I recently left a very successful in home personal training business in NJ and moved to TX to start over. I have tried to form alliances with doctors(150), physical therapists(25), dietitians(3), hair salons(8), golf clubs(7), equipment stores(2) and no one wants to help out with referrals or displaying brochures(which I have offered to pay for the space or offered free training) etc. I have an impressive resume, countless NJ client testimonials/referrals, NJ doctor referrals and I still haven’t made any progress. It was much easier in NJ to get brochures displayed or have another professional as a referral source. My introductory letters and e-mails have been professional and to the point. Any ideas on how to turn this around?
It is hugely difficult to move and reestablish. That is one reason I left the industry for a while when my family moved. That (presumably) is neither a wish or a possibility for you, but you will still need to take some time to establish.
What were the stated reasons for the referrals not being useful? It is possible that the market is very saturated and others already have established connections with many of the local establishments. I found when I went back to work that it was not my decades of experience, but the connections I had made that brought me entry to work. A letter of introduction and referrals are good, but unless someone is actively looking for such a connection themselves they are more likely to connect with people with whom they already have some alliance, or common interest.
Are you willing to work for some gym or service for a while to get to know people and develop a sense of the way the community functions?
Meanwhile go to every school function, every party, community meetings, join a newcomers group, a book club, take lessons at a dance studio, or martial arts studio and chat up the people there“. such places do not offer what you do, and there may be people there interested in what you have to offer. Most importantly get to know people. Sooner or later you will meet someone looking for a trainer, and perhaps they will mention you to their doctor, or massage therapist“. Personal connections trump pretty much any other hand.