Roberto Mecca Massage Therapy Scam Continues

If you are on this page, it’s likely because you’ve received a message from Roberto Mecca, wanting to send you one of his massage clients.

In the case of his contact with me, she’s supposedly a very attractive Australian model.

This is a scam.

What follows is a full account of my correspondence with this individual/group.

It starts with the letter I sent to the Colorado FBI, accompanied by the $4600 REAL money order I received.

So that you know, if you cash a money order, you can legally be held responsible for the action you’ve taken, and can be held accountable as an accomplice to a crime.

The reason I carried this as far as I did was to have enough information to share with the proper authorities who can work to get this scam stopped.

Roberto Mecca

Here is the full account of my correspondence on this issue.

——–

Dear Denver/Colorado FBI,

My name is Jonathan Kraft.

I am a certified massage therapist in Colorado, though I’m not currently running a massage therapy business.

I also, for 6 years, have run a website called IdentityTheftSecrets.com, which is a site designed to help people protect themselves against identity theft.

In that time, I’ve seen a lot in terms of how people get scammed.

There are all kinds of scams targeting business professionals, as you well know. Because my massage website is still online, or for whatever other reason, I was contacted by someone identifying himself as Roberto Mecca.

from: Roberto Mecca: mecca_roberto@yahoo.com

The full correspondence is attached, but I knew it was a scam from the first email.

  • He identifies himself as a massage therapist referred to me by “a friend”
  • he email was sent to “undisclosed recipients”.
  • He also uses the psychological tactic of referring to me as a client a very attractive, minimally clothed, model.

 

Later, more inconsistencies

  • “She speaks good English”. I would hope so. She’s supposedly from Australia
  • She’ll be “in town” from the 10th of next month to October 2, but she needs “2 sessions/week for 6 weeks.”

However, I responded because…

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing.”

-Edmund Burke

 

If knowledgeable people take a hands off approach, then these crooks continue to prey on those who don’t know any better.

I am attaching a money order which I received in the mail today.

I attempted to have them deliver it to a FedEx drop-off address (just a local FedEx store), but they instead chose to send it via UPS.

Somehow they looked me up and had this sent directly to my apartment. I’m not too concerned that they know where I live… that’s easy to find out.

In any case, I believe this to be a real money order as it has the watermark and the paper is actually heat sensitive.

I think it’s come from someone’s account named Linda Mamello in Danvers, MA. That’s the address that was on the UPS label, which I have also enclosed.

I have not contacted Linda. If Linda is being scammed, and she is far enough into this to send $4.850.15 to a complete stranger, my contacting her probably won’t make any difference.

She probably would not believe me anyway.

Can you please use what I’ve sent you to track down these guys and get this thing shut down?

In one of the emails, they send bank details for a bank in Malaysia… maybe that account can be investigated? I know it’s difficult internationally, but I trust you’ll do your best.

Also, can you please ensure that wherever this money order came from, that the money is returned to it’s rightful owner, and that this person knows they’ve been scammed?

Thank-you for the work you do to get scams like this stopped.

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Kraft

P.S. There are others being contacted by this guy/ring. A quick search of the Internet for Roberto Mecca, therapywork2@hotmail.com, or mecca_roberto@yahoo.com, will show you others who are being hit as well.

Correspondence with “Roberto Mecca” follows

——–

Therapy Work therapywork2@hotmail.com via strive4impact.com
Aug 21 (9 days ago)
to undisclosed recipients

Greetings from Sydney!!

My name is Roberto mecca I live and work as a massage therapist here in Sydney, I am originally from Italy, I am 45yrs old. I have been doing massage since 1991. I do deep relaxation massage in which the muscles relax without pain. I also do energy massage that helps people feel great when I am done. I am also certified to do pregnancy massage. I have lots of happy clients here in Sydney.

I have been looking for a  for A massage therapist for over a week now till i met an old friend yesterday that referred you to me, so i decided to contact you to know if you will be able give my client some massage  sessions. My client’s name is Ms Shenae Gillespie,  A model here in Sydney who will be needing some massage therapy sessions when she arrives the States, She will be coming to the U.S in 3 weeks time for a modeling job and will be residing in your Area temporarily until the necessary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves.

She will be needing 1hr Massage session per day, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks. Ms Gillespie, asked me to come with her to the States but i told her i would not be able to go with her as i have a course i will be going for in a week time, so i promised to help her get a good Massage therapist in your Area.

Pls tell me a little more about your self,  how long have you been a Massage therapist? and would you be able to provide her with the sessions from the 12th of next Month to the 25th of

October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

I need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per session and also let me know if she can pay you with a Certified check drawn from a US bank?

You can view some of Ms Gillespie Pictures from the link below:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/2662217/viewall#/28508442

Till I read from you remain blessed.

Roberto Mecca
Wentworth Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 22
to Therapy

Hi Roberto,

Thank-you for your contact.

I do have availability in my schedule for that time.

I am a certified massage therapist here and have been practicing for 10+ years.

I charge $95/hour, but will reduce my fee to $85/hour if all the sessions are paid in advance.

Of course she can pay me with a certified funds check.  No problem.

Please let me know what dates and times and I will get this scheduled.

Thank-you!

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

——–

Roberto Mecca mecca_roberto@yahoo.com
Aug 24 (6 days ago)
to me

Greetings!!

How are you doing today? Hope all is well with you? Am very sorry for the late reply, I was away in Verona for my daughters wedding and  just returned, Am very pleased to read from you, Hope you having a nice time over there, I am doing great here, You sound like a very nice person am sure Ms Gillespie will love your work.

I sent a copy of the message you sent me to Ms Gillespie and she is very happy you will be able to give her the sessons, I also want to let you know she speaks good English so you do not need to worry about communication, She is in Malaysia at the moment for a runway show which will end next week, She said she would give you a call when she is done with the show so you can both go over all the details you might need for the Sessions before her arrival.

She said you should make a Schedule from the 10th of next month to the 25th of October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks. and she would like all the sessions to be before 1pm or after 5pm because she will be going out for her photo shoot between the hr of 1pm – 5pm and you should not Include Sundays because of Church.

Ms Gillespie said she would be making reservations in the hotel below next week and will give you all the details you will need as soon as the reservation is done, Let me know if the hotel is close to you, She would be having transportation when she arrives so i dont think distance to you should be a problem.

Hilton Hotel

About Payments, She said she is doing a Billboard job for best buy, so the payments would come from best buy Company in Chicago, She said she would tell the Company manager to make her cashier check in your name, The cashiers check is for ( $4,850 ) so that when you receive the Certified Check on her behalf, you deduct the money for her Sessions, and have her scheduled and you help her wire the rest of her Money to her account as she would be using the rest of her money to pay for her photo shoot Equipments she is renting for her job.

Pls let me know if you can assist her with that? All you need do, is email me when you received her check and i will give you all the instructions on how to get the rest of her money to her to pick up her photo Equipments before her flight to the States. she said if you will need a tip for that, it should not be a problem.

She would need the details below below so she can pass it to the Company manager to make her cashier check in your name and overnight it to you via Fedex so you can have her booked.

Do email me all the information below so i can send it to her for the Company manager to mail the Check to you.

1) Name on check:…………………..

2) Address check will be sent to:…………………….

3) Phone Number to call on delivery: …………………..

4)Total amount for sessions ……………

You can reach Ms Gillespie on this number incase you have any questions: 6148738295

Have a beautiful day!

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 25 (5 days ago)
to Roberto

Hi Roberto,

Thank-you for setting this up.  I’m have a lot of appointments today, so my reply will be short.

Here is the information you requested.  Please send to my PO Box in Las Vegas as I will be able to get the check there when I’m traveling:

1) Name on check: A Great Massage
2) Address check will be sent to:
Jonathan Kraft
PO Box 29502-7405
Las Vegas, NV 89126

3) Phone Number to call on delivery: (303) 847-0588
4) Total amount for sessions: $85/session x 6 sessions = $510

Thank-you!

——–

Roberto Mecca
Aug 25 (5 days ago)
to me

pls do send me a house address, fedex would not deliver to a p.o.box Address… thanks

——–

Jonathan Kraft
Aug 27 (3 days ago)
to Roberto

Hey Roberto,

I didn’t know you would send with FedEx.  That’s great because there’s a FedEx right near to me, and this is a great place for me to pick things up.

Please send to

Jonathan Kraft
FedEx Office Print & Ship Center
2630 South Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014

On the label, please check the box that says “hold” and I’ll go there and pick it up.

Please email me the tracking number for the FedEx envelope so that I will know when it arrives.

Thank-you again Roberto for this opportunity to work with your client!

Kind Regards,

Jonathan

——–

Roberto Mecca
Aug 29 (1 day ago)
to me

Good Morning, How was your weekend? I just Confirmed that the  package would be delivered this Morning in the Hr of 8:30 – 10:30 This is the UPS tracking number ( 1Z0478790198215795 ) You can track the package so as to know what time it would be delivered, After you receive the check, deposit the funds and when its available deduct the amount for her sessions from the funds you receive and you help her wire the rest of the funds from your bank to her Equipments rental company account so they can confirm the payments and have her Photo Equipments ready before her flight on Saturday.

You will be charged for the transaction which you will have to deduct from the funds you are sending to her Equipment rental Company , Then you will give them the information below and the Money will be wired to her Equipment rental Manager.

Below is the BanK Information to her Photo Equipments rental company.

Bank Name : HONG LEONG BANK

Account Name : LALITHA A/P SARAVANA VELLU

ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0095-20-004059-2

SWIFT CODE: HLBBMYKL

BANK ADDRESS JALAN PERDANA 4/6 PANDAN PERDANA

55300.KUALA  LUMPUR . MALAYSIA

You are to scan and email me the wire slip so i can send it to her Equipment rental manager to confirm the funds have been wired.

Lastly she wants you to set up a schedule for her on time and days she would she would be having her sessions.

I await the wire slip as soon as the wire is done.

Thank You very much

Roberto

——–
Jonathan Kraft
1:20 AM
to Roberto

Hi,
I thought you were sending this package via FedEx, so I had you send it to a FedEx location very close to my office.
Do you need a UPS address instead?
Please let me know at your convenience.
Thank-you!

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

——–
Roberto Mecca
4:34 AM
to me

Pls do call ups with the tracking number and tell them where to deliver the package. thank

——–
Jonathan Kraft
8:29 AM
to Roberto

They will only change the package delivery address for the person who sent it.
The closest UPS Store to me is at:
820 South Monaco Parkway #4B
Denver, CO 80224
Please call UPS and have them deliver and hold the package there, and I will pick up the package there.
Thank-you!

——–
Roberto Mecca
10:03 AM
to me

I have just spoke to them, they said you can come to their office to pick it up.. thanks

Another Massage Therapy Scam – Nearly Naked Models

This Massage therapy scam is actually quite good…

It probably was sent mostly to male massage therapists. You’ll see in the email below.

Roberto Mecca is likely a fake name.  This whole thing is a fake tailored to massage therapists.

If you’ve received a message like this, run away. It is a scam.

You might be tempted by the pictures… do not be. This is a scam to get you to launder money for them, similar to the Ben Raes massage therapist scam.

Here’s the email.

Again, this is a SCAM!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Therapy Work Date: Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Subject: Massage therapist Enquiry
To: to undisclosed recipients

Greetings from Sydney!!
My name is Roberto mecca I live and work as a massage therapist here in Sydney, I am originally from Italy, I am 45yrs old. I have been doing massage since 1991. I do deep relaxation massage in which the muscles relax without pain. I also do energy massage that helps people feel great when I am done. I am also certified to do pregnancy massage. I have lots of happy clients here in Sydney.
I have been looking for a for A massage therapist for over a week now till i met an old friend yesterday that referred you to me, so i decided to contact you to know if you will be able give my client some massage sessions. My client’s name is Ms Shenae Gillespie, A model here in Sydney who will be needing some massage therapy sessions when she arrives the States, She will be coming to the U.S in 3 weeks time for a modeling job and will be residing in your Area temporarily until the necessary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves.

She will be needing 1hr Massage session per day, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

Ms Gillespie, asked me to come with her to the States but i told her i would not be able to go with her as i have a course i will be going for in a week time, so i promised to help her get a good Massage therapist in your Area.

Pls tell me a little more about your self, how long have you been a Massage therapist? and would you be able to provide her with the sessions from the 12th of next Month to the 25th of October, 2 Sessions per week for 6 weeks.

I need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per session and also let me know if she can pay you with a Certified check drawn from a US bank?

You can view some of Ms Gillespie Pictures from the link below:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/2662217/viewall#/28508442
Till I read from you remain blessed.

Roberto Mecca
Wentworth Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Ben Raes and Steve Abel: Massage Therapy Scam Continues

Today in the mail, I received three money orders from “Steve Abel”. Steve Abel is supposedly the guy who is helping Ben Raes to purchase the massage appointments from me.

Here’s the problem… there should have been 1 money order for $870, the agreed upon price for Ben’s 9 hours of massage appointments.

The money orders I received total more than $2,900.

Here’s how the rest of Ben Raes and Steve Abel’s scam would work, if I continued it.

  • I would write to tell them that they sent me the wrong money orders or that the money orders were for too much.
  • One of them would write me back and say that I should cash the money orders anyway, keep some of the difference for my trouble, and then send them back the rest of the money.
  • However, in a few days, I would discover that these weren’t real money orders, and I would be out the difference.

There was no massage appointment ever desired to be scheduled… the whole thing is a scam/sham.

However, they do send pretty convincing money orders. Here’s what they look like:

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-1

ben-raes-steve-abel-massage-scam-5

The problem is that right on the money order, it says that it has thermographic images on the money order, and the places you look on the money order to test thermographic imaging don’t actually do anything when you rub them. These “money orders” are fakes that were printed out on someone’s laser printer or inkjet printer.

Words to the wise – Ben Raes and Steve Abel do NOT want to schedule a massage appointment with you.

They want to take your money.

I’ve forwarded the money orders and envelope to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I don’t know if they will be able to use this, but I hope they will take it and pursue these guys and get this scam shut down.

Beware Of Massage Therapy Scams: Ben Raes Wants 6 Sessions of 90 Minutes

I just recently discovered that I am involved in someone trying to scam me.

Some red flags have been going up, so I googled the phone number of the person who has been emailing me:
“011447424057189”

No results came up so I instead Googled “Ben Raes”.

That led me to this post:
http://www.abmp.com/news/e-mail-scams-continue-to-target-massage-therapists/.

Below is the text of my conversation (so far) with Ben Raes.

At this point, my goal is to learn as much as possible about whoever this is and post it here on MusicOfMassage, so that we can out this guy/group.

If you have any experience with this, please post in the comments below.

Chances are good that if you accept money from whoever this is, it is a scam.

——————————-
from: Ben Raes whqt1941@gmail.com
date: Sat, Nov 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

The price quote is suitable. In order to hold our reservation,I will authorize payment to be mailed to you in US Money Order by my associate over there in the US after I am in receipt of your full names to whom the payment will be made out and your address/phone number where you can receive the mail.

Looking forward to your prompt response

Regards
Ben Raes
011447424057189

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 11:39 PM, Jonathan Kraft wrote:

Hi Ben,

Thank-you for emailing me back. I hope you enjoyed your time in China. Where were you in China? I was there in 2003, and in Hong Kong this year. Pretty amazing part of the world. Was almost in Guangzhou this year as well, but ended up not going.

As far as your massage times/appointments, this will be great and I am sure you will enjoy your time in Boulder. It is a beautiful city (my wife got her master’s degree from the university there).

6 * 90 minute sessions = 9 hours.

9 hours * $95/hour = $855 (USD).

I have reserved these dates for you in February from 5-7 PM. (This is me testing to see if he would notice that I was off by an hour. He didn’t make any issue of it.)

Again, thank-you for giving me the opportunity to be of service, and I look forward to meeting you on February 10th.

Warm Regards,

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Ben Raes wrote:

Hi Jonathan,
I am sorry for the late response I was out of town to China and just came back. Your location is suitable for us.On arrival we will be staying at
Boulder Creek Quality Inn & Suites,2020 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80302.You can go ahead and schedule our appointment for 3days/90mins sessions for each person and email me the total amount of all the sessions 6/90sessions

I will be looking forward your response

Regards
Ben Raes
+447424057189

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM, Jonathan Kraft wrote:

Hey Ben,

Thank-you for your email, and please accept my apologies for my delayed reply.

I currently only do on-site massage (I bring my massage table to your location) at the rate of USD $95/hour.

I have been certified and working as a massage therapist in the state of Colorado since March 2001.

Your dates and times will work well for me. Please let me know what part of Colorado you will be in on these dates/times.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a spa or massage therapist you can visit (instead of having someone come to you), please let me know and I will offer some suggestions.

Thank-you again for your email.

I look forward to having the opportunity to be of service to you.

Warm Regards,

Jonathan Kraft, CMT

On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 9:52 PM, Ben Raes wrote:

Greetings,
I found your contact after a brief search for a Massage Theraphists on the internet and I therefore use this channel to request if you will be available to offer 3days of 90Mins Massage Service to me and my wife. My name is Ben and my wife’s name is Janet, we live and work as textiles suppliers in United Kingdom and we will be visiting the State of Colorado in United States on the 10th of February, 2012.

February 10th, February 17th and February 24th,2012 are our preferred massage dates and morning session between 9am & 12pm will be fine for us,but if this time is not available, then period from 5pm upward will make a good alternative.

Moreover if there is any of the quoted dates/times that is not available,please let me know and possibly furnish me with alternative dates/times.We can on each day do the sessions back to back(i.e one after the other) OR at the same time if you have another therapist working with you. Alternatively I can have my own massage in the morning and the one for my wife comes later in the day. We do not have any medical issues whatsoever and we have received massage services several times in the past .

Kindly answer the following questions if you are available for the service required.

What is your address location in Colorado so as to estimate our proximity to you ?

How many years of experience do you have in this career?

I look forward to your prompt response.

Regards,
Ben Raes

Massage Therapy Marketing: 27 Hooks For Massage Therapists

In marketing, a hook is the thing which gets you to “take it for a test drive”, “have a free sample”, or “Get 30% more for free.”

A hook is the back cover of the book which works to entice you to open the book and buy it.

As a massage therapist, what’s your hook?

When you’re out giving chair massage or table massage at an on-site location, how do you get people to take you for a test drive?

Hint #1: If your “hook” is “free massage,” you’re dead in the water. Anyone can give free massage. What makes you different or unique?

Hint #2: You should think of your hook as a headline. Headlines are proven to be more effective if The First Letter Of Every Word Is Capitalized, and also “If The Headline Has Quotes Around It”. So when you put your headline on a poster, banner, or your website, make sure you use Title Case, and make sure you “Put Quotes Around Your Hook”.

Here are 27 hooks you can use to get people to take you up on your offer of free massage, and to start building a relationship with them before you’ve even spoken with or met them.

Adapt or modify these massage therapy marketing hooks to something that suits your business.

1. “Exotic (Thai/Swedish/Asian/Deep Tissue) Massage That Has Nothing To Do With Sex”
2. “Your Bod. My chair. 5 Minutes. No obligation.”
3. “5 Glorious Minutes In Heaven. Yes, It’s Free.”
4. “7 Points In the Body Can Free You From Pain”
5. “3 Little Known Facts About Fake Massage Therapists”
6. “Your Body’s a Temple. Why Is It Hard As A Rock?”
7. “Your Body Needs These Kneads.”
8. “I’m Giving Free Massage Because I Hope You’ll Want More”
9. “Looks Relaxing, Yes? Yes, It’s Free.”
10. “5 (More) Reasons Why You Can’t Relax”
11. “Your Back + My Hands = Relaxation”
12. “My Massage = You Go Home Happy!”
13. “My Massage Makes Muscles Move Magnificently”
14. “3 Reasons Massage Lets You Live Longer”
15. “This Massage Will Make Your Day Better, Guaranteed!”
16. “People Call Me Magic Hands. Try It. You’ll See…”
17. ”Normally, Only My Mom Gets Free Massage (but today, you can too)”
18. “For Your Loose Change I’ll Loosen Your Muscles…”
19. “Do You Want Personal Perfect Postural Positioning?”
20. “Want To Feel Great? Sit. In My Chair. 5 Minutes.”
21. “Free Sample. I’m Hoping You’ll Love It.”
22. “Free 5 Minute Samples. I’m Hoping You’ll Get Addicted.”
23. “Complete Relaxation In 5 Minutes (Or Less)”
24. “I Don’t Do This Often, But Today Is Free Massage Day”
25. “Step 1: Sit In My Chair. Step 2: Relax With Free Massage. Step 3: Be Happy.”
26. “You. Here. Now. Free Massage. Sit. Relax.”
27. “5 Minutes. Free Massage. Keep Your Shirt On”

You can use one of these hooks as-is, base yours off one of these, or come up with your own hook relating to your massage business.

The point is to be different, and to get passersby to want to sit in your chair because you’ve made them laugh or made them think.

Have a hook that’s stronger than “free massage”, and you’ll find you have a much easier time converting passersby into people who take you up on your offer. If you make them laugh or make them think, you’ll also find that those people will be more likely to schedule a follow up (and fully paid) massage appointment.

How To Get Massage Clients From One Day Of (Stupid) Free Chair Massage

Giving away free chair massage can often feel like a lame activity as a massage therapist.

You stand there all day, with your little sign or just your massage chair, and hope someone will be brave enough to take you up on your offer of absolutely free massage.

Here’s how to make the process less stupid, and make sure you get as many clients as possible in the process.

 

1. Have a hook
In marketing, a hook is the thing which gets you to “take it for a test drive”, “have a free sample”, or “Get 30% more for free.”

Your hook for your massage business is the equivalent of the back cover of the book which works to entice you to buy the book.

What’s your hook? How do you get people to take you for a test drive?

Hint: If your “hook” is “free massage,” you’re dead in the water.

Your hook should inspire a thought or a question.

Here are a couple of hook ideas:

How about “7 Points In the Body Can Free You From Pain.”
The question your passerby must answer is “What are the 7 points?” and “I can be pain free if I know those points?”

Then figure out what those 7 points are and highlight them in every chair massage you do.

Point out how each point needs at least 45 minutes of specialized attention (i.e. future appointments for you).

SCHEDULE the appointment while they are THERE in the massage chair!

Or how about “Exotic Thai Massage That Has Nothing To Do With Sex

The questions they could have from this are many, but one could be, “but I thought Thai massage was only the kind with special “happy” endings?”

You would have to be careful, but if you used it correctly, you could get a lot of people to try out your chair massage using this kind of a hook.

What’s your hook for getting people to sit in your massage chair?

Take 10 minutes and come up with 5 GOOD marketing hooks that relate to the kind of massage you offer.

Test them on a few friends.

Ask your friends: “If you saw a poster advertising free massage, which of these sentences would make you most likely to stop and get a free massage?”

 

2. Give A Discount
Offer a coupon from the outset.

Before they sit in your chair, have an offer on a poster somewhere nearby: “If you like the free chair massage you get from me today, and you schedule an appointment today, I will give you a 37% discount on a 1 hour massage.”

(20% or 25% is a good discount, but 37% sounds like a huge discount, and once again causes them to have to ask a question.  Them: “How much is 37%”?

37% also sounds more like a real discount, as opposed to a 20% discount which sounds like a number you just made up.)

 

3. Make Them Feel Good

Yes, it can be very difficult to stand at a fair all day and give massage to random people.

But without fail, every time I give chair massage at any street festival or summer fair, I end up with at least 1-2 new ongoing clients.

The key is to make them feel really great while they are sitting in your massage chair.

You can do this with the massage you are giving them, and also with the questions you ask them during the massage.

Example of a hypothetical conversation:

You: “I notice some tension here in your (lower back, shoulders, neck, etc). How long have you had this?”
Them: “I don’t know,” or “Years.
You: “Do you know what caused it?”
Them: “Oh, well it’s from years of this job I had doing…” At this point, they’re likely to say something negative. Your job as a massage THERAPIST now is to turn that into a positive thing.
You: “What did you like about that job?” or “I’m sorry to hear about that, but surely there was some thing good from it, yes?”

Get them to talk about something they absolutely love.

You: “Forgive me for intruding, but are you excited about something right now? Sometimes I get a sense about people, and I’m thinking that you’re pretty excited about something in your life right now?”

If they say, “Nope.”

Your response: “Hmmm. I doubt that. Really? Isn’t there something you’re somewhat excited about right now?”

And then wait. SAY NOTHING. Just wait. Keep working on them.

Once you have waited for about 30 seconds (sometimes less), the pressure will build for them to find something they are really excited about and they will start to tell you about it.

If they truly are not excited about ANYTHING in their life right now, you do not want them as a client anyway. Seriously.

People like to spend time with other people who they feel good around.

If the person you’re giving massage to feels good when they’re around you (both physically and energetically), and you help them feel good by talking about things they feel good about, they are more likely to want to spend more time with you by scheduling future appointments.

While you are giving them massage, make them feel really great, both with the massage you are giving them and with the words you’re helping them to say.

 

4. As mentioned, you should schedule the appointment during the chair massage.

Don’t be pushy, but you need to get their appointment with you on their calendar.

This means firming up a time and date with them before they walk away from their free chair session.

Make sure they put it in their iPhone, day planner, or other scheduling tool, and make sure they see you put their appointment in your calendar.

By following these simple practices;

  • Having a hook
  • Helping people feel good
  • Offering a discount
  • Scheduling appointments during the chair massage

You will find that giving free chair massage becomes one of the very best ways for you to attract clients to your business.

How Groupon Can Build (Or Destroy) Your Massage Business (Part 2)

If you haven’t read Part 1, do that here.

This article assumes that you’ve already run a Groupon offer for your massage business.

Here’s what you do with your new clients once you’ve gotten them to take advantage of your offer on Groupon.

  1. Make it easy for them to schedule an appointment with you. Give them options to schedule their appointment. Give them a way to schedule online (Google calendar is great for this), schedule via email, schedule via phone, or even schedule a massage appointment via fax. If you set up the online calendar option and let people schedule their own appointments, they are more likely to keep them. Make sure that as part of the scheduling process, they have to submit their email address and phone number.
  2. Call them, and email them, right away, to confirm their massage appointment. Start building rapport and being as friendly as possible over the phone. Remember, this is their first experience with you, but you are wanting to be their lifelong caregiver – LIFE long. The only reason you’ve offered this discount on Groupon is to have a life long customer. So make sure that the first impression you give them is really good. Ask a few questions and listen a lot. This may take 10-15 minutes. Start each conversation by saying, “I’m in-between appointments, but I am calling to thank-you for scheduling your appointment with us/me at (DATE) and (TIME).“ This gets the most crucial information (their massage appointment) in the forefront of their mind, and also gives you an easy out if you feel like the conversation is going on too long. If you start the conversation right, you can always end it quickly with the sentence, “Oh, my next appointment is coming up, so I have to let you go, but I’m looking forward to seeing you for your appointment at (TIME) on (DATE).”
  3. The day before the appointment, call the new client and email them. Repetition builds reception. Your new client will be more likely to show up for their appointment, and will already feel like they have started building a relationship with you, if you have called them and contacted them multiple times before the appointment.
  4. Give an extra something. Do something that no other massage therapist does. This can be something simple, like giving them a sample pack of a cream or lotion, or offering them a cup of hot or iced tea (depending on the weather) before AND after their appointment.
  5. Play relaxing music. Always play relaxing music during the massage. It takes a client from the fight/flight state into an alternative state of mind, where they are more open to the suggestion of a future massage, because they are hearing (and feeling) how beneficial it is for their health.
  6. During the massage – find the reasons that they will need to schedule another appointment with you. Cover these reasons about 20-30 minutes into the massage, when they are really starting to get relaxed. You should have learned this in massage school, but the first 5-10 minutes of a massage, a client is pretty much in fight or flight mode as they are still getting used to the idea of being in a new place, perhaps with some or all of their clothes off, and with nothing but a sheet separating them from someone they have never met and aren’t yet sure about.
  7. After the massage, give them something additional again. A cup of chai tea is always a great option for helping people feel really relaxed and at home (cinnamon and cloves remind people of the holidays), or a sample of some massage cream or lotion (that has your logo and phone number printed on it) that they can take with them.
  8. Before they go, make sure you do everything you can to get them to schedule, and get it on your calendar and theirs. One way to do this is to have them take out a planner or their iPhone (or whatever they use to schedule their time). Make sure to let them see you putting their name on your schedule.
  9. Alternatively, if you are having trouble getting them to schedule another appointment, make sure to let them know about any specials you may have. Do you have a buy 3, get one free program for new clients? (If not, maybe you should start one for your Groupon business.) Do you have a gift card program in house where people can buy 10 massages for the price of 8 or buy 5 massages and get a 20% discount on each (that you’re running for a limited time only)? Think of programs you can have that will encourage your first-time Groupon business to schedule a lot more massage appointments with you.
  10. Encourage referrals. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 100 times. Your massage business will be built on referrals. So work hard to convert your Groupon clients into evangelists for your business. Treat them well, and they will refer their friends. Treat their friends well, and you begin a snowball process that will allow you to raise your rates, build a really successful business, and in the long run, work fewer hours for more money.

How Groupon Can Build (Or Destroy) Your Massage Business (Part 1)

If you are a massage therapist looking for new clients, you should be aware: most people in your city have heard of Groupon.

And most Groupon users know that they can always find a great deal on a massage by visiting Groupon’s website.

If you are a massage therapist, beware, and be aware:

Groupon and $25 student massage is your new competition for getting new clients. This is going to be the case for some time into the future.

One massage therapist who has lost clients because of Groupon was recently quoted as saying, “Groupon sucks!”

Well, that’s one way to look at it. But it’s not a very productive thing to say, and it certainly won’t help your business. The fact is, Groupon can actually become your greatest ally in contacting and creating relationships with new clients.

Groupon gives you a way to get clients in the door. Before Groupon, that was difficult.

After Groupon, you no longer have to work as hard at getting clients.

Want new clients? Run a cheap massage offer on Groupon.

Done!

Groupon is the new deal for all massage therapists, but if you don’t do it right, Groupon can also eat up all your time, completely exhaust you (while you work for pennies), and can even destroy any desire you have to build your massage business.

So here’s how you can use Groupon to build your massage therapy business.

Following these basic guidelines will make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from offering really cheap massage appointments.

  1. Get your mind right. Think of Groupon as the equivalent of giving chair massage for free (at the mall or on the street at a fair) in the hopes you’ll get new clients. In the case of Groupon, you’re getting paid (minimally), but think of it as ‘free chair massage (with tips)’ and you’ll be better off.
  2. Once you’ve got the right mindset, run a Groupon promotion for your massage business as soon as you can.
  3. Make your deal as good as you possibly can. (Depending on where you are in the world, this will mean that you are offering massage from $20-$40/hour. After Groupon’s fees, you will earn just $8-$25/hour from the initial appointment.)
  4. During the session, treat each new client as if they had paid you $250/hour for this session.

The advantage is that if your offer is good ($15-$40/hour), you will get a huge number of new clients coming to you.

The disadvantage is that you will earn a really poor rate from those clients.

However, once those new people walk through the door, your job is to convert them into clients, and then convert them into people who love everything you do.

Here’s your goal – names, emails, addresses, and new clients.

Read Part 2 for specifics about what to do with your new clients during the session, and how to follow up with them to be sure they come back time and time again, and willing to pay you full price.

Massage Music for June: Summer Tranquility


June Massage Music

June 2011’s massage music was called Summer Tranquility.

Click play above (and turn up your speakers) to hear 30 second samples from the CD.

Welcome to June 2011’s Music of Massage: Summer Tranquility

I really like Colorado summers. Even in the heat of July, the weather cools down in the evenings and just becomes beautiful.

One thing I really dislike about July though is it brings with it mosquitoes. They can ruin a nice summer evening faster than anything I know.

However, in June, the mosquitoes are still pretty tame, the wheat is coming up and ready to be harvested, and summer evenings have a tranquility to them that is easy to enjoy.

And so, I hope you enjoy June 2011’s Music of Massage:

Summer Tranquility

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June 2011 Massage Music – Summer Tranquility
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Alternatively, if you would like to purchase multiple massage music CD’s (Save Money), please visit the Buy CD’s page.

Massage music: Best Massage Music Delivered Monthly

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