There is a little known BIG opportunity right now for health coaches, nutritionists and other regulated health professionals. It’s time to step outside of the confines of social media to take a look at what’s really going on.
What is the most common question you get asked? I polled my community to find out and the answer was — “What should I eat?”
The fact that this was STILL the most commonly asked question to thousands of health coaches and practitioners tells us that the general population is overwhelmed and confused, even with all of the free information, books and resources available. People have forgotten the simple, fundamental principles of nutrition and how to listen to their bodies.
Now you might feel like the market is saturated and there aren’t enough clients and that’s because you live on the internet where your entire ‘world’ is curated for you based on your own search preferences — which are probably nutrition, fitness and health related.
What you don’t realize, because you are already invested in your health and live in a holistic bubble, is that you are so far removed from how the general population eats and functions. Because your current lifestyle, although likely not perfect, is ingrained in you — you forget or don’t realize just how far you’ve come.
Let’s go back to the most commonly asked question —
“What should I eat?” Um, how ’bout an apple?
“But, apples have sugar and is that ok? I heard fruit was bad. And should it be organic?”
The general population needs help. Badly. The little known BIG opportunity is that there are more sick, unhealthy and unhappy people than we can help and they are sitting in their doctors’ waiting room because they don’t know where else to go or what else to do.
So if you’re looking to grow your health business then it’s time to think outside of the box and instead of waiting for the clients to find you — why not go to the place where the clients are sitting and waiting? – The Doctor’s Office.
Hold up just a second… don’t disqualify yourself from pitching and partnering in the medical community because you are a health coach or nutritionist or because you don’t have much client experience or a finished program or whatever mindset block is running through your mind telling you NOT to continue reading this article.
That would be a mistake. Don’t disqualify yourself.
Follow these 5 tips to pitching and partnering in the medical community and don’t give up until you’ve secured yourself a partnership with a medical professional that is excited to have you support their patients.
Tip # 1: The Little Known BIG Opportunity
Millions of people have obesity related disease risk factors that can be dramatically reduced or even reversed with specific nutrition and lifestyle strategies.
1 in 5 Canadian adults over the age of 55 have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome.
1 in 2 US adults over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome.
The medical system is overloaded, and medical doctors and pharmacists aren’t trained (or have the time) to offer nutrition and lifestyle coaching. The average doctor has less than 7 minutes with each patient.
That’s where you come in. YOU are trained and have expertise in working with and coaching clients on how to change their nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Tip # 2: Have A Go-Giver Mentality
The hardest part when securing a partnership with the medical community is getting past the gatekeepers – – the office manager or medical secretary. It’s rare that you’ll walk into a medical office armed with your promotional material and be immediately introduced to the medical doctor.
Think of the medical team as your ideal client —
What are their biggest pain points? What do they desire? How can you be of service and build trust BEFORE expecting a result?
How can you impress the medical team and be memorable? Bring them food. Bake some recipes from your program or bring them snacks or a smoothie.
Have a go-giver mentality and think about how you can best support the medical team before you expect to receive anything will win you points every time.
Tip # 3: The ‘Problem/Solution’ Is The Star Of The Show
When you go to pitch the medical community you are not pitching yourself. You aren’t there to prove to the medical team that you have the right credentials or enough experience.
Your job is to highlight the problem that your ideal clients face and the research-backed solution that you provide. Doctors want to know that you have a standardized, repeatable method for getting their patients results — not a one-off protocol that is only going to overwhelm the patients.
Communicate with the doctor using language and tonality that resonates with the medical professional. Think about the standards they care about. They want to feel confident that you know what you’re talking about so present the problem/solution instead of selling yourself.
Tip # 4: Do All Of The Work For Them
No one is going to build your business for you. Even though the medical team (or the yoga studio or chiropractic office) promises you referrals you can’t expect them to know how to talk about you or your program.
Being a go-giver means thinking through all of the ways to support the medical team and how you can easily integrate into their culture.
When I partnered with gyms and the medical doctors office I prepared scripts for the receptionists and medical staff. This way they had tools to use to talk about me, the program, the fees and a system for referring their clients and patients to me.
Marketing Tools Checklist:
✔ Script that communicates who you are and who you work with.
✔ Script that communicates who your program is for and the outcomes clients can expect
✔ Script that communicates what’s included and the price of your program
✔ Steps for the front-end staff to follow to refer to you and how to put potential clients in touch with you
✔ Free content that can be used as a referral tool
Tip # 5: It’s Ok To Not Have All Of The Answers
One of the most common questions I get is, “how should I structure the payment/referral fees with the doctors”. To be honest, my answer is usually, “I don’t know.” Partnering with a medical team is new. Each doctor will have their own ideas about how to compensate them. Some doctors won’t even want to be compensated, they just want to know their patients are in good hands.
It’s ok to not have all of the answers. It’s ok to ask questions.
The laws for each medical professional change depending on the state or province they live in plus each medical doctor will feel differently about the working arrangement.
So when you pitch the problem/solution ASK how he/she would like to structure your working/referral relationship. Let the doctor lead and take your cues from them.
Two possible arrangements:
- The doctor runs the program fees through their office and pays you a percentage of revenue collected each month.
- You agree on a pre-determined amount of rent to pay each month.
The bottom line is that there is a massive opportunity right now, especially if you want to build your business in the Metabolic Syndrome or obesity related conditions niche market. You don’t need to partner with ALL of the doctors — just one or two. When that happens you’ll be able to drastically reduce your marketing efforts and grow your business.