I have to admit that when I posted my article last week, “Stand up and shout, I am an EXPERT and I CAN help you”, I was blown away by the number of comments, Facebook posts and emails that I received. You all had lots to say and you certainly let me know that I touched on a topic that is near and dear to your heart.
Here are just a few of the many comments that I received…
“Karen, Your article is so true! I know my underlying self-doubt is part of the reason I am dragging my feet getting out there to promote my health coaching business. I know I can do it but am afraid others won’t think I’m that good. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.”
“Karen, Loved your article. Spot on and a great read for not only coaches but also those we are coaching. It’s following & doing the deep internal work necessary to find your flow. Thanks for your generous share.”
“Great post and SO needed in our work. Thanks so much for breaking it down for everyone!”
I was so honored and touched by the messages I received. When I wrote the article I was truly speaking from my heart and it was amazing to have such a positive response. With that in mind, I have decided to dedicate this article to the same topic, “Claiming Your Expertise”, only from a little different angle. Today let’s focus on claiming your expertise with referral partners.
When I was being trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach one of the main focuses within the curriculum was building relationships with referral partners. There were many classes taught about the importance of working with referral partners to grow a health coaching business.
While pursuing my Health Coaching career, I did as much to build relationships with local doctors, gyms and yoga studios as I did with individual clients. The momentum that was reflected back to my business because of those relationships was priceless and well worth the effort.
From my perspective having respected health and wellness professionals singing my praises and recommending me to their clients was a huge plus for my business. So now I want to ask you a few questions. How are you doing with this component of your business? Are you taking the time to establish and nurture relationships with referral partners? If not, what are you waiting for?
The benefits that come with making these connections are many. Here are just a few:
- Respected professionals in your area speak highly of you and promote you to their clients and colleagues.
- Your business grows at a much faster pace when many people are marketing your services.
- You are able to use your referral partners as a testimonial for your business.
- You will fill your open client spaces quickly.
- In some cases, referral partners will provide office space to you for conducting individual client sessions, group sessions or teaching classes.
There really isn’t a downside. You just need to be able to claim your expertise with your selected referral partners just like you are doing with your individual clients. It all works together collectively which will substantially boost the number of clients you are serving.
My approach to selecting referral partners probably was different than other Health Coaches. However, I want to share my process and reasoning behind my decision to do it this way. First, I did not approach just any doctor, chiropractor, yoga studio owner or gym owner. I did my research before I made the initial contact.
My coaching practice specialized in treating women with pre-menopausal symptoms. Having been there myself, and knowing how to cure many of the symptoms through natural remedies, I felt that this was the perfect target market for me. I had personal experience and I was passionate about helping these women.
While researching my choices for referral partners I looked for practitioners that would be regularly exposed to the women I wanted to serve. For example, I talked extensively to my OB/GYN doctor who was definitely on board with recommending me.
Next I contacted the sister of a family friend who is a doctor and owns her own practice. Again, she couldn’t wait for me to graduate so she could start recommending clients to me. I know you’re probably thinking that those two connections were easy and I would say that you are right. After those two connections, my E*A*S*Y train came to a screeching halt.
The next avenue I took was to review a copy of my local Natural Awakenings publication. They are everywhere across the United States so look around in your local grocery or health food stores. You’re sure to find a copy. I knew that the articles and advertising within this publication would be for holistic practitioners in my local area. Exactly who I wanted to be partnering with.
Since I personally feel passionate about supporting women in business, my referral partner selections were all women. Based on their businesses, they all would potentially be exposed to females that were in my target market. Next, I reached out for my initial contact with them.
I would pick four or five practitioners from each monthly publication that I felt had the qualities of someone I wanted to be associated with going forward. Next I would compose a unique introductory letter to each of them explaining why I was contacting them, why I chose them and how we could support one another in business. Let’s not forget, a referral partner has just as much potential to gain a client via a recommendation from you as you do from them. It is a two-way street.
The process took me about an hour or less per month for each publication I reviewed. My experience with this approach was that I was contacted by approximately 60%-70% of the contacts I sent letters to in order to set up an appointment to further build on our connection and relationship. I was really pleased with that percentage. As you can tell, I was claiming my expertise and I wasn’t being shy about letting my potential referral partners know how we could be of service to one another.
When you take this approach the opportunities are truly limitless. I want you to have the best possible resources to grow your coaching business so with that in mind I am giving you a copy of one of the referral letters that I wrote so you can use it as a model when writing your own letters. It is my gift to you.
To download a copy just CLICK HERE!
I encourage you to begin this process immediately and do it regularly as part of your marketing efforts. Keep your head held high, claim your expertise and build relationships that can last a lifetime. It is so much easier than you think and your referral partners need you as much as your individual clients do. Your potential to fill your practice with paying clients increases exponentially when you start connecting with referral partners.
I invite you to comment below to tell me how this article impacted you. Please share with me how you are handling referral partners at this point and how you may change things up for the future because of information that you received today. It is my honor to serve you and help you build a coaching business that makes a difference in the world. Go out and spread the sunshine that I know you have inside you.
To Your Success,