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How a $1,000 massage can help you get elite clients

I recently paid almost $600 for a two hour massage. Not one at a high-end spa in a world-class hotel. This was at a small private studio, a couple of miles from where I live. 

Prior to the massage, I texted the therapist to ask about timing, she replied, “Sessions are 90mins to 3hrs.”

I replied, “3 hours sounds amazing. Do people often have that?”

Her response was simple, “Haha yes. Once they try it once, they always want 3hrs!”

Frankly, I assumed this was a clever way to get me to book a longer massage. It sounded great but it was already an expensive massage, so I hedged and booked for two hours. 

I’ve had a lot of massages and I even once briefly trained in massage, in Thailand. And this was simply the best massage I’ve ever had in my life. 

My massage therapist works with some of the top athletes on the planet, she’s a dancer and she’s studied with traditional healers across Africa and South America. So she understands how the body moves, from the inside out. 

She could tell from how I was standing what was troubling my body. She used breath in her treatment. And this was no gentle, soothing massage. This was really deep and intense.

There were no candles, no expensive mood lighting and no tea at the end of this massage, just a simple table. But as I walked out the door, I was already calculating how soon I would come back for a nearly $1,000, three-hour massage.

I am fascinated by businesses that are word-of-mouth, expensive and not for everyone. Once you experience truly top quality it’s hard to go back. 

I used to think I didn’t like champagne. Then one day, at a friend’s house, I tasted some very expensive champagne. I realized I actually do like champagne. It just needs to be the highest quality!

Price is not the only way to assess a quality experience but, the longer a product or service has been around, its price is an indication of a preeminent brand. 

Monique will sometimes get mad with me for choosing the most expensive option – especially when I’m considering a service like a new coach or trusted advisor for myself. I always laugh and say, “I have expensive taste. I want the best. Just like my clients!”

A few years ago it was time for a new photoshoot for my website. A friend referred me to a photographer who has worked with some of the top brands on the planet. He was very expensive. I’d never paid that much money for photos in my life. In fact, I hate having my photo taken!

But I decided to take a risk. If I have an elite brand, I need someone who understands that, right?

It was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. This photographer sent me a series of questions before we began that helped him understand who I am and draw those qualities out of me. And, during the shoot, he made me feel so at ease that – for the first time ever in my life – I actually enjoyed myself while the photos were being taken. The final result was a series of photos that were unique and drew out qualities I really wanted my clients to see.

Preeminence is the state of excelling. It is the ability to become known and sought after in a crowded marketplace. 

When you are preeminent you can charge elite fees and have elite clients knock on your door.

But preeminent success can never result from simply doing what is required, or what the majority are doing. 

The majority of coaches get by because they follow the rules. Powerful coaches make a reputation by breaking – or creating – the rules.

If you want to be preeminent:

  1. Go the extra mile for your clients. How do you astonish your clients?
  2. Never stop learning. What do you study that’s different to anyone else in your field?
  3. Never stop thinking. What could you do, say or write about that no one else in your field ever has?
  4. Talent stack. Talent stacking is combining ordinary skills until you become extraordinary. For example, my wife is an award-winning singer-songwriter and playwright. She’s a certified yoga teacher and a coach, with a Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology. But she’s just gone back to school to study stand-up comedy. That’s talent stacking. What skills could you learn that would make you materially different to every coach out there? 
  5. Charge a premium price for a premium service. What could you add to your menu that is premium-priced, high-end and top-shelf? For example, my Concierge Trusted Advisor service is $185,000 and there’s only one spot a year.

Both my photographer and my masseur were word-of-mouth referrals. When you are preeminent you can charge elite fees and elite clients will knock on your door. Now that’s worth aiming for, is it not?

What’s one tiny step you will take to become preeminent in your field?

Love. Rich 


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