Have you ever had a client say, "Oh, I didn't know you treat headaches." or "Massage can't help a tendinitis, can it?"

Have you ever felt like hitting your head against a wall? I certainly do when I hear those kinds of comments.

The truth is that most of your clients - even your most faithful, regular clients - likely have no clue as to the tremendous scope of your work. You need to constantly educate your clients about the scope of your practice and what you can do for them specifically. Once they know what you can do, they are more likely to see you should that situation arise. Even more importantly, they are more likely to refer people who could benefit from your expertise. One of the best ways to do that is through a one minute message.

A one minute message is a quick story that outlines your particular scope of practice. It lets your client know you are an expert without you having to "brag" about your skills.

How do you create the message?

1. First, decide what conditions or pathologies you would like to see more of in your practice.

2. Second, think of some of the successes you've had in treating this condition or look for some research that documents the effectiveness of massage for this condition.

3. Third, create a story that outlines how people have benefited or how they can benefit from your expertise in this area.

4. Fourth, ask them to refer people who have this condition so you can help them.

Develop several one minute messages for different conditions. Use these stories before, during, or after your treatment. Use it for every client. You may want to make a note in each client's file of what story they've been told so you don't end up repeating yourself. Some people like to script the message beforehand and practice it until they are comfortable saying it aloud.

Here's an example of a one minute message:

"John, I saw a very interesting woman a little while back. She came for a relaxation massage and she mentioned in passing that she had chronic pain across her low back. When I pressed her for details she said that she had been in constant pain over the past 12 years. She had a bout of colitis and that's when the pain started. The colitis went away but the pain stayed. She had seen everyone trying to get rid of this pain: doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists. She even had a special X-ray done where they injected dye in her spine and she had a terrible reaction to the dye.

"Anyway, she wasn't going to tell me about the pain because she was just resigned to living with it. But I thought that the pain seems to be in a referral pattern for an abdominal trigger point. Trigger points are these knots in muscles that send pain traveling to other areas and I specialize in treating those. Most other health professionals don't have training in treating trigger points, so they are often overlooked as a source of pain.

"So I got her permission to do some special techniques to her stomach muscle to get rid of any trigger points that were there. Well, after the treatment she got off the table and said, "I'm afraid to say this, but my pain is gone." I had to do about a half dozen treatments to really get rid of it, but now she's pain free.

"It's a shame that there are so many people like her that suffer needlessly - people living in chronic pain when they can get incredible relief if they get the right treatment. If you know of anyone who has any kind of chronic pain please send them in here so I can do an assessment for them. We can find out if they have trigger points and get rid of them so they don't have to suffer. I would love to help others in the same way."

That's pretty dramatic, isn't it? People love the drama in real life stories like this. It's a something that is guaranteed to stick in their minds like crazy glue. Isn't that more impactful than a dry brochure or newsletter that talks about massage and chronic pain?

Do you think your client is going to recall that tale next time someone mentions that they have chronic pain or back pain?

Absolutely! Without a doubt!

You can be sure that if that client knows somebody in pain that they are going to suggest that they come in to see you. They'll tell them the story and insist that you're an expert in this. The number of chronic pain clients you see by way of referral will start to increase.

Make sure to script at least one one-minute message. Write it up right now while you're at the computer. Don't put this off. It is so simple and so effective that you cannot let this tool go unused.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Brown has been the featured speaker at massage association conferences across the country. He specializes in helping massage professionals build successful practices through massage marketing seminars and online marketing courses at www.bodyworkbiz.com.