Where are all of the client’s? Well, most of them are sitting in uncomfortable chairs, waiting for hours to be seen by their medical doctor only to be handed a prescription and ushered out the door.
There is a tidal wave about to hit the medical community, if it hasn’t already. I don’t have to tell you that there are more sick, unhealthy and unhappy people than we — as a collective of alternative health practitioners can help.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t try… after all, WE are the ones with specialized nutrition, lifestyle and coaching training.
So if too many potential clients are sitting in their doctors’ office waiting room — how do you partner with the medical community to offer the nutrition, lifestyle and coaching strategies their patients desperately need?
Strategy # 1: Know Your Audience
Medical doctors don’t have a lot of time. Keep your communication with them short, sweet and to the point. Focus on outcomes. Most aren’t interested in anything ‘woo-woo’ or ‘alternative’ unless there is scientific evidence to back it up.
Partnering with the medical community requires a mindset and language shift. If you’re going to partner with the medical community you’ve got to play by their rules. Like any other working relationship you’ve got to gain trust and prove yourself before you try to change the system.
When I presented my program to a medical doctor I focused on outcomes — how the specific changes I was recommending would improve her patient’s quality of health.
TIP: Keep things simple. Doctors want to know that you’re getting results for their patients. Avoid trying to impress the doctors with an elaborate program.
Strategy # 2: Focus On A Niche
Clarity is key. If you’re unsure of who you can help then it’s going to be very hard for anyone to refer clients to you. When partnering with the medical community it’s important for you to be confident and to communicate — who you are, who you help and how you help them.
For example, if you work with clients who have obesity related disease risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, Type II Diabetes etc. then it will be very easy for the doctor to refer patients to you. Or if you work with patients who have arthritis or are going through menopause.
When I was partnered with a medical doctor I was very clear on who she could refer to me — I gave her an outline of who was right for the program and who I could help. This made it simple for her to refer patients to me.
Strategy # 3: Present A Proven System
I didn’t realize this at the time, but I’m pretty sure the only reason why I got the gig at the doctor’s office was because I had a proven program that I presented. I wasn’t pitching myself or creating one-off protocols for clients.
The WOW! Weight Loss program was the star of the show. It was a standardized program that I could repeat over and over again with her patients. As I went through it with her and connected the recommendations to outcomes I could see I was getting her ‘buy-in’.
The simple nutrition strategies and lifestyle changes made sense to her — they weren’t overly ‘holistic’ or far-fetched. I made sure never to utter the word DETOX.
Like clients, doctors want to know that you have a system — a program that clients can go through that gets results.
Strategy # 4: Do The Work For Them
If you’re going to partner with the medical community you should be prepared to be a BIG GO-GIVER. That means thinking about all of the ways you can make their life easier. Doctors have no time, which means they need tools — created by you so they can confidently speak about who you are, who you help and what you do.
When I first started in Dr. Shapiro’s practice I created scripts for the medical receptionists. I wanted them to speak about me and the program in a very specific way. The scripts ensured they knew what to say — and when they knew what to say they actually promoted the program.
I created referral marketing tools for the front desk and for the doctor so all they had to do was hand the patient a card… I did the rest.
Don’t expect anyone else to grow your business for you. Do the work to make referring to you as simple and effortless as possible.
Strategy # 5: Be Confident
I saved the hardest one for last. Of course it’s scary to pitch yourself to the medical community — it will likely bring up a whole bunch of insecurities. Acknowledge them and let them go.
Recognize that you have the ability, skills and training to support these doctors and they are actively looking for help. They know that they can’t help their patients beyond a few tips or a book recommendation.
That’s where you come in with your proven program and Go-Giver attitude. And if you are feeling like you’re going to vomit in your mouth — just act as if. Act as if you have years of experience and have a right to be there.
Confidence is gained through experience. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Why not start where the clients already are and make your life a little a bit easier?