Variable Pricing

Pricing your treatments.
One of the most difficult things to do when setting up your business, or branching out on your own and it’s often a topic that comes up across the internet and creates a very heated discussion.

Just today there was a discussion about charging $15 extra for deep tissue massage.
I responded to this discussion by saying “Horrible practice….” then continuing on with why I felt it was unacceptable.

So here is what I had to say:

I disagree with nickel and diming clients for a treatment that is part of your toolkit any way and costs no extra to administer. Now this is my personal opinion as with most others but techniques like this are used across any client treatment where the client intake suggests this is the treatment they require. Each massage I do is a combination of all techniques I’ve learned over the years and applied as necessary.

If you had a client who had booked in for a normal 60 min Swedish massage, then whine you are working on them (and continually assessing) you find that they have an area that would benefit from more focused “deep tissue” work, how would you handle it?

(1) inform the client of your findings, offer your recommendation and if client agrees perform the deep tissue as you see fit and then complete treatment
(2) follow through with current treatment, at the end of the session inform the client you found areas that could have benefited from another technique you can do, but you didn’t because they’ll need to book in for another session at a higher rate to have that addresses
(3) inform them that they could benefit from the deep tissue work but if they want you to proceed with this they’ll have to pay extra after the session.
Which of these do you feel would be better customer service?


So let me expand on that a little further, because yes it seems this is a controversial stance to take.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that by pursuing training in additional techniques such as Deep Tissue work, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofacial Release etc that you do not deserve to be paid for your new skills and education.
Far from it.
What I am suggesting as each of these techniques above, and many more that you will learn in your career are all interchangeable within the treatment room. You don’t require any additional product or tools to perform this work. Why can’t you keep your treatments open to the possibility of using these within a session if the client asks/needs it?

Let’s say you are a tradesmen, you fix electronics.
Your customers items over time change and require new/specific screwdrivers to work on the item.
You pay for that screwdriver once, but now it is available for you at any time so no matter what a customer brings to you , if you open up the item and find you need to use your new fancy dancy screwdriver it’s within reach, you can do the repair within the allotted time and your customer is happy.

You wouldn’t charge your customers each time you reached for that specific screw driver, even though the repair time is the same for all your other customers, or would you?

You want to mitigate the cost of acquiring this new screwdriver though right?

So what you do is once you feel confident and proficient that you can perform the repairs using this screwdriver NO MATTER WHAT ITEM is presented to you, it’s now a tool available for all customers, so you slightly increase your repair cost for everyone. That way it’s not a huge leap and over time you will recoup the cost of this screwdriver.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but I hope it gets my point across.

All your clients want to feel like they are treated equally and that they have access to all of your available tools should they need them, because lets face it sometimes we don’t know we will use these techniques until after we get our hands on our clients.

At the end of the day, how you run your business and what you charge your clients is up to you, but wouldn’t you prefer not to limit your treatment options because a client can’t afford a different technique?