In light of VitaMist’s recent award from the World Massage Festival, it’s a prime opportunity for VitaMist distributors to pitch to, and even recruit massage therapists into the VitaMist family. But this does raise the question, “Is it ethical for massage therapists to sell products as part of their practice?” Fortunately, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” You just need to follow a few simple rules.
To ensure ethical sales, a massage therapist or physical therapist should meet two criteria.
Rule Number 1: Transparency
Tell your patients and clients that you will be making a profit off the sale. Without transparency, motives can be called into question, and your practice can suffer. Being honest with your clientele is important. By withholding information, you break the trust between you and those who you serve. However, by being open and sincere, you would be surprised how many of your clients will make that purchase specifically because it also benefits you. A good therapist – patient relationship is one where both parties benefit.
Rule Number 2: Provide Options
Provide your patients with alternate locations where they can purchase same products. This rule is similar to transparency. You may make a few more sales by pitching a product as though you are their sole source. Scarcity sells, after all. However, in the process of selling products, you may lose clients. A therapist is not a salesperson first, and their chief obligation should be to their practice. It all comes back to the honesty we talked about in rule 1. Don’t sacrifice relationships for the sake of sales.
Rule Number 3: Understand the Product
If you are going to sell products to supplement your practice, you will need to teach your clients what they do, and why they would be of benefit. And before you can teach someone else, you must first understand the subject matter. VitaMist has many informative materials available online, a network of nutritional consultants who can get you started, and a customer service team that would be thrilled to talk you through the specifics of our products, and what they do. Studying the products you plan to sell is not just important to grow your business, it is also the right thing to do. Advising a patient to take a product that not even you fully understand is no better than selling snake oil on a street corner, and could even be dangerous if you advise them to take the wrong products.
Rule Number 4: Believe in the Product!
This rule may be the most important one. Selling a product that you do not believe in is disingenuous, and highly unethical. If you sell products out of your practice, supplementing your income should be a positive side effect on top of promoting your patient’s health. Profit is the icing on the cake, while the nutritional benefits are the cake itself. Furthermore, selling products that you believe in will make it easier to sell them! When you are truly exciting about what you are selling, that enthusiasm is noticeable, and it will spread to your patients and colleagues alike!
Selling outside products is an excellent way to keep your private practice afloat, and ease the burden of your bills. But that doesn’t have to be all that there is to it. It can be a way to promote better health in your patients, educate them on how nutrition affects their body and connect with them on a personal level. All you need to do is to follow a few simple rules.