Highly successful practitioners tend to have several income streams–and selling products is a smart revenue stream choice. Selling products benefits the client in that it extends the treatment benefits to home and increases your income, all at the same time.
Product sales are a great diversification method, and profits from them can defray overhead expenses and add to your bottom line. It is hazardous–physically, emotionally, and financially–to rely on your hands-on work as the sole source of your livelihood, particularly if your work requires intensity.
If you generate all of your income from your sessions or classes, the only options you have to increase your income are to raise your prices, take on additional clients, or hire more practitioners to work for you. Yet, you can easily increase your income with product sales.
Some practitioners hesitate to sell products because they fear the costs. In reality, selling products in your practice does not take a large investment of time or money. Unfortunately, the majority of practitioners still do not sell products–and of those that do sell products, most aren’t doing it well. It’s frustrating for us, because we know what a powerful difference product sales makes to one’s income level, in addition to the wellness benefits it provides clients.
If you are reluctant to incorporate product sales, start out simply. Perhaps sell just a few products until you are more comfortable with the process and are more attuned to what your clients want to purchase. Consider this: Most practitioners are comfortable selling gift certificates. It’s easy to take it to the next level by bundling gift certificates with products. This way the client has the immediate satisfaction of being able to use the product right away, and keeps you positioned in the forefront between session.
Product sales is a natural extension of the standard of care and healing already associated with our industry. Clients will trust your recommendations, especially on those products used in the session itself. Educating your clients about products means there is no real reason to have to sell anything to your clients.
When considering whether to sell products in your practice, we suggest you do the math. Let’s say that you have a client base of 100 people. If you averaged selling $50 in products to each client per year, that would increase your income by $5,000. After you factor in the cost of the goods, shipping, promotion, and time, you should still see a net profit of at least $2,000. That’s pretty good for just stocking a few items that your clients would like and would probably by something similar from another company anyway. Now imagine bringing in a few higher-end items or increasing the average amount that you sell to each client.
It is our position that you do your clients a disservice if you don’t have products they can purchase. Many people are overworked and time management is a problem. If you can save them the time of having to stop to buy a product, then you’ve simplified their lives-and that’s priceless. Start practicing smart business today and jump on the retail bus!
Cherie Sohnen-Moe and Lynda Solien-Wolfe have been collaborating for several years on the topic of retailing. They have facilitated workshops, written articles and blogs, and host a website and a Facebook page on this topic. They are both passionate about the importance of retailing in enhancing clients’ wellness, as well as providing financial support for practitioners. For more information on this topic, consider their new ebook, Retail Mastery: The Handbook for Massage and Bodywork Practitioners.