Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

How to Build a Referral Network with Allied Health Practitioners




Working in an industry where quality and credibility are essential, Health and Wellness Coaches can gain a huge advantage when starting their businesses by networking with allied health practitioners. 

It takes time to build rapport and relationship in allied health, but these specific relationships will help you to build the most meaningful connections.
And if you start building your networks when you start your business, you will more easily build qualified referrals and fill your sales pipeline.

In my local coaching business, I networked extensively with GP’s and involved them in the development of my program approach, and within 2 years was being listed on GP care plans and referred clients on a regular basis.

Let’s take a step back and explore what all this means and involves, so you can start building your own relationships with allied health practitioners.

It Starts with Trust

Even when someone is ready, willing and able to get help with their health and wellbeing, they will generally only buy from someone they know, like and trust.
As a new business owner, you may not yet have that trust and connection, and that’s why a referral network is so important.

Further, consider how much more weight an Allied Health Practitioner’s referral has, compared with a referral from a friend or family member. 
People see medical and health professionals as trustworthy and reliable, and that sentiment transfers to you as a referral partner.

It therefore makes sense to start building Allied Health relationships early on in your business, so you can position your business as credible, professional and reputable.

Referrals Build Referrals

An easy way to get referrals from Allied Health practitioners is to meet and network with them and refer people you know to them. Even if you don’t have any clients, you can become their client, or refer people you know to certain practitioners.

Do this and they will get to know you and will more likely want to reciprocate.

Which local practitioners could you use the service of and refer people to?

Networks Build Collective Knowledge

When you maintain your professional networks and relationships, you enjoy an added benefit of keeping your finger on the pulse with developments in your area, and in the health industry more generally.

For example, I recall a Medicare Local meeting that I attended in my Shire. 

I had the chance to network with Allied Health professionals I knew, meet new practitioners in the area, learn about some of the common problems our sector was facing generally in terms of funding, information sharing gaps and key client issues (some of which I could help with) and, I was able to make a couple of useful contributions to this meeting.

I learned very quickly that these sorts of events were worth attending and helped me to support other practitioners while also building trust in my network and identifying new business opportunities.

In addition, as Allied Health practitioners came to know me better, they understood how I helped people, and could send clients to me that were the right kind of client for my niche with the exact problem I helped to solve.

As they say in marketing, I was getting pre-qualified client referrals who were suited to my program and to my way of working. 

The impact of this was to increase my sales conversion rate such that around 90 - 95% of all enquiries would buy from me.

How to Start Building Your Allied Health Network

Here are five steps to getting started with your Allied Health Network.
1. Get professional business cards printed with contact details and website/social media links (ideally LinkedIn)
2. Develop your professional identity along with a clear, simple elevator pitch-style overview of who you help, what you do, and how you deliver that (see the Coaching Success Accelerator, Unit 1, for a step-by-step process)
3. Visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/Australian-health-services to identify health services in your local area and make a list of those relevant to your services and niche.
4. Decide on how you will approach Allied Health professionals to make contact – for example, would you 
a. send a letter, 
b. phone to request an in person meeting, 
c. book an appointment as a client
d. attend an Allied Health event, or
e. Approach a chronic disease organisation?
5. Start scheduling appointments and reaching out to those professionals to introduce yourself and discuss a referral process that suits you both.  They may have something in place that they use, or you could develop something together.

Summary

Referrals are a great way to start and build your business. 

The credibility and respect attached to Allied Health referrals may be as good or greater than referrals from the general public and, they are likely to be qualified leads.

That means you can convert a higher percentage of enquiries to sales.

Further, you get to keep your finger on the local and industry pulse and help other practitioners, plus identify business opportunities.
What are you waiting for?

It’s time to follow a simple, five-step process to building your referral network so you can general a steady stream of enquiries to fill your programs and sales pipeline.

Boost Business Productivity with Effective Planning








If you’re like most coaches, you find that Monday rolls around and you are busy doing 1000 things to work on your business….along side the ‘other’ things in your life, perhaps another paying job, your kids, and chores.

As the week wears on, you feel scattered and spread thin, unsure of where to spend your energy.
It’s like you’re clutching at straws - doing Instagram here, email there, attending networking meetings and writing blogs. 
Then there’s all the free marketing training and e-books you’re downloading, and the overwhelming load of emails flooding your inbox.
The trouble is, none of it is getting you any traction.

That’s when you find yourself wondering:
How can I get clients to contact me?
How can I reach new people outside the people I know?
How can I make best use of my limited time?

This is where you start.

There are two steps to attracting clients:
1. Plan effectively, and 
2. Be truly productive.

Here’s how it works.

Planning Effectively

What happens when you plan and schedule effectively?
You know exactly how you need to spend your precious work time for most effect.
You have a set marketing schedule to attract a regular stream of clients.
You have set dates that you use to create compelling calls to action for potential new clients e.g., registrations close on X date, join now!
You know when you can schedule enough down time to relax.
You can work in your zone of genius and outsource the stuff you hate.
You can measure your progress by ticking off a master task and priority list

In a busy world, one of the biggest challenges is creating enough space to step back out of ‘doing’ mode, prioritise your work and plan effectively.

But when you do that, you take powerful steps forward and grow your business steadily, purposefully and professionally, attracting new clients and prospects as you go.
As a coach, you know that when you work with clients, it really helps them to zoom out and get perspective on their lives so they can distinguish real priorities from perceived priorities. 
It’s ALSO helpful in your own business.

What gets in the way of this?
Busyness, taking on too much, and lack of priorities.
Here’s how to plan effectively in business.

Using the Eisenhower Principle to Plan

In a 1954 speech, Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was onto a clever thing. He said:
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent, and the important. 
The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent”.
This statement became the Eisenhower principle, and it’s said to be how the former President organised his workload and priorities.
Time management is about spending your time efficiently and effectively. 
It’s about spending your time doing things that achieve outcomes and goals, rather than someone else’s.
The challenge for most people is that we tend to react to what’s urgent, and spend time firefighting and we spend to little time on what’s really important.

Here’s what the Eisenhow Principle looks like in a diagram.


Here’s an interpretation of what these squares mean.
1. Important + Urgent = Crisis mode. 
There is the unforeseen, and the last minute. 
Example: always rescheduling clients because you double book due to poor planning.

2. Not Important + Urgent = Busy. 
These are the fiddly tasks that are better of delegated, rescheduled or deleted – but you prioritize them ahead of tasks that earn you income or deliver service. 
Example: spending hours answering emails, checking Facebook, updating your website.

3. Important + Not Urgent = Productive. 
These are the tasks that achieve tangible outcomes and goals. You need time to do these creatively, properly and without rush. 
Example: Advertising, planning, connecting with past clients, following up with new leads.

4. Not Important + Not Urgent = Time Wasting. 
These are the menial or fun tasks you do first because it feels like you achieved something, or enjoyed your work. But these tasks block your success.
Example: Tidying your desk, designing next year’s workshop flyer, researching best diaries for 2019, calling a colleague to chat about the weekend.

Where are you currently spending most of YOUR business time?

Here’s an interesting 3-step exercise – next week: 
1. Record your working hours in half hour blocks. 
2. Classify every half hour as 1, 2, 3 or 4 according to the table above.
3. Tally up the time spent in each quadrant.
Ideally, you are spending 90% of your business-related time in the Important but Not Urgent quadrant, so you have time and space to do the important work of building your business in a calm, relaxed and creative way.

Planning Effectively – Next Steps

After you’ve worked out how you currently spend your working week, the next step is to work out:
What are the priority tasks each week? 
These are usually planning, marketing, client sessions and invoicing/paying bills.
Which tasks you can delegate, reschedule or delete?
These are usually administration, detail-focussed tasks, reading emails, social media, research and even blog writing!
After that, it’s a matter at looking at your available time, and scheduling in the priority tasks FIRST.

Be Truly Productive – Next Steps

Being productive doesn’t equate to being busy.
Productivity means that for a given amount of time, you are producing a result.
And the time required to complete any task is simply the time that you allocate for it.
To wrap it up, planning effectively is the #1 thing that facilitates productivity.
Next, you must create focus with effective time management. Here are 3 tips.

Identify Priority Tasks

When you know your priority tasks, you can create priority outcome goals, for example:
1 new Facebook ad posted this week
3 past clients contacted on Thursday
Joint venture proposal developed on Tuesday
One potential joint venture partner contacted on Friday

Use Time Management Techniques

Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro Technique is a great approach to help you work in a focused way to get tasks finished in a set time. 

Set Boundaries

There are all sorts of apps that can block internet access, track time, or restrict access on your calendar.
Then there is just the good old fashioned “turn off your phone” approach.

Wrapping It UP

All that said and done, what works best for you in terms of being focussed, productive and organised?
Let us know your tips in the comments below.

How to Get 30 Clients in 60 Days


This blog post explores the strategy behind getting new clients, and how you need to position yourself to get 30 new clients in 60 days.

Starting a business is exhilarating

It’s such a thrill to start a new business.

But after you’ve worked out the nuts and bolts of what you will do, there comes the daunting proposition of finding clients.

You have all this great stuff to share and lives to change – where are they?

This post explores the 3-step formula to getting new clients and if you get this right, you could gain as many as 30 new clients in 60 days.

Build it and They Will (Not Necessarily) Come

This might be true for baseball fields, but it’s generally not true for businesses – unless you get a massive public boost that puts you into the spotlight and starts a viral trend.

If you have built an amazing program and are wondering how to attract clients….then at least one of these three things is probably happening:

  1. You aren’t doing any or enough promotion
  2. You haven’t hit the hot button
  3. Your promotional methods are a turn-off

These 3 steps make up the magic formula that will help you get new clients regularly and endlessly.

Let’s look at them individually.

3 Steps to Get 30 Clients in 60 Days

Plan and Do Enough Promotion

Of all the tasks you need to do in business, marketing and advertising should take up 10 – 30% of your time.

In other words, if you are working for 20 hours a week on your business, then 2 - 8 of those hours need to be spent engaging with people in order to get new clients.

If you are new to business, then your time spent promoting needs to be at the higher end of that range.

Marketing and advertising needs a structured, scheduled approach to gain new leads and convert sales, especially in the first 6 months of your business.

Hint: Writing blogs and posting on social media isn’t promotion. It’s hiding behind your computer.

If you want to get 30 new clients in 60 days, you need a clear strategy and plan to get it right and enough time spent on promotion.


Hitting the Hot Button

People buy for pleasure or to solve a problem.

Think about what you Google if you were feeling frumpy and unfit. It would be something like:

“how to get fit”

“best fitness exercises”

“how to improve fitness”

I doubt you’d be searching for “Health and Wellness Coach.”

In other words, the best way to attract new clients is to identify and hit their “hot button”

  • To articulate the immense challenge they’re facing and how that feels          
  • To articulate the most desirable outcome they want - more than anything.

This is probably the most important part of the ‘get new clients’ formula.

When it comes to sketching out a blog, ad, or workshop, you probably need to spend

  • 80% of your time getting the headline/title/name right, and
  • 20%of your time sketching out the content and flow.

You have roughly 6 seconds to attract attention and if your words aren’t engaging, nobody will read past the headline or title.

How to Attract Clients

You know all those things you hate - junk mail in your letterbox, promotional posts in your inbox, annoying popups on websites, those pushy BUY NOW ads or those salespeople that make you feel pressured into buying something?

They are all the things your potential clients hate too.

The easiest way to turn clients off is to try to sell a 12 week program on the first phone call.

Why?

It’s too much too soon.

The thing you need to do is lower the risk and commitment so the client feels like they can dip their toe in the water and try you out.

Give them a taste of how you work in a way that offers incredible value to them.

Example:

Let’s say you run a 12-week healthy eating program.

Cold leads (people that don’t know you) might be reluctant to commit so much time and money.

But if you ran a 2-hour healthy cooking demonstration for a fraction of the price, you’ll probably get a huge audience and give those people a chance to work with you.

Some of them will take up your bigger program.

Summing it Up

There is a 3-step formula that will get you 30 new clients in 60 days. And it is this:

1. Make a specific plan of action around a clearly-defined strategy. Spend enough time promoting it.

2. Clearly articulate what the client is going through (challenge) and how they will feel after working with you (deepest desires).

3. Offer a low-risk, attractive, bite-sized experience with you to invite interested people in the door. 

If you follow these steps, you'll be well on your way to attracting new clients and even getting 30 new clients in 60 days.

What are the most effective strategies you've used? 

Let us know in the comments below.





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