Appropriate networking with other health related professionals.
If a personal trainer has a network for referrals (massage therapist, physician, chiropractor etc.), should he or she avoid doing business with those same professionals? (ex. If the PT has a massage therapist they see for their own needs, is it wrong to refer a client to the same one, or to the give the MT business cards or flyers to advertise their personal training business?) I think I know the answer to this, but I just want to see what you all think. IF............the answer is YES, then how can you know you're referring the client to a good professional if you haven't used their services? Would it be just based on the reputation of the other professional?
I help women and moms be fit and healthy through exercise and eating real food without spending hours in the gym or kitchen.
I agree with Jocelyn. I like to refer business to people/businesses I have either worked with or know people who have. It's very important to work with others who are doing a good job, are reliable and deliver results. I refer to business or people who have the same work ethic, reputation and trustworthiness as myself. I offer free training to those business owners or other people who I would like to refer to, so they can experience of what I have to offer as well.
However, one major pitfall is if one is paid, or given discounts or other incentives to recommend someone AND one does not disclose this. I believe this is wrong. I have had massage therapists, or spas where I do other business who want me to try their practitioner offer me a comp., and I will generally accept with the understanding that I am accepting this one time to try the person out, that it in no way influences how I will recommend them, and that I will accept no further sessions for my own private use. And I let people know if they gave me a discount. And I really only do this so I can make personal recommendations for students who ask.... I also ask people for recommendations... I can't get to everyone, but if someone I know moves across state I would like to be able to send them to someone good. (the up side is that I now have a superb massage therapist I like to use, and to whom I can send business).
I don't teach enough to have large networks of referrals at this point, but I think the same ethical rules would hold.
Disclose paid endorsements, or try to avoid them altogether.
Be as knowledgeable as possible: research the people yourself, visit if possible, ask people you know and trust for referrals... and always remember that style is something that may not agree with you, but may for someone else, while substance is more helpful.
You will probably find that you will add referrals through different methods over time. Maybe you will hear someone speak and be impressed, maybe a family member will go to someone and you will be impressed, maybe you will read an article by someone, or meet them in a social setting. But it will always be important not to refer until you know something about their professional status, background, ethics, and training. And only to refer within scope of practice.
Massage therapy is a fairly easy category. It is harder with physicians, as you may not have used a cardiologist yourself for example, but may want to connect with one. But I think the same principles hold. It is the most basic rule, yes?, to take the same standard before you refer someone to a service or product that you would want them to take for you.
Actually ACE has something about referrals in their code of ethics, which I think is a really good guide to practice.
Hope this helps,
Networking and developing rapport with other health professionals is a good thing.
I try to give someone a list of a few sources to check out for themselves, since not all personalities will get along.
NAPS 2 B Fit
I usually refer clients and class participants to professionals that I have used personally, or have a good reputation from others in the community. I think it's a good thing to do business with them as it reinforces good relationships and builds trust.