How many times have you or someone you know asked for a referral for something?
We all need help or advice at some point in our life, and to ensure we make a good decision, we often ask for recommendations on “good” people for whatever we need help with.
You know, something like, “Who knows a good massage therapist( or PT/chiro/mechanic/plumber etc)?”
Nearly everyday my Facebook feed includes one of these type of posts, and what follows in the comments is often a list of dozens people. But how many of those people are actually contacted? What is it about human nature where we want to ask for advice and recommendations and then often go make our own decisions anyway?
To a fault, I do zero advertising and marketing of my therapy services. It’s 100% word of mouth from people who have seen me at one point, or people I know. A good friend of mine and competitive bodybuilder David Reid has been a tremendous referral source for me, for which I am very grateful. I’ve known and worked with Dave for nearly 10 years now. He’s been in the fitness game for a long time and has had his share of injuries and therapy sessions. Whenever someone Dave knows is hurt, he is quick to send them my information.
A good portion of his referrals have called me immediately, others wait weeks to months later, and some never call. The delay in calling me is not a result of Dave’s recommendation, it’s a result of those people not having the immediate motivation to take action. I bring this up because when someone is in enough pain, they will call. When someone is frustrated with the results, they will look for other options. If they haven’t experienced those emotions, they likely won’t go for the contact.
Here’s a story that occurred recently.
An active woman came to see me after going through months of physical therapy for hip pain. MONTHS!!! and she saw minimal progress. She decided to call me and in one 90-minute session with me, she was fully functional with no pain. So why did she call me after all? Because she was frustrated with her results and wanted other options.
There is another key point in that paragraph. Her problem was gone after one session. I consider myself a really good therapist. I still have areas to improve on, and that will come with time. With the people I see, I can confidently say if I cannot show immediate relief, if not full recovery in 1-2 sessions, there is a major problem that needs to be addressed. I’ve said I can fix just about everything except broken bones. Not to be egotistical, but my results indicate this to be true.
In the past year, I worked with a retired Olympic level track and field athlete. All those years of training has now led to discomfort. In this case, it was chronic groin pain. The next day the person came back and said, “Whatever you did, let’s do it again, because I haven’t felt like this in a long time.”
I have many stories like this and the common comments I get from them is, “Why didn’t I come see you sooner?”
Your friend: “I have this back issue, do you know someone who might help?”
You: “Yes, you should call Roger. He’s great. He’s worked with all kinds of great athletes, Olympians, professionals. You should call him.”
Friend: “ok, why is he great? I mean, I know my PT also works with athletes too.”
You: “Because he can fix things in one session.”
In this scenario and recommendation, who wouldn’t want to get fixed in one session? Someone who doesn’t call isn’t in enough pain (pun intended) to seek help. They are going through the stages of decision making but aren’t quite there yet. One last thing I have learned is that who you have worked with isn’t as big of a factor in someone’s decision to seek treatment as one might think. It still comes down to how emotional they are about their current situation.
So although I can provide help to many people, it’s still up the person to make the decision what is important to them.
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