Provide Long Term Patient Results With Joanna Sapir
8:43AM Jun 10, 2022
Hello radical massage therapists. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the radical RMT Podcast. Today, the guest is Joanna Sapir. And she has been a teacher and mentor for more than 20 years from the classroom to the gym floor and now to wellness practices across the world. She works with established practitioners that are doing innovative and transformational work in their fields on the business side of things like marketing, sales, and administration. Joanna's special ability is in helping practitioners step into true leadership of their businesses find more fulfilment and purpose in their work, serve their clients more deeply and create predictable income and streamlined systems while doing it. A San Francisco Bay Area native she now lives in Sonoma County, is the mother of two teenage sons and is a national champion in Olympic style weightlifting, you can learn more about Joanna at Joanna sapir.com Joanna Sapir S A P i r.com. Joanna has also gifted listeners with a free masterclass. So you can check that out at Joanna sapir.com, forward slash the radical RMT, which will be linked below of course. So I encourage you to check that out because it's going to give you a better overview of course of what we talk about today. And essentially what we do talk about today on the podcast, I really enjoyed this conversation, I got a lot of of information out of it from Deanna she's very knowledgeable in in her line of work. And I can see how beneficial she is to healthcare practitioners and their practice. What she really wants to do is get you out of that freelance mindset that one by one appointment and look at the bigger picture gives you long term vision of giving that client results over a long term. And she also just wants you to have that more that steady income be thinking more like a business owner. She does primarily work with business owners in this field. But I was able to bring some examples to her about how we kind of practice in Canada seems to be more on the independent contractor side. Or maybe you are an employee of another massage practice. And I want you to stay open minded through this conversation. Because I know that in certain countries or provinces, you may not feel like this applies to you. We're going to be talking about programming, like so we're big talking about creating programmes for your client. And we'll be talking about how to effectively consult with your potential client as well. So you're getting the clients that are right for you. And I know that right away, you might be like, Well, how do you know how is this going to apply to me, because certain there are certain restrictions and certain areas but again, I want you to keep an open mind. This is the radical RMT podcast and not the average RMT podcast. And so you are definitely listening to this because I believe you are a radical massage therapist and you want to do things a little bit differently. You want to go above, like mediocre. And I'm really glad that you can be here for this conversation I had with Joanna I hope you enjoy this episode
welcome Joanna to an episode of the radical RMT Podcast. I'm really excited to be speaking with you today.
Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here, Krista.
Well, I want to start off when I read your bio you work at you are an Olympic weightlifting champion. Correct?
Not in the Olympics, but we call it our Olympic style weightlifting Yes. Because it's a sport in the Olympics as opposed to some other kind of forms of weightlifting. Yeah.
Okay. Thank you. So and I didn't know that difference, but it just Yeah, it wasn't like what would come out. Right. So can you explain what I did love about learning more about about your experience was that you? You're reminded me that you're never too old? To learn something new. Can you describe what your experience was like?
Yeah, well, I wasn't introduced to this sport and to in fact, to anything fitness wise until I was in my 30s. I found my way to it just by chance. After I had had two kids, and I had always been athletic like an athletic family that likes to play sports and but I was never really see areas about any sports so I played soccer recreationally and but after I had two kids, my body just completely changed. And in many ways I was just led by maybe in some ways vanity, but I think most of all, I just I didn't feel like myself and my body, you know, I just felt different. And this is a long time ago now. But so I remember that I first joined a gym, which I had never done like a mainstream gym. And, you know, they gave me my intro, and I just kind of felt so foreign in there. It was like treadmills and machines and mirrors. And it was so not what, you know, home. Right? It just was not. It wasn't for me. And so somebody told me about this kind of specialised little fitness facility. And I went and checked it out. And it was like strength training with, you know, barbells and dumbbells and bodyweight stuff. And it was fun. And that's where I was first introduced to Olympic style weightlifting, although in the beginning, I don't even think I knew that's what it was, you know, I didn't necessarily know the names of the lifts or anything. So eventually, I found a coach, specifically in Olympic style weightlifting, and I was 34 years old at the time. And so that's when I started, which, in the sport, you're already a master's level, which means the old people the year you turn 35, you're you're considered old, you know, so So I entered the sport as you know, a quote unquote, old person, and I did my first competition, just a few months into starting the sport, and I just got hooked. I just completely got hooked, you know, I think I think I got like third place or something, which just seemed profound when I had just started this thing. And, um, yeah, and I've been doing it ever since. And yeah, have since won the Masters national championship in the US, and continue to lift and compete.
Amazing. What are some of the like, what are some of the lessons like you've learned from that bad experience?
Oh, I mean, I fell in love with it. Because first of all, just getting stronger, simply stronger. I found I mean, it changed my life. Actually. It it. It was sort of a prompt, but like a catalyst for me. Leaving my very well established career and selling my home and moving to a new place with two young children, you know, it really sparked a lot in me, I think getting stronger helped me feel just so empowered on the inside and outside, right. It was just outside physically, but really helped helped me inside. But then on a daily basis, like why do I continue to do this, it is such a challenge every day. So this sport, you know, there's powerlifting is a different sport. And that's very strength based its strength. Olympic style, weightlifting is very, very technical. So it involves speed, power, strength, and really technique. And so every single day that you approach the barbell, it's always a question of, can I do this? Can I do this? Well, right now, in this moment, you know, it's just a challenge every single day. That that is, I just think it's played out in every aspect of my life, you know, doing something that scares you every single day, you know, I think really benefits one. You learn that, I mean, what's the worst you could happen is you miss it, you have to break ideas of perfectionism. I mean, it will never be perfect, you might get one perfect lift out of 100. And then you just go right back and try and do it again. You know?
Yeah, yeah, it sounds like you require a lot of focus, no matter what's happening in your day. It sort of seems like the perfect activity to just kind of zone in and if it is about technique, it's not just about throwing the weight around right? It just seems like it would just help you to zero in your focus. Forget about what is what is happening in the outside world. And, and focus on those those technical steps. That's awesome.
Yeah, yeah, you're right. It's the focus and that focus of bringing your whole body nervous system mind like all together, you know, connected. Yeah, yeah,
amazing. So as we get into this episode, I'm sure like I've given your intro but I'm sure people are still like so what like what are what are we here for? What's Joanna? Was Joanna gonna bring us your I mean, you're not a massage therapist, but you have a background in in physical fitness and then obviously, you actually you know, you're you're taught it but then you've also like you've experienced in your own body and then you like I said in the intro, you've like been a teacher. You're like a life like no, you're an educator like that's what you like to do. But can you tell me about which will lead into the reason why you're here and what we're going to talk about today. Can you tell me about a particular Sunday? That really changed everything for you?
Yeah, well, so I just mentioned that, you know, that getting into strength training in these in that kind of sport, changed my life. And so I mentioned that I up and left my career. So I was a high school teacher, which had really been my calling, I was not running away from that by any means. But I did decide to make a big shift in my life and move to a new area tried to find that kind of training, the the weightlifting that I was doing in, in this new area where I lived, and I couldn't find it anywhere. So although that it had not been my intention to ever start a business, I started this business because I went, it doesn't exist here, I want it to exist here, it changed my life for the better. People here need this, you know, and I want to place for myself too. And that's actually how I started my business. And I think that is parallel to so many people in health and wellness period, as we go through our own transformations and go, This is amazing. And other people need this, you know, so started this business, a gym, essentially, with 00 experience in business, you know, none, just threw my whole heart into it. And, and I had, I was a single parent of two young kids at the time. And fortunately, or unfortunately, it took off. I mean, it really did, I opened and I had it, you know, people started coming, and I was running the whole thing myself, you know, everything, and pretty much all of my money was going to childcare. So I could be at work, you know. And I think it was probably about this Sunday, you refer to I think it was probably about six months, maybe five months into the business starting very early on, you know, I'm responsible for every single hour, it's open, I'm responsible to be there to teach the classes I'm responsible to, you know, keep the place clean and, and set up properly, close it out everything. And I only had one day off a week, we were open Monday through Saturday. So Sunday's were my only day off. And this one Sunday, I'm just like lying on the floor, just relaxing. You know, I'm in this patch of sunlight to try to, you know, feel feel warm and relaxed. And I see on my body. I mean, first of all, I didn't feel well. And I see on my body, I'm like breaking out in this rash. And I'm going what's going on and I start to feel nauseous. And I'm going this like, is not normal. And I was actually concerned, you know, I was worried about something, you know, really serious. Like, you know, I was concerned about something really serious. I call this friend of mine, who is totally she's an Ayurvedic practitioner, so not mainstream medicine. And she comes over and says, I think we should take you to the emergency room, which was shocking to me, because she was just not you know, somebody who would say, go to the regular doctor. And she did she took she took me there and they start running these tests. And I'm they're just lying in this bed and they're taking blood and they're doing this and they're asking me all these questions. I mean, they're looking for like tropical diseases, what I might be exposed to, it's just one thing after another, and they're coming up with nothing. And a few hours in, I realise, oh my goodness, this is this is just stress, that this is just my body manifesting the stress that I'm under. I really felt like there was no relief in sight. Right? I have this one day off and then tomorrow, I gotta like start the whole thing again. Yeah. And and that was my that was my big wake up call. Right? That I had to actually learn how to I mean, I saw other people have businesses and aren't aren't in the in the emergency room from stress, you know, I have to learn how to actually run this as a business and and that's when I said about you learning the business side of things which turned out to be a wonderful experience. I happen to kind of fall in love with systems I had formerly been a teacher right and curriculum design had been my specialty. I would write and publish and share curriculum, I would teach other teachers how to teach and so that's how business became to me it's almost like writing curriculum in terms of business systems and creating you know, step by step processes for the business to run smoothly and easily so that you know, I wasn't breaking out from stress, stress You know,
for sure, so then that that's how and why you're here today to teach us some of the your systems so that as massage therapists, business owners, we can healthcare practitioners with your body worker, like any any of those areas, any business to to run more efficiently and ideally allow you to step step away and then the systems take care of the sort of the day to day goings on
100% Yeah, if I might say, eventually, I built that business to fully run without me, my intention was to sell it. And, you know, that's what a sellable business is, is one where it can run without an owner doing everything, you know. And so that's what I did. And I do specifically now work with body workers, and somatic therapists, somatic practitioners, trauma practitioners, and on the business side of their businesses, helping them develop, you know, the systems to have a business that that serves their clients more powerfully, because that's part of this too. And serve them so that they can be living the lives that they want, right that their cups are filled, even as they serve others.
Yeah, no, I love I love that. So let's get into one of the areas that we're going to talk about is consultations with our clients. So if we use massage therapists as an as an example, you know, we have an intake, perhaps we'll have like, a meeting or a phone conversation prior to that. What would you like to talk about? The note that I have that we want to talk about is how to how to do a great consultation that enrols high quality committed clients.
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, so dive in. Well, let me say that I as a as a weightlifter and as somebody who really cares about my health, I have been the client of many different body workers many different amazing body workers I get I get massages on a regular basis, and other forms of bodywork. And so so I've experienced all the the pluses and minuses as a client as well as now being a business strategist for so many, so many other body workers. So, um, I think particularly in massage therapy, but really in all kind of these health and wellness fields that I'm talking about, we suffer, I would say it's like rampant in in massage therapist. We suffer from what I call the Freelancer trap. And the Freelancer trap is my definition of it is, is we start our businesses and get stuck in this, what we see around us, it seems to be the the norm is that we, you know, are happy to get any client who comes along. And we treat ourselves we act like we're freelancers where we just have this service, and what is it that you want? So you come to me, Krista, and I say, oh, yeah, you know, you call me up and say you're interested in services. And I say, great, what are you looking for? What do you want? Or if I offer, you know, different styles of massage, maybe there's you know, deep tissue, Swedish, Thai, whatever it is, and I say, Oh, I offer all these, what do you want? And what I help practitioners do is make that shift away from that Freelancer trap into actually really trying to serve your clients more deeply and more powerfully, in which case, if we do that, the question is not what they want. It's what they need. And they don't necessarily know what they need. And so that's the purpose of the consultation is for you as the practitioner to assess this person and prescribe for them what they need. So you're not asking them, What do you want, or here are my options, you're actually in the case of the consultation process I teach, you're interviewing them. It's like the opposite of what what, you know, people in the Freelancer trap think, which is they let somebody sit and interview them as the practitioner but you are interviewing your prospective client. And you're doing a number of things in that interview. One is identifying whether this person is a great fit for your services. And that is a process that that you need to this is backing up a bit, but this is a process. I'm sure that you I'm sure that you've talked about this a bit. But identifying who your ideal clients are is pretty important. And the way you do that is you want to identify who are the people I love working with and that see the best results for my services. Those are your ideal clients and you want to really identify What are the qualities they have, and a lot of times when you do that identify the qualities they have, you're gonna find a particular you know what people call a niche, I don't usually call it that I just, I just call it the bullseye of your target market. But you may find that right, like, I've worked with massage therapists who just work with runners, you know, or, or just, you know, their ideal clients are all kind of middle aged weekend warriors like, so really identifying that stuff. But there's also another layer to that. And that is, like personality characteristics. And, and you know, how they think and how they feel, and that that is relevant as well. So when you're interviewing process, you're identifying whether that somebody that's the right, the right fit for you, as well as what is what are the problems that they're coming with, that they want to solve? Or what are the goals that they're coming with, that they want to achieve? And then you're giving them your actual, like, expert recommendation for what it is they need to achieve those goals or solve those problems. Right. And so the consultation, it's more than simply an intake, it's really an In fact, the way I teach it, it happens usually an intake, when I hear practitioners talking about an intake, it happens after someone has signed up, right? This is before someone has signed up. This is a free consultation model. And you use it to identify again, whether this person is right for you make the recommendation for your services for what they need, and then enrol them in those services. And so we haven't talked about this previously, Krista, but I teach practitioners how to design
programmes or treatment plans, rather than selling session by session. Now that changes everything. So in the consultation process, it's really worth giving that free time, because you get so many people that enrol in something that could be as long as six months or 12 months, you know, depends. It's all designed by the practitioner, it's all based on who your clients are, and what you believe they truly need. I can give you examples of what they look like, what that looks like. But for me, for example, as a weightlifter. You know, I so I don't compete frequently now. But there were years where I really competed frequently. And you know, like I said, at the national level, and I would see these amazing body workers, and I was really in it as an athlete. And what I wanted was for them to say, okay, what are we doing over the next six months? Like, When are your competitions, what's happening, and I wanted them to create a plan for me, right? That would say, you come in this many times per month, or this many times per week. And here's what we're going to work on, and this and this and this, but they never did that. Right? It was always that session by session approach. And it was like, each time I'd come in for a session, they'd ask what's going on with you today? Or how's your body feeling today? It will always just be addressing the right now versus the long term approach. Or I might come in and say I have a competition in six weeks. And they'd say, Okay, what's going on today? So even if I was bringing those long term goals, it never was I was never been provided a long term approach and Outlook to what our work was together. So that's, that's what I promote. I think the people you know, the practitioners I work with, it's been amazing for them. It's a whole different. It's a whole different experience working with clients, who have committed to a long term process and a long term journey together than it is even every, every practitioner, I'm sure everyone listening has had that one client who stayed with them, or a couple clients who have stayed with them for years and years and yours, right? It's still even different than that. So those ones you love, because they're always they always they're so committed, right? It's even different than that, because you actually know, they're in it no matter what. And as, as I just interviewed, somebody who's worked with me, like, you know, a few years later to talk about what the long term how it's been long term. And what he talked about was he talked about how I mean, this is he's a body worker, but this is really relevant to massage therapy. How when he was on a session by session approach, even when people were coming in regularly, he still felt like in the session, I have to make them feel better right now.
Yeah, I think that's a lot. Yeah. But a lot very common yet. Yeah. And
there was this and there's this, this desire to please that's behind that, that does this desire to be accepted, but really underneath it is so they'll come back? Yep. And when somebody has enrolled in a long term service, you You actually get to let go of that and just give them what they need. Not what's going to make them instantly feel better right now. And the long term approach may be different than that short term relief right now. You know, so a lot of practitioners say, Oh, I finally get to really get to the root cause and address the root cause, and they understand that's what we're doing, you know? Yeah.
Yeah, no, absolutely. I love this conversation. I'm furiously writing notes. And I want to address any listeners that you I really hope that you haven't, like, tuned out or been like, oh, that doesn't apply to me, I can't make a programme, I can't, I can't create a package. So that might also be a word that that we could hear in, in some of the massage franchises as well that they create these packages. But I want you to listen with an open mind. And I want you to think listen outside the box as well, right, like, as a massage therapist, and bodyworker listening, like, I really think it's important that you take some of these, like strategies into consideration. Maybe we can't do them exactly as Joanna is describing, but she is probably more than happy to get in touch with you. And you can get in touch with her about how you can make it work in your business no matter where you are. Because I really hope that you didn't just like tune out and be like, well, that doesn't apply. I can't create a programme I can't, you know, we can only do what we can do in one session. And then you know, it's on to the next one. So I hope that makes sense. But I just hope that people continue to listen and learn to what to what Joanna has to say and see how it can be applied in your practice. And if you're not sure I know Joanna can help you see that how it'll work in your practice as well. So please carry with you on that note, just want to do want to touch on your you have a free gift for the listeners, which is a free masterclass. So, would you be able to describe the master class and how we can get get that link as well?
Sure. Well, the masterclass goes deeper into many of the pieces I was just talking about, which is you know, identifying who your ideal clients are designing a, you know, the services that they really need, and then enrolling them in their services. That's what we call the sales process. And so that's available for you at Joanna sapir.com/the. Radical RMT. Yes, it's called the client. Yeah, it's called the client champion formula masterclass. It's pretty in depth. But really juicy. It's good stuff.
Yeah, I think I think it'd be really great. I can't wait to look into it myself. So carrying on with like, the this conversation I do, I do have a question about maybe some of the obstacles that some of your clients might come up against. If we're used to this freelance model, this one off, we get the client, the client comes into us and then even some body workers have trouble with the re the rebook, right. So they even have trouble asking for that rebooking. And so then how what are some of the challenges that you've seen with some of your clients or mindset shifts are things that have had to happen in order for them to see this bigger picture of now it's a programme that you have your client on, and I think this is a great idea. And I would love to Yeah, to explore that more.
Yeah. Well, so rebooking and cancellations I'll mention become moot. And when you when you enrol people in a programme, again, you're designing the service based on what they need. Whether it's to achieve particular milestones, or like I said, particular goals or solve some particular problems. I will just note, I'm going to go backwards a little bit to you talking about like, how can we make this work? And you mentioned packages? Yeah. And so I do want to both differentiate what I'm talking about from what people traditionally think of as packages, and also kind of give some tips for anybody who is currently offering that kind of way of delivering services to start to progress it a bit more. So, um, I use the word packages, programmes and treatment plans interchangeably, but so that so if I use those here, that's what I'm referring to. But many people think of packages in terms of like, oh, you get a discount if you buy 10 sessions at once, or five sessions at once. So that's pretty standard in the industry. I want to note that that's still really different than a programme or a programmatic approach because it's still just five sessions or 10 sessions. The client gets to book those whenever they want. You know, they they bought them in the pack because they're getting a disk out, I actually would say don't discount your services, really, you don't need to do that, you know. Um, and so if you are currently offering packages like that, or, or you're in a setting where packages are being sold, you start to think my tip is to start to think if somebody bought a pack of, you know, five sessions or 10, sessions start to think, well, what would I want to give them? What do they need? What can I give them over five sessions? That is a progressive approach, what are the pieces that they need, rather than it's just a session times five, right, randomly coming in? The other thing is, I mean, what makes up a, you know, a programme or treatment plan different is your prescribing as well, the frequency for people to come in, and that gets to be based? Not again, all of this, the big, big mindset shift here is, what do your clients actually need? You know, what do your clients actually need? You have expertise that they don't 100% I'm even in the field of health and wellness. I don't know what my soft tissue feels like, it's not my expertise, period. Like, it doesn't matter what I say I want, it's you, it's you are the expert to tell me what is it that I need? How frequently do I need to be seen? And what do you believe needs to be addressed here in my body? And that's what we're talking about when we talk about programmes. So you can start thinking of that, even from even from the beginning. And you can start, even if you had no, even if you don't have the capability of enrolling people in programmes, you can still just start telling the truth, I actually think that's what it is, is telling the truth to your clients or prospective clients about what they need. And so telling the truth is, here's what I see is going on, and here's what I think you need to do to address it. And if it's a long term outlook, you're saying that and if it's not, you're saying you're saying just what the truth is, you know, um, so that's that piece. Yeah. What was the other? How did you? What was the question you originally asked? Because, I mean,
I think you you have touched on it, but it's, you know, it's just like, some of the obstacles or challenges that the massage, you know, so, you know, this is this, you've explained, you know, programmes packages, you know, but then then how for massage therapists, you know, how do we how do we shift and start to mean, you gave actually just a great example of how we can say it, but I feel like there still would be some hesitation. And, and there's, there's a self confidence piece there. You know, there's certainly certainly that, but yeah, what are what are some of the ways that helped?
Got it? So um, first of all, I remember you said rebooking, just to know, rebooking cancellations, they just really do go away. It's not you don't need to rebook because somebody's already booked. Right. And cancellations don't happen as well. Because people aren't paying session by session, they're paying no matter what. So I'll just share a really practical aspect is that in the system, I teach with practitioners there, when they enrol people, it's that which is what happens in the consultation. So the consultation, you're laying out what you believe they need. And they are, I mean, there's a whole method to this that I teach, but they're essentially saying yes or no, in that consultation where they want to do it. When they're a yes, and they become a client, they're, you know, giving their credit card or whatever, and the payments are all scheduled already. So they're happening, either they pay in full all at once, or they're paying monthly, that's, you know, however you design it, and that's done automatically. They're not paying when they come in, they're not paying afterwards or, you know, manually in any way. And so I just want to point out how how much impact that has on the issue of cancellation is people don't cancel, they may need to reschedule for really legitimate reasons. And when you have committed clients at this level, it's not it does not feel like any skin off your back to reschedule right because you're not losing. You're not losing income. So yeah, I just want to note that and you mentioned rebooking, and I'll just I just want to give a few examples of some body worker clients and what their initial programmes look like. Because so many people that I work with anyway, clients are coming to them with particular pains or injuries or problems. They're what we would say initial programme or kind of front end programme is often designed specifically to address an injury or pain or problem that's happening, right. And so sometimes that that might look like let's say, it's three months, I have different different practitioners have different models. And that looks totally how you want it. So I know I have one body worker who in the first month versus three months, the initial one and in the first month, she actually has clients come in twice a week. Like That's intensive, you know, and then the second month, they come in once a week, and then the third month, they come in every other week, so twice in the month, so it starts to back off. And then you actually have ongoing, you know, maintenance style services available to them. And so that again, is a programmatic approach. But what that might look like is more like a 12 months at a time, you know, again, based on your recommendation, and so it might be once a month or twice a month or weekly, whatever, whatever that is. So again, rebooking isn't there, but there might be a kind of ascending or graduating to, you know, a maintenance level programme might be something that comes in now, you asked about the hesitations or the challenges and about confidence. And absolutely, that is for anybody listening, who is feeling hesitant, that is absolutely what's underneath it, what people come up with these all these excuses why it won't work, but don't necessarily acknowledge, like, that sounds scary to ask for that. And that's one of these things, I mean, just back to my story of, you know, ending up in the emergency room, it was like, I had never learned business skills. And a like, I think probably one of the most important skills in business, and this is going to sound people are gonna hate the way this sounds. But in business, we call it sales. It's a sales process. And that is what the consultation is. There's other pieces, I have something called the predictable sales system, it's got five steps to it, the consultation is the final step where people enrol, but I just want to know this, you can learn how to first of all, learning how to do sales is going to be the one of the most impactful things you could learn for your business. And to it, by no means you can do it. Totally not smarmy, not pushy, completely consensual, you can do you know what we call sales in a way that is not the slightest bit of the yucky sales stuff that you think when you hear that, that word, it can really be a meaningful process. And in fact, I know that consultations for me, for me, it's called a discovery call. But for all my clients has ended up being one of their favourite things to do in their business. It's, it's actually this wonderful connection point with prospective clients. And when they do enrol in your programmes or packages or treatment plans, you have already created a really deep connection with them through this in depth consultation.
And even people who don't enrol, you've created a really in depth connection with them. And they there will be people who will refer others to you, even if they don't proceed with your services because it's so totally authentic. Like you can do this very authentically. And a key piece to that is understanding you you're not a freelancer, you're not you're not doing this to try and get the sale get the client to try and please them. You're doing this to identify Is this somebody I can really help. That's it is this somebody that is the right fit for me exactly how I work and what I offer to get the results that they're after. So it's not about it's never about convincing someone or pitching something or anything like that. It's really about connecting with them identifying what it is they need, giving them that assessment and offering them this path to reach reach the goals thereafter.
Yeah, I really like the idea of this discovery call, just from you know, personal experience. You you do get clients that, you know, they are just booking off a whim, you know, you're the only one available that day at that time that worked and they're just hoping that you're the one that's going to be able to help them and you're also you know, we're also just as into it as as body workers like we just we just want to help this person. And sometimes we honestly like I know other therapists feel the same and they might not admit it, but sometimes you feel like you do nothing. Absolutely nothing you barely scratched the surface of what's really going on. And or maybe there was a personality clash you know, maybe there was just the this element that just wasn't there and you you charge that client anyway that you've done that hour massage, you're kind of like ah like, I feel I feel like like not great because this you know, but I feel like I've done my service and like you know they you know they've done their part by like showing up and all this but and then they're never going to come back you know I if they're I feel if I 10 cents that's like that opportunity. I will I will ask them based on them getting more confident in my years in practice as well that like I know Everybody's definitely not for me, and what is it that they need, and then I'll refer, but they still have to pay for the massage that they just got. So doing that discovery call kind of saves them from spending money on just trying out a massage therapist, and it's just gonna save you time as well. And then in that discovery call, you could easily refer because if there's some people that like elbows through the lungs, like that is not that is not me. But I know the massage therapists that they can go to. So that would save them that time and money and so that like just even doing that consultation would be would be really the figure that out? More than likely. So yeah, awesome.
And I'll just, I'm going to share some details about the the sales process I teach. And so what you're, you're saying discovery call, for a massage therapist with an in person business, the system that I help help body workers implement in their businesses, there is a call. And that is actually before the consultation. And so that's what we call a pre qualification. And so that's where you're identifying, it's a fairly short call. So it's not as in depth as the actual consultation. But what it's doing is making sure that you're not spending the time and energy in a consultation with somebody who's an obvious not fit. So when you're talking about elbow, elbows to the, to the lungs, you know, if somebody if in the pre qualification call, so there's still a little bit of an interview process there. And you are asking specific questions that identify the obvious nonprofits. So if somebody's saying, I want somebody, I'm looking for somebody to get as deep as possible, and I've tried these other people, and they're not doing it hard enough, it doesn't hurt. And that's a non fit for you. You don't even invite them to a consultation. Okay. Um, but you're also not opening it up. You're, I just want to say to everybody, never ask in my system anyway, you're never asking, What are you looking for? Okay, you're opening with, tell me what's going on with your body. It's telling me why you're reaching out so that you're hearing about what's going on with them and prompting that and you can ask questions about that. But so that pre qualification phone call, it's an easy thing to start doing now, before letting somebody book is Yeah, identifying the obvious red flags to you? Yep.
Yeah. And I guess one example, if I'm just thinking about my own schedule, or maybe how massage therapists operate here in Canada, you know, maybe reaching out to that new if you see a client on your schedule, that's brand new, because maybe you don't have control over the schedule. Maybe they're not calling you directly. Maybe they're booking through the clinic, maybe and then I'm just throwing this out there, Joanna, please correct me or, you know, emphasise, but maybe it's you can take that role and call that new client, you know, because we usually have notification in our booking calendar that says like, this is our first visit. So we could take that initiative, call that client before you get them to the clinic, they step foot in there, and then just kind of have that chit chat. You know, what, what are ya like, as you describe what you said? Can you say that again? How you? Yeah. What,
what's going on with your body? Tell me what's going on with your body? Or tell me what prompted you to reach out today?
Yeah, all right. Yeah. Okay. So, yeah, so would that be something that you feel like we could implement? Because if they're not working with our clinic directly, if we are working within a clinic environment, but then, you know, maybe they booked through reception? But then, you know, we can take that initiative, we look at our calendar, you know, in advance call that that first visit client, say they decide whether they're a good fit or not, but then potentially, like, here's the risk is that you're not a good fit. Now, you've got an opening on on your calendar. But what what's going to feel better? If you're not thinking about the money, though, right? Like,
yeah, I you know, I work with people specifically who have their own businesses. So I'm on the fly here, kind of trying to understand how this works. But yes, if you have the option to call them ahead of time, you could at least do a bit of the intake process and interview process then to understand so that when they come in, you can you know, provide those services and I already know, but what I would recommend is that, and I don't know if this is an option is that you actually leave a little time at the end to sit down with them. Tell them what you noticed in their body and make a recommendation for what their ongoing services should be. That's, that's what I would do.
I love I love that. And honestly, that is something that massage therapists in Canada, myself included. I feel like we we we don't take that extra time. or we have like, say 15 minutes in between clients with like the the model that we work with maybe some clients, some therapists have 30 minutes. But we usually are hands on right up until the top of that, that hour. And that's a US thing, that's, that's amazing, that's something that I have to work on that I need to, you know, take hands off 10 minutes before that, that end of the 60 minute appointment and get them dressed, and then they come back into the room and be that authority, that's the end and help them educate that, like educate them that that 10 minutes is still part of your, your like experience your treatment today. And we accept this and so many other professions and healthcare professions, but massage therapists myself included, it's so hard to take your hands off early it and because I am and it might just be like, we think that the client, you know, is in there for that 60 minutes, and they're there. Like, they're gonna only they're gonna judge us if we don't use that full 60. But I think that we should be taking our hands off early and doing these treatment plans as you as you've said, and even if you don't have these, like programmes even like to address like the next appointment, if you're comfortable with that. Because we just we end at the 60 minutes as an example. And then we come back into the room, and we'll do some homecare with them. And we'll talk about maybe the next, you know, the next steps. But now we've gone into that extra 15 minutes that we need to eat, to change over the table to clean the room. And then like you know, have a pee break and greet the other clients. So yeah, I think that is a mind on mindset that we need to work on as collectively as massage therapists, at least in Canada to to take that extra time within that treatment time to to be hands off and explain what are the next steps.
And you know, you can say that if you're going to have the phone call with them ahead of time, you can tell them okay, so when you come in, here's what I'm going to do and dinner to do. And you don't say something like I'm going to stop the massage early, you say at the end? Yeah. After you're dressed again, we'll sit down. And I'm going to tell you what I was able to, you know, learn from your body and what my recommendations are for how to take care of it moving forward.
Yeah, and you're setting the expectation. I love that because you're you are setting the expectation that that this is how the treatment will run at the end. You know, we'll we'll discuss everything. So that's, that's awesome. What else? I don't want to I want to make sure that you get as much airtime as possible. I have a question. So I have a question. So as massage therapists in Canada, maybe Ontario, specifically, when it comes to these programmes or packages as healthcare practitioners, ethically, we are not able to charge for an appointment that hasn't hasn't happened yet. Right. So we there's there's great insurance, you know, massage therapy is covered under a lot of insurance benefits. So we couldn't charge like, say a $600 programme upfront, because they wouldn't like the treatment hasn't happened yet. So insurance won't cover it. And then ethically, we need to treat we do sort of need to treat day by day. Because if we've signed them up for a six month programme, which I think is wonderful, yes, everybody should be getting massage therapy on a regular basis. But let's say they get better. I'm using our code, they get better in three sessions. And they they don't feel comfortable coming back but they're sort of enrolled in a six month programme. ethically speaking, it would be wrong for us to just keep them coming. There are healthcare practitioners that you know that that do it in Canada. But I don't think massage therapists are one of them. And so can you address that what I would I still think there's a way that we can not maybe not the hands on time, but I think that there's homecare, I think that there's really like remedial exercises. I think there are other programmes that we can offer our clients where they're still getting more like more of us and then they're, they're obviously going to get a better a better a better treatment like they are getting a treatment plan. And it just might like it might not be the sessions themselves, the hands on time. That is the programme, but you're you can offer them a Slyke a programme of more time with you in that homecare environment which is amazing because like I already said we kind of neglect that home care bit because it's it's part of like we go with the hands on time versus the Uh, like, we don't go overtime very, you know very much. So it can can you give some examples? Or would that work? If we can't do hands on programmes, but we can, we can create our own programme to offer the client?
Yeah. All of my clients have done this. So what happens is when they're working with me, and we open it up, and the question is, what do your ideal clients truly need to address their problems or achieve their their goals? Always, the practitioners I'm working with are including pieces other than the other than the hands on time, and many of my clients are not even hands on, but face to face. So I'm always that's, that's part of it, because this is about how do I serve my clients best? How do I serve them, you know, more deeply and more powerfully to get what they need. So I've just seen so many different examples of this, some of my practitioners have made video libraries of stretching, and exercising, and they and it's not just like, go go look at the library, they actually are assigning particular things, you know, in between certain sessions. Many of them are including different tools. And you know, I don't want to give brand names, but all the different balls there are now and I'm sure Yeah, and, and fascial tools to do things, and they're teaching their clients how to use those, those are often included. And so and many people are bringing in, I would call there's different modalities, you know, bringing in multiple modalities, the key here is that those are not offered as separate services, because it's not about oh, do you want this, it's about giving them what they truly need. So that is absolutely Incorporated. That's not to say it has to I just want to note, some people, sometimes it's this part of that kind of mindset that, you know, the confidence thing. Some people feel like, Oh, well, if I'm offering this programme, and it's going to cost this much, and that sounds so much bigger, right than a single session, I need to pack it with all these things. And I just want to say like, that's not what this is about. more is not better. I mean, truly, more is not better.
I overwhelming for for the client and confused, people do nothing,
right? Exactly. Like you are not trying to pile on things, you're trying to make this very doable for people. And in fact, just to go back to that sales process, that's part of the sales process, as well is is both identifying their level of commitment, and that includes time do you have the time for this, but also, aligning them with the level of commitment needed, you know, and that happens in that consultation, it's an important process is really getting somebody's commitment. And so the commitment isn't simply to like, it's really not about the money or anything, it's the commitment to like, Are you do you truly want to address this issue and do what it takes, and here's, in my programme, what that takes, and that involves some time, so many of my clients, you know, part of their pre qualification is something like, and you know, so and this does involve 10 minutes a day of doing your own exercises that I teach you how to do, do you have the time to commit to be able to do that, you know, and so they're saying yes, ahead of time, which is, when people make a commitment out loud like that, that that is a huge step forward, it doesn't mean they're automatically going to do it. But by saying, Yes, I'm committing to that you've got them in and then can support them best as you can to help make that happen. So, so yes to including other things. You asked about the question, which I want to address when somebody you know, in, in quote in air quotes you had was get better when somebody gets better early. Yes. And so first of all, this is, I mean, this whole model that I teach is, is not about getting people to pay more, that's just not what it's about. Right? It's about giving them what they need and serving them getting results. Yeah. And so, if somebody truly got, you know, quote, unquote, better, that, you know, I said earlier, something about you're just telling the truth. That's like, my number one thing here is tell the truth and that's if that's the truth, then you figure out you know, then it ends or whatever. However, this generally doesn't happen because you've designed your programmes, specifically, with your ideal people in mind and when you enrol your ideal people, your programme matches exactly what they need. That doesn't mean that sometimes it can't be a little off. You might be a little off sometimes. So I have one really excellent bodyworker client who hid in his consultation, he does an actual he does the interview, but he does an actual physical assessment as well. And and he is assessed Same himself as the practitioner, like based on all the information he's just gathered, both verbally and physically, what he thinks their initial treatment plan is. And so usually these are all systems systematised, right? It's kind of one thing, but in his case, there, he's either telling them six weeks, nine weeks or 12 weeks. And so he's having to do that assessment of what do I think of this programme? I mean of this problem that they're coming to me with, and all my experience with it, and it does require you being experienced, and you may make mistakes, sometimes, you know, he may say, I think this initial treatment plan needs to be nine weeks, and maybe they're better than six, you know, and he got it wrong that time, in which case, you say, this is wonderful, I got it wrong, it didn't take nine weeks, it took six and you do whatever you need to do, you know, to end it. And in some cases, you may have not made it enough. And at the end of six weeks, you know, but you can I just say that, again, just telling the truth. And being honest, you can say that and beginning, this is what I think it's possible that it will take longer, it's possible to take less, but this is my best estimate right now. And you have the systems this isn't about making it up for every single person, you have the systems, that's a piece of this as well, where you know, where it is, like, in his case, six, nine or 12 weeks, you know, so it's not it's not made up on the spot. I'll say that, you know, it's systematised based on who your ideal clients are.
Yeah, and that was gonna be another question that I had. Or another point that I wanted to make, like, I'm sure we have listeners that are like, oh, boy, you know, I'm good at so many things or, or not even, or maybe they're not sure they're not sure what they're, like, this sounds like a lot of work. I don't want to create a programme for everything that I see come into my clinic. But as you mentioned, real, like real early in the episode, I mean, there are probably people, like people that you love to treat, like who are who are they? What are their characteristics, and you also are getting the best results of and then people refer to you and for whatever reason, you've got like, you know, six rotator cuffs on your schedule that day. And, and you're, you're because you're really good at it, or it's carpal tunnel or a low back pain or you you if you go back in your client history, you're gonna find some some common thread, a reason why people are coming to you what you love to treat, I think is, you know, is a big element of it as well. And then yeah, where you're getting that those results. So you just, if you think back on that, then you only have to create this programme, you just start with the one programme for this particular type of, of client. And then chances are you already know all of the exercises you would give them because you've been giving them for years and like little pieces. So you already have all of that material put together. And then Joanna can just give you like that template to like, how do you put it into action? So yeah, I think that that's, that's great, because it could sound overwhelming. It could sound like I don't know what I'm good at. I like to treat everything like no, you don't like none of us do. Like there are certain things that I don't want to treat. I you know, but there are there are certain things that I'm really I am really good at. But it's just it's just easy. So yeah, definitely, definitely consider, consider that.
Yeah, you nailed that. You said everything I would have said,
Okay. Good. So I want to close up. But it's what else? Is there anything else that we can add to the conversation? And Joanna, I think this has been great. I definitely feel like there is a lot of action that massage therapists can take from this. And plus you have the master class. So the master class is Joanna Sepehr forward slash the radical RMT. So this is, you know, something that she's offering to you so you can get a feel for for her teaching style. You know, I mean, start to get something into action yourself and then take it to the next level. And if you have questions about you know, what we've talked about today, I mean, as Joanna said, There, she has a discovery call. So you know if you want to book in with her and just see ask a question and see if you're a right fit for her programming then then please do so. And if you have anything that you want to talk about with me as an Ontario massage therapist or clarify anything agree, disagree, then please let me know as well. But Joanna, how would Oh, is there anything else that we can add? And to wrap it up?
I mean, I think this was a good juicy conversation. I will just say that. You know, if you look at your business and identify all the things that are like a pain in the butt about it, whether it's you know, clients cancelling at the last minute or even not at last minute clients cancelling or clients coming in and out I want to tell you how to do what they want. Or, you know, all those problems, I will, I will say are are basically eliminated by by following this model and I'm very aware that it takes a tremendous amount of courage. So it's a decision that some people make to step forward with that courage and really streamline their business. And, and it's amazing once they do I fun. Well, thank
you so much for taking the time to be a guest on the podcast today. I look forward to massage therapists reaching out to you and implementing some of those. I look forward to taking action on on some of these elements as well. And I just hope you have a really awesome day.
Thank you. It's really great being here. Krista, thank you for the opportunity.