English actor and musician Idris Elba once said, “There’s a fast track if you can do the networking.”
In other words, connecting with the right people can help you get where you want to be quicker than if you try to walk that path alone.
In chiropractic specifically, this requires looking at the people around you to determine which types of professionals are in a position to help you grow your business. One to consider, especially if you specialize in sports chiropractic, is athletic trainers.
The athletic training-chiropractic connection
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, an athletic trainer’s main purpose is “to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.” That makes them the perfect professionals to network with as a DC because it’s a complementary service to chiropractic care.
Additionally, the field of athletic training is on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the number of athletic trainers is expected to grow by 21 percent, with 25,400 trainers in 2014 and a projected 30,800 practicing trainers by the year 2024. This means that you can potentially grow your network exponentially in the upcoming years, growing your business more rapidly as a result.
Where to find athletic trainers to expand your chiropractic network
Athletic trainers work in a variety of settings. Boston University’s College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College provides a fairly comprehensive list, some of which include: high schools and schools of higher education, physician offices and hospitals, sports medicine clinics, and athletic training education programs.
If you practice in a bigger city, you may also have local access to athletic trainers who work for professional sports teams, on military bases, or with performing arts companies.
A quick online search can provide a list of athletic trainers in your geographical area. This enables you to check them out further, looking at their websites and reading their reviews, to help you determine if they’re someone you want to connect with. Another option is to ask your patients if they work with an athletic trainer. If they do, get their input on what they think about him or her, helping you make a decision as to whether or not you want to contact them directly.
Once you know which athletic trainers you’d like to add to your network, the next step is to reach out to them to see if they’re interested in making a connection. If you know someone in common, you may ask that person to introduce you. If you don’t, you can make the connection yourself by approaching him or her at a local event or making a simple phone call to see if they’re interested in setting up a coffee date.
Once you’re face-to-face, Minda Zetlin, co-author of The Geek Gap, suggests that you “find a way to help that person” to increase the appeal of connecting with you. For instance, if somewhere in your conversation the trainer mentions a problem or issue he or she is facing that you’ve dealt with in the past, offer your experience and share how you solved it. This helps them see that your goal is to create a mutually beneficial relationship, not one in which just you win.
Another suggestion offered by Zetlin is to “give before you ask.” In other words, if you approach an athletic trainer you’d like to network with and the first thing out of your mouth is how they can help you, the idea of connecting with you is likely to be unappealing. Instead, offer to help them first. Let them know that you’re willing to invest the time and energy to make the relationship work and they’ll be more open to investing some of their own time and energy too.
Making solid network connections is not only good for you and your practice, but it’s also beneficial for the patients you serve because now they have access to two great healthcare providers as opposed to just one. This is truly a case where everyone wins.