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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2008:10:04 12:13:22

By Jeff Blackman, J.D.

Since this issue has a focus on health and wellness, it seems appropriate to address the value of “massage.” Especially, when it delivers unexpected benefits and reminds you of the little things that really matter in business.

Years ago, I was in Dallas for a five-day business trip. On day four, I was pooped. So at 3 p.m. I snuck up to my room for a well-deserved nap. However, a better idea hit me.

I approached the concierge and said, “Hi Machelle, could you please help me schedule an in-room massage within the next 90 minutes?”

She replied, “We usually suggest guests go to the health club, but I know who to call.”

She reached for the phone, “Hi Sandra, it’s Machelle at the Anatole. Mr. Blackman would like an in-room massage, at 4:30 or earlier. Are you available? Not ’til 5 Mr. Blackman, will that work?”

I requested the phone, “Hi Sandra, I’ve got a commitment this evening and would really like to start at 4:30, is that possible?”

She answered, “You have my commitment, I’ll be there at 4:30 or earlier.” (Smart marketers commit to a deliverable.)

At 4:25, there was a knock at the door. It was Sandra. (Great ones honor their promises.)

She greeted me with a big smile and firm handshake. Then asked, “Mr. Blackman where would you like your massage table.” (This was now my table. I had vested ownership. She used the words you and your vs. I, me, mine or my.)

Sandra then said, “How long have you been in Dallas? What’s the purpose of your visit? Tell me more about what you do.” (She immediately took interest in me by asking questions.)

Sandra then requested, “To assure you the best results, could you please complete this form.” She handed me a form with questions, like ones I had completed when visiting my doctor.

Over the years, I’ve had lots of massages, but never one starting like this. So I asked, “Sandra, what do you need this for?” She responded, “The best way to help your future, is to understand your past. The body never forgets.” (Whoa! I wanted to know what time her workshop started. She had a valid reason for her request.)

When my “homework” was completed, Sandra studied it. Then said, “You’ve had lots of athletic injuries and you’re still very competitive with your weekly softball games and workouts. Here’s what I suggest, please take a hot shower, to wake up your muscles. Then I’ll stretch you before we begin, to create positive energy.” (Who am I to argue with a trained business-pro, who uses benefit statements?)

As I headed for the invigorating waters of Dallas, Sandra asked, “Which do you prefer, classical music or jazz?” I said, “Classical.” She responded, “Classical it is.” (Again, she was focused on a simple environmental pleasure to maximize my experience.)

When I exited the shower in running shorts, to my surprise, Sandra was on the phone. I heard, “Hi, this is Sandra, I’ll be giving Mr. Blackman a massage. Please hold his calls for the next hour, so he’s not disturbed.”(She controlled the environment, to assure success.)

For the next 10 minutes, Sandra stretched me. I became a human pretzel. She then said, “Let’s continue the healing. Please lay on your back on your massage table.” (Hey, it’s my table and I was up for healing.)

As Beethoven’s music soothed me, Sandra placed her hands on my forehead and said, “Close your eyes, take a series of deep breaths. As you inhale, take in your hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations. Visualize them. See them coming true. As you exhale, remove from your life, any doubts, fears, pressures, worries.” (At this point, I was ready to buy her books and monthly coaching sessions. This wasn’t a massage, it was a series of valuable business-lessons.)

Within an hour, under Sandra’s watchful eye, remarkable business style and magical hands, I was revived. (Business is all about successful outcomes, results and improved conditions.)

Before Sandra left, we chatted about her business and mine. She then asked, “Mr. Blackman, how can my team help you and your fellow professionals at next year’s convention? Perhaps with chair massages.” (She’s pursuing the next opportunity and seeking referrals.)

I said, “Sandra, every year, we’re in a new

city. Next year, Orlando.” She said, “That’s great. It’s easy to fly there and coordinate a team of Florida therapists.” (Wow. She even knows how to overcome objections.)

As Sandra left, I thanked her profusely and tipped her handsomely. She deserved it. (She of course left behind business cards, as well as additional literature on the benefits of her company and massage. Great marketers always plant the seed for the next sale. They use a singular positive event, to position and leverage a customer for a lifetime of value.)

As I entered the bathroom to shower, I noticed something was different.

When I exited the shower an hour earlier, I engaged in the “shower dance.” You know, where your feet straddle the tub. One foot remains firmly implanted in the tub, while the other one futilely searches for a safe landing on that tiny bath towel mat on the floor. An experience akin to parachuting from a few thousand feet and landing on an M&M.

However, the postage stamp bath mat was gone. In its place, Sandra had draped a large bath towel across the floor, so my wet feet would be dry and comfortable for the demanding two-step journey from the shower to the sink. (She created another moment of massage magic. It was the bonus or unexpected extra.)

Sandra’s company was Mobile Massage. I think, it was really mobile success. So the next time you’re in Dallas and need a body or business boost, give Sandra a buzz. Oh, be sure to request the deep-penetrating wintergreen.