As massage therapists, we are wired to ask questions about how people are feeling and how we can help. Since every client is different, it’s important that we find out how we can best meet their individual goals. These questions either directly fill in available time on the schedule, or produce tailored massage sessions that will make clients happier and want to come back.

Would you prefer a full body massage or more specific work?

Clients want results, and not everyone wants (or needs) a full body massage. As undeniable as the connectedness of the body is, sometimes spending half the time on a stubborn problem area is what it takes to make progress. Relieving someone’s pain changes their life and you can bet they will refer anyone who does that to everyone they know.

Would you like to upgrade to a 90-minute (or 2-hour) session?

Anytime there’s a long gap in the schedule, ask if the client would like to add 30 minutes to their massage for a small additional fee. So many people say yes to this, especially when they want a full body massage and extra time on a trouble spot (or two). Once they have a longer appointment, they usually continue booking that length of time.

How does that feel?

When I was in school, we would check in with each other by asking, “Is that ok?” Several years into my career I realized I wasn’t getting enough information with that question. Being more specific in our inquiry helps us meet our client’s needs better.

Would you like more time there or are you ready to move on?

Leaving a massage wishing more time would have been spent on an area that needs it is disappointing. Often, just another few minutes are all that’s necessary for a client to feel like that area has been addressed adequately. It’s ok to change the session plan mid-massage as long as the client agrees (I guess that’s another question).

Do you mind if I try something?

You know that idea you get while working on a client that you haven’t done with them before? That’s your intuition helping you serve that person. You’ll find that even though it might be out of your usual routine, the client will tell you it was the best massage they’ve ever had.

What did you love or wish had been different?

This can be awkward to start asking after the massage is over but with practice it becomes second nature. This question lets clients know we care and gives them the opportunity to further customize their next appointment.

Would you like to rebook?

Ask every client who isn’t already on the schedule this before they leave. Rather than being sales-y or pushy, we’re inviting them to return so they can get the most benefit from our work.

This is not an interrogation. We are simply collecting information. The worst thing that can happen is they will say no or give vague answers. The best thing that can happen is that they have a fantastic experience and become part of the fabric of a full and profitable practice.

Cath Cox has been a licensed massage therapist in Colorado since 1999 and is the creator of the Booked and Busy in 90 Days System™. Her mission is to heal the world by inspiring independent massage therapists to build thriving practices of their own so they can work authentically for as long as they desire. She currently provides Ashiatsu barefoot deep tissue massage exclusively in her private practice. You can learn more about Cath and her journey at her Booked and Busy site.