Recently, we covered referrals and recommendations, and how the referral process works. In this post, we’ll cover thinking outside of the “recommendations box” – many of us as RDNs and CNSs tend to think of physicians as the main source of referrals. But there are many other health professionals who can serve as partners who can recommend your business to their own clients.
Therapists, Counselors, Psychologists
If you work with clients struggling with body image, you may seek recommendations from therapists, counselors or psychologists. Dietitian Shena Jaramillo, with J.Nutrition, notes that she receives both physician referrals and psychologist recommendations from clinics where she practices in Washington. “The recommendations from psychologists really have to do with my niche; I work with clients who have eating disorders,” she says.
Melissa Bloom, MS, RD with Melissa Bloom Nutrition, LLC and A New Beginning, LLC, shares that frequent recommendation sources for her practice include psychologists, therapists, body image-specific therapists and Pilates instructors. She also receives referrals from nurse practitioners.
Fitness Professionals, Sports Medicine Clinics, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists
Consider reaching out to contacts in the fitness and sports industry, especially if sports nutrition is your niche. Dietitian Ashley Koff, RD and CEO of The Better Nutrition Program, receives recommendations from local fitness professionals: “I go take their class or workout with them too!” Ashely’s tactic is a smart one – get to know others in the health and wellness space. Establishing a relationship beats sending an email into thin air.
Jenna Gorham, RD, LN, of Jenna Gorham Nutrition, does the same. “I leave my cards at a local yoga studio and have had recommendations from there,” she says.
Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD of Street Smart Nutrition notes that her best recommendation source has been her local treadmill studio, owned and operated by running coaches and a sports PT. “I have done several sports nutrition workshops and offered customized packages that coordinate with their seasonal run coaching packages and it's been a steady recommendation source ever since.”
Who else might you reach out to in the medical industry? Consider Gastrointestinal Specialists, Nephrologists, Endocrinologists, Oncologists. Again, think of your primary (or secondary) practice area and which connections make the most sense, aligning with your business. You might also think about forming partnerships with Integrative Health Providers and Women’s or Men’s Health Providers.
There’s no need to limit yourself in terms of types of partnerships. Adina Pearson, RD, CD, with Adina Pearson Nutrition, partners with personal trainers, yogis and therapists. “Even a chiropractor once!”
Who has served as a “unique” recommendation source for your business? Please share below!