In oncology massage, we know that the little details matter. How you gently tuck the draping so a client’s shoulders stay warm. The way you offer to massage a client’s scalp after hair loss. The way you hit exactly the right spot on your client’s foot, without too much pressure, in the infusion room.
The way you begin a chair massage ever-so-gently, when you know the caretaker in your chair is simply exhausted.
Clients remember those details, and how they felt so safe and comforted by your hands.
Remembering Your Name
But a client who enjoyed your chair massage at a cancer care fundraiser may not remember your name. The nurse you massaged during her or his break may quickly lose your business card in an already-full wallet or bag.
At times like these, physical reminders are useful. One OMT on our teaching staff, Joan Rau (of networking with oncology nurse navigators fame) is a whiz at outreach, and she gives away hand sanitizer.
Yup. But this is not your average hand sanitizer. These bottles have tiny sweaters on them, printed with Joan’s contact info. They come with a clip, as well.
It’s brilliant, really. Hand sanitizer is something many people like to have around, especially health care workers and people in cancer treatment, who might be paying extra attention to infection control. These little guys are cheerful and hard to resist.
(My kid, who calls it “handitizer,” took one look at a pile of Joan’s giveaways and clipped one to her school backpack. There, it swings cheerfully along with other odds and ends as she walks to school.)
A Personal Connection
Joan keeps a basket of these hand sanitizers in her waiting room, and they disappear quickly, but she says they are especially popular at the events where she offers massage:
“The giveaway brings attention to me and my table. I usually keep them closer to me so that people actually have to talk to me to get one. For some it’s just a free item, for others it is the beginning of an enlightening conversation.”
The personal connections she makes are reinforced every time a person uses the freebie sanitizer, and they’ve got her contact info handy.
“My clients love them and I see them hanging off purses and such. They especially like them if they are traveling. I have been told on more than one occasion that they have given them away as they did not have one of my business cards to hand out…The fact that it can be used on more than one occasion means they will think of me on more than one occasion.”
In a successful practice, we know the details are important. We also know that success cannot be traced only to the marketing details, nor to a tiny bottle of sanitizer. There are other factors that enable a practice to flourish.
In the best possible world, we would all share those things with each other.
So Let’s Share Those Things with Each Other
Our teaching staff will take a shot at creating that best possible world in a one-day course, “Oncology Massage in Action” in early February, 2016, in the Boston area. We’ll gather our teachers in one place to share insights from their successful practices, so Joan will be joined by me and, if weather permits, a whopping six other instructor-practitioners.
Neither hand sanitizer nor marketing will be the primary focus of the day, but both may come up in conversation. This is more of a “notes from the field” event. We’ll look at what has worked and not worked for us in private practice and the hospital setting, the wise use of OMT research in promoting a practice, “selling” the often-gentle pressure of oncology massage, and even some of the best ways to make clients comfortable on the table. We’ve planned a fun, highly interactive day of camaraderie.
Meanwhile, do you have a giveaway that gets a good response? We would love to hear about it, share with us in the comments!