Establishing a Referral Partnership for Your RD Private Practice


Looking for a new way to meet clients? It might be time to consider joining forces with a referral partner! Referral partners can be any business that targets the same demographic client that you’re looking for. These partners might be local gyms or yoga studios – places that offer programs that might interest your client and may also have clients you are interested in working with. Today, we’re going to talk about how to establish a referral partnership that will benefit both you and your partner.

When looking for a good referral partner, it’s a great idea to stay local!  Especially if your practice mainly sees clients in-office instead of through telehealth. Check out businesses in your neighborhood and in neighboring towns.

See if you’re a good fit for them first, before reaching out! For instance, if you come across a nearby gym that doesn’t have a program in place for nutrition or dietetic services, they may potentially be a good partner. However, if they already have nutrition-based programs available they may not be a great referral source for you. This works both ways. If your typical client isn’t likely to want a membership at this program or gym due to their age or interests, you may not be a good fit for this partner either.

Pro tip: Try finding potential referral partners through the clients you already have. If you’ve been working with one client for awhile, ask your client if they’d be willing to speak to their physician on your behalf to see if they might be open to referring more of their patients to you.

How to establish a referral partnership with another business:

  1. Reach out to the owner or manager of the business to discuss a partnership. Meet face-to-face, if possible. It’s easier if you’re nearby already.
  2. Be quick, cool, and casual. Tell them you’re interested in starting a referral partnership and keep the conversation brief. Maybe 10 to 20 minutes. Put together a quick strategy for how you can go about referring clients to each other. Quick, short meetings will make conversation easy and keep your relationship with your partner feeling effortless, while both of you can reap rewards.
  3. Be a good partner and not only take on new clients from your partner, but send your clients their way as well!

Still struggling to find new clients? Healthie can help! Reach out to us in the comments below or shoot us an email at We are more than happy to answer questions and create new posts to support RDs however we can!

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