Health & Wellness – Massage Therapist: Ivan Thompson, Advanced Therapeutic Massage

Ivan Thompson

Health & Wellness – Massage Therapist

Summary: Massage Therapist Ivan Thompson generates 30-40% of his annual business through referrals from a professional networking group he’s joined over 20 years ago, Business Network International. Ivan discusses the culture of BNI and how the incredible training helps a new member understand how to be a better networker and build relationships.

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Laura Viskovich: Hello and welcome to the Professional Business Connections. I’m Laura Viskovich. And I’m really excited to introduce to you today to Ivan Thompson. He’s the owner of Advanced Therapeutic Massage, and welcome to the show.

Ivan Thompson: Thank you.

Laura Viskovich: Thank you so much for coming on. And before we get into the business side of things, how did you become the famous massage guy?

Ivan Thompson: Well, I was actually in law enforcement and I ended up having a career-ending injury. So, literally, I was in the hospital and somebody suggested we – looking at massage therapy as a profession, and I checked it out, and here I am today.

Laura Viskovich: Wow. Amazing.

Ivan Thompson: Yup.

Laura Viskovich: What a good story. So, how do you grow your business these days?

Ivan Thompson: A lot of word-of-mouth. That has been primary by word – working and building my businesses that way, by word-of-mouth, but I also, do advertising. And with Google, you have more – it used to be the old days, the phone book and did a lot of ads in there. Now, it’s on Google, Google places and more online presence. That’s the way that we build the business, too.

Laura Viskovich: So, Ivan, how long have you been in business for?

Ivan Thompson: 24 years.

Laura Viskovich: Oh, wow. Fantastic. And so, have you been networking all that time in 24 years?

Ivan Thompson: I had been networking for 24 years.

Laura Viskovich: Okay. Are there any specific groups that really work for your business?

Ivan Thompson: You know, I’ve done a couple of them and the one I found was BNI when I first started. And that one – when I was just right out of college, I got right into BNI.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So, 20 years ago, you visited groups. So, what was your experience as a visitor?

Ivan Thompson: It was really welcoming. They didn’t have a massage therapist in the group and they really wanted one. And so, it was a nice fit, and so, I joined.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. That is wonderful. So, have you been a member for 20 years? Did you have a break at all?

Ivan Thompson: I did take a break. Yeah. I’ve been in business 24 years. So, I first started when I went right out of college and was brand new, and somebody suggested BNI, and there was just age after starting about full. So I went and checked it out, and I liked it so I thought I joined it.

I did take a break somewhere about, probably about six or seven years afterwards, I did take a break about, and didn’t do well. BNI kind of disappeared at that time, a valuable chapter left and when they started back up, in Bountiful I was there. As soon as I saw the paper, boom, I was there, and joined right back up again, so I was excited that they came back there.

Laura Viskovich: Okay, so you’re in the BNI Utah North Region, and in Bountiful Group?

Ivan Thompson: Yeah, we’re in the Bountiful – well centered over group.

Laura Viskovich: Okay, great, great. So when you have that little break and then you rejoined, did you find there’s of a bit of financial difference in your business at all or –

Ivan Thompson: Yeah, it could have been. BNI, when I was first in it, that helped me do a lot more advertising in a different way, networking definitely, but it was probably, maybe about a third of my business came from BNI.

When I came back into BNI, one of the things that really made a difference was is that I had relationships with the older people, or the older group, and we re-established those business, and then my business has grown tremendously from that.

So BNI has been a huge part of gaining some contracts that I have never have gotten, because of BNI and those relationships that we’ve built.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic, wow, all of that relationships isn’t it?

Ivan Thompson: Yeah, it is.

Laura Viskovich: So what’s the percentage these days of your business coming from BNI then?

Ivan Thompson: I’d say probably about 30%, 40% of my business comes from BNI.

Laura Viskovich: Wow, yeah, take that away and you really feel that.

Ivan Thompson: Yeah.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic, yeah. So what’s the training like? Do you find that the MSP has been really beneficial for new members?

Ivan Thompson: Yes, as a new member, you definitely want to know what the culture is in BNI, and there’s definitely a culture about it. And with that culture, you really want to know how to network, and the training will teach you how to do that, really get you to focus.

The best thing, probably, would be some of the other things that they have been met over a few years, for example the BNI University.

Laura Viskovich: Okay.

Ivan Thompson: That’s a huge access and everybody can access at my home, they can see the trainings, get – and then there’s podcast, so there’s all kinds of trainings. It’s not just about sales, it’s about relationships, it’s about marketing and, you know, working with the client that way.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So building relationships, getting to know each other so that you can refer to each other as opposed to selling, right?

Ivan Thompson: Exactly.

Laura Viskovich: Perfect.

Ivan Thompson: Right.

Laura Viskovich: If there’s any industry that’s not currently a member in your group, what industry would you love to have in your chapter?

Ivan Thompson: Oh, you know, we don’t have an electrician.

Laura Viskovich: Okay.

Ivan Thompson: We don’t have personal trainers, we don’t have medical doctors –

Laura Viskovich: Okay.

Ivan Thompson: – if they could do a tennis, they could do really well in the business.

Laura Viskovich: Okay, great. So you would build your relationships – build, let say, a referral-based relationship and then about your uncle, you’ve got business.

Ivan Thompson: Sounds really cool, you’ve got some business. You know, what’s funny is that even though I don’t – may not refer to the person –

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Ivan Thompson: – eventually somewhere down the road, somebody would refer to me that and then – it would – it builds around in a circle. Eventually, I do get business for them and it takes time and it takes, you know, a lot of building trust and goes from there.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah. Absolutely. So if there’s anyone out there looking to visit a chapter, what would Ivan’s tip and trick be to that person?

Ivan Thompson: Show up.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Ivan Thompson: Just come in, show up, be welcomed in and you know, you’re going to look at the dynamics to that group. Don’t be afraid to go to couple of them. Each group has got different dynamics and you may feel like you’re more comfortable with one than the other. But just show up and, you know, get your name out there, seek out a visit.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. Well, Ivan it’s been an absolute pleasure listening to your journey. 25 years in business, amazing.

Ivan Thompson: Yeah.

Laura Viskovich: So thank you for inspiring people out there.

Everyone, that is Ivan Thompson, what an amazing journey, 25 years in business and really leveraging BNI. So I’ll see you on the next show of the Professional Business Connections.

2018-11-20T20:31:19+00:00By |Categories: Health & Wellness - Massage Therapist, Interviews|

About the Author:

Laura Viskovich is the Communications Director of the Professional Business Connections located in Salt Lake City, UT. As a classically trained actress and dancer in Sydney, Australia, eight years ago she had a dream to create a children's entertainment company. Today Laura has expanded her business from Australia to the United States. She's a speaker, trainer, and an expert at relationship marketing. She understands the value of creating and maintaining strong long-term relationships and connecting other like-minded individuals.
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