Sami Mansfield by Sami Mansfield

When connecting and collaborating with healthcare providers, demonstrating your value or benefit just may the secret to earning referrals. Use the BENEFIT template to guide your way to success. You can follow this stepwise process to position yourself as an essential member of a client’s healthcare team. Let’s break down BENEFIT into a simple, actionable process.


Your brand is your starting framework. Begin by identifying a disease or condition you want to help with, such as a type of cancer, pregnancy or joint replacement. Prioritize something you are passionate about. Starting here will help you identify both your target audience and the types of services you provide as a clear brand.

Consider all aspects of your brand, including your attire, online image, logo, website and printable resources. Develop a social media presence and use it as a space to connect and share. Make it simple to communicate with you and respond promptly and professionally.  


Review your professional certifications and credentials and identify areas where you may want to pursue more education. If you have not yet earned a specialty certificate or the ACE Health Coach certification, that is a great place to start. ACE Certified Health Coaches work with a wide range of clientele, from those seeking weight loss to individuals newly diagnosed with a chronic condition such as diabetes. Additionally, look for learning or credentialing opportunities that will elevate your brand and improve your skills.  


Once you have defined your brand and identified opportunities to expand your education, it’s time to start sharing what you offer. Rather than pursuing high-level organizations or individuals, such as hospital administrators, look for professionals in complementary roles who would like to refer to your services. Consider volunteering for disease-related organizations or elsewhere in your community by offering a free event or educational series, which can be a great way to gain exposure and beneficial experience. 


Because your services are unlikely to be covered by insurance, emphasize the cost-savings benefits to the patient, medical provider and healthcare system. For example, remind potential clients that becoming more physically active today may help them avoid thousands of dollars in healthcare costs later. According to a study of exercise and Medicare claims, people who start to exercise before or during middle age typically save between $824 and $1,874 annually on healthcare costs after retirement. And, the earlier they start their workouts, the greater those savings can be. 

As a health and exercise professional, you will incur costs related to the delivery of your services. These often include insurance, training space, travel expenses and equipment. Whether you deliver your services online or in person, investing in professional-level delivery platforms and spaces is essential to enhance and bolster your appeal to both clients and referring professionals. 


It can be easy to overlook the importance of enjoyment when it comes to physical activity. For medical providers and their patients, most conversations focus on challenging and complex topics, primarily illness and other patient complaints. You have the unique opportunity to share a resource with no side effects other than sore muscles 

Your energy and attitude will increase your referrals and attract individuals who come to see you for the fun experience you can provide. 


Invite your referring providers, their staff, potential clients and community partners, into your space (in person or online) to demo what you do and help them experience it. Consider offering a demo at their location or through a virtual platform. Extend these invites through your social media channels and ask local organizations to share the opportunity as an extended benefit of what they offer their patients. If you ask someone to share an event, make it easy for them to say yes by describing what they will experience so they can easily understand and share what you’re offering. 


Communicate regularly with your referring sources, but be sure to first ask how a given provider would like to receive feedback on their patients (e.g., via email, a phone call or a text message). 

Remember that following up is an extension of your professional brand, so developing a template for each type of communication may be worthwhile so that you are consistent in your messaging. Testimonials are also an excellent way to increase your brand and create awareness of an experience that future clients will relate to. 

Final Thought 

As you begin to implement the BENEFIT system, some aspects of this system will be easier for you than others, and you may feel uncertain or intimidated. Take care not to become discouraged. Like starting a new exercise program, achieving results takes time and consistency, but your efforts will pay off over time. 

To learn more from Sami Mansfield about how to create a reputable brand for healthcare providers and clients with chronic health conditions, register for the upcoming FREE webinar Grow Your Business: Integrating Your Brand into Healthcare. This one-hour event will take place at 11:00 a.m. PDT on July 17, 2024. Be sure to reserve your spot now!

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