are usually referring to something else. It isn’t really about the price point. They don’t yet trust you. They don’t know you. They don’t understand your value. They may have gotten a few lousy massages and paid too much for them at a high end spa or something like that. They do not know how you are different than all of the other massage therapists out there. These same people will shop at Nordstrom rather than Walmart, stay at 5 star hotels and drive a Mercedes or Lexus. It usually is NOT about the price. Find out what it is really about by asking questions about them.
- What are you getting massage for – some kind of pain/stress issue?
- What is that issue preventing you from doing – walking the dog, playing with kids/grandkids, sleeping, sitting at work, focusing….
- What things have you tried to help with that?
- Did massage help before?
- What did you like about your last massage (or not like)?
Get them talking. You will usually get to the reason why they want a discount. Then you can get to telling them why your massage is different and why they should try you. Focus on the outcomes of what you have seen. Focus on your expertise in the area without being egotistical about it.
You can’t do that with everyone of course. Some people will be more difficult. In that case you can just say something that won’t be offensive, but may get them talking in other ways.
- Oh that is interesting. I wonder how they make that work?
- Ask what do you get for that amount?
- Tell them that 30 minute sessions are available to try you out first before committing to an hour or 90 minute session.