The Best Gift You Could Ever Give – and How to Offer It
My friend Jen spends so much time shopping for “the perfect gift” that she starts her Christmas shopping in August. Valentine’s Day? Yeah, she’s usually got that wrapped up before New Year's Day.
And that’s if she hasn't had much free time to hit the stores.
See, Jen doesn’t look for gifts that are practical or that her friends will use. She looks for gifts that will knock ‘em off their feet so they ooooh and ahhh and sometimes even exclaim, “Holy sh*t! This is awesome!”
Her husband Dave is a completely different story altogether.
Dave’s the kind of guy that runs into the store half an hour before closing on the special day and grabs something smelly, yummy, pretty, or sexy. If he can score on all points, it's even better.
I didn't think much of the differences in their shopping habits until I read an article by Susan Weinshenk, a Ph.D. who conducted a study of contemporary male and female gift-giving practices. What started out as the study of one thing quickly evolved into something else entirely – you can read the details of her study here.
Dr. Weinshenk uncovered some big differences in how men and women shop for gifts, and here are some key takeaways from her article that you can apply to your massage therapy practice – because let's face it, who doesn't like the gift of a free massage?
How to Sell Gift Certificates to Women for Their Guy
Women want to buy the RIGHT gift. The gift that intuitively, yet practically, captures the attention of the man who receives it. Remember my fanatical gift-giving friend Jen? Pretty much like that.
When selling gifts certificates for therapy to women, make sure you emphasize your ability to tailor your service to the needs of their loved ones. That is, market your gift certificate and services as a package designed for men.
Make the gift certificate attractive with "manly" elements of design, like black or dark backgrounds with no fluff and flowers. If you can, include a few detailed testimonials from guys who have already received a massage gift certificate – this helps them know that they're not the first dude about to lay on the table for what's traditionally considered a "girly" service.
Offer gift certificates to your clients throughout the year, and give them an extra mention when special holidays are coming up.
How to Sell Gift Certificates to Men for Their Lady
Men play it safe. They want to buy the right gift too, but they're thinking more along the traditional, symbolic, and “There's-no-way-I-can-f*ck-this-up” type of gift.
Oh, and they like to buy BIG things. Because big means they love you more. Duh.
So when you're selling gift certificates to men, package it up with bigger and better. Massage gift certificates aren't the main feature – they're the “little extra” to the traditional items, the frosting on the cake.
For example, a Valentine’s Day gift certificate could be bundled with a few traditional gifts like flowers, chocolate, or lingerie. Make friends with florists and candy shop owners. You can arrange beautiful baskets easily by contacting other businesses in your town, and they'll probably be happy to pitch in for the marketing boost you're offering.
Create bright, huge point-of-purchase displays and limit choices to 1 or 2 distinct packages – don't give guys too much choice. Add gift certificates that are large and attractive, using quality paper and printing, and choose an elegant design geared towards women. Maybe even a vintage design.
Avoid ANY cheapness like bright pink, because you want to portray your services as high-end and really worth it.
Guys will appreciate this "ready to go" approach because you make their job of buying a gift easier. That’s very, very good for you.
Time It Right
It's a waste to advertise your gift certificates or baskets more than a month ahead of time for men – they're last-minute shoppers. For women, you can afford to advertise earlier because they'll want to be prepared. So time your pitches based on gender – earlier for women, later for men.
How about you? Do you offer gift certificates? Have they worked well for you? What kind of holiday offers do you have?
Remember, gift givers care more about how their gift will be received than what they get in return. Help them help others -- that's the ticket.