Mutual support and understanding
How many other therapists do you know?
Chances are you will have maintained contact with the people you trained with, and this can be a great way of keeping you motivated - provided you are nicely upbeat and positive when you meet.
How many therapists do you know outside of your chosen discipline? Getting to know therapists from other backgrounds is easier if you work from therapy centres; you have to work a little harder to make connections if you practise from home.
Why is this important for your business?
Well, for a start, other therapists can be a fantastic source of inspiration and mutual support. If you work in different spheres, eg mind or body, then there can even be opportunities for collaborative working, offering a package of therapies that complement one another.
Other therapists can also be a source of referrals - but only if they truly understand what it is that you do.
Be honest, if you have never experienced Bowen Therapy, Kinesiology, Hypnotherapy, Reflexology, Acupuncture or indeed any other therapy, how confident would you be in recommending it as a solution to your clients' needs?
Conversely, if other therapists haven't experienced your wonderful therapeutic skills, how likely are they to recommend you to their clients?
Offering free sessions
This is why we recommend that you get in the habit of offering a free session to other therapists geographically close to you. If you provide tangible products, eg skin care products or relaxation CDs, give free samples to the other therapists too.
If you play your cards right, you could even negotiate reciprocal therapy, which means you'll be on the receiving end of a wide range of beneficial treatments.
Here's a case study to inspire you: A Chiropractic clinic opened up next door to Nic's clinic, right next door. Some of the therapists were a bit concerned this would steal business away, but following Nic's lead the Osteopath (who had most to fear) popped around to introduce herself. She made friends with the two people running it. Some months later when these two Chiropracters went off to get married and they had to close their clinic down for two weeks, guess who they referred ALL of their clients to in their absence? Yes, the Osteopath who had been so brave.
Obviously not all situations may work out like this and some are very protective of their industry and their clients, but if you have trust and faith then it's amazing what can happen.
Your mission during the next 12 months is to make a connection with a new type of therapist every month. If there's no opportunity for swapping treatments, then meet them for coffee and enthuse about your respective therapies.
So remember to swap a supply of business cards so that you are well-prepared for making and receiving those referrals.
Take Action to connect with other therapists
Nic and Debs