How do you make connections w/ local businesses?

by mrread55. Posted on Sep 11, 2020    6    4

I'm a full time licensed massage therapist running my own one man small office operating inside of a chiropractors office. I get a fair amount of business from the chiropractor I work with and try to refer business to him as well but I'd like to start branching out to other local businesses but primarily other doctor's offices to get my name out there as the guy to refer patients to if they need something basic and massage related like stress relief or headache management or (soon after I get certified) lymphatic drainage post surgery.

It's a bit odd of a time to try walking into other offices now given COVID-19 and how people are basically waiting in the parking lot to be called in one at a time so my in person option may not be doable for quite some time but I do hope once things relax that maybe I can start doing this (I live and operate in New York on Long Island so things are still a bit tense and restricted).


I'm not sure of good ways to reach out now aside from a phone call but I also feel that's fairly impersonal and doesn't allow you to really get to know the people you're trying to set up a referral connection with. I was wondering what other methods might be effective ways to branch out locally in these crazy times (or even when times are not crazy as I'm very new to this).

Also would it be worthwhile to try and incentivize them to try me out? Say something like a complimentary 30min massage or something to that effect so they know first hand what I can do? Or is that just some odd form of bribery?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!


draziwkcitsyoj 1

Another very, very strong recommendation for BNI. Find a local group, depending on where you are there may be several in your city. I was a charter member of my chapter. Going on 7 years. IF you put in the work and do it right, you will do very well (go to the meetings every week and get to know people outside of that, take a leadership role when available). My meetings are Thursdays, and I'm not available for anything else during that time, period. No exceptions. Literally all (no exaggeration) of my biggest clients have come from BNI referrals, so BNI is by far, my biggest customer.

We have a chiropractor in our chapter and he has people singing his praised every single week and over the half the chapter goes to him regularly.

We are still meeting every week through zoom, still passing referrals and making money. Hollar if you have questions and good luck!

  mrread55 2

Seems interesting! What line of work are you in and do you feel the people within your particular BNI are suited for referrals for your work?

draziwkcitsyoj 1

I'm in I.T.

And yes and no on the second question, a BNI Chapter running on all cylinders should have "Power Teams" within the chapter. There is a florist and a realtor in the group among others, and they may or may not be a good referral source for me and vice versa. But there is also a website guy, office equipment guy, digital advertising, payment processor, VOIP phone guy, etc. This is my Power Team. I pass them a lot and they do the same. The website guy gets direct questions from his customers about "Hey can you also work on my computer" and he sends them to me. Some of the others we just share a lot in common for good customers. Someone setting up a new office is going to need computers, networking, I.T., website, VOIP, payment processing etc.

For your "Power Team" you will probably want to look for a chapter that has a Chiropractor that doesn't have in house massage therapist. Someone selling nutritional supplements, a divorce attorney, florist, etc.

Different professions have a different curve in my experience. Financial seats will take longer to build trust and get people in the chapter to use them and so their referral curve will take longer. As a massage therapist, you will have people in the chapter booking appointments with you really quickly and then will spread to co-workers, family, friends, gift cards for spouses, etc.

Not everyone in any chapter is going to be a referral gold mine for you. You may get and give referrals to them, but look for a chapter that has members that you know would be good referral sources or have very similar clients.

cotnerpro 1

Join a networking group like BNI (Business Networking international). Great networking opportunity and if you join a chapter you're the only professional of your type that can join that chapter, so there is no competition.