1. Offer a clean, safe facility
A doctor or other healthcare professional’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of his or her patients. They will be looking to refer to a club that is clean, safe, unintimidating, and staffed with knowledgeable people ready to help their patients succeed.
2. Use the knowledge of current members
Do you have members that are doctors, dietitians, or physical therapists? Form a committee and get their feedback on how to improve club services and programs to meet the needs of patients, and how to market to other health professionals.
3. Solve problems with programs
Many de-conditioned (or new to fitness) people are intimidated by clubs or have tried exercise (maybe even in a club before) without success. These members will benefit greatly from specific programs designed to provide educational guidance and services to address their specific needs.
4. Make it about the program, not the sale
IHRSA clubs with successful medical wellness programs send physician referrals to a representative from their medical wellness program—such as a trainer or program coordinator—and not the sales department. Medical wellness participants can be wary about the pressure to join, so a softer sell often works better in the long run.
5. Keep track of member progress
This allows participants to see their own progress, and to report back to their doctor how well they are doing at your club. Check out the Building Wellness Programs in Your Health Club e-book—free for IHRSA members—for advice on tracking progress and helpful templates.