Who Do Consumers Trust?

By Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT

According to the Nielsen Report Global Trust in Advertising & Brand Messages published in 2013, consumers trust “recommendations of people they know 84 percent of the time,” which is significantly higher than any other media. Radio ads only have a 57 percent trust rating and newspaper ads 61 percent rating.1 How about spending more time and money on building a patient-to-patient referral program?

Begin by harvesting great testimonials and stories from your current patients. Seek permission and publish these through your social media and in your clinic. Let your patients know that you value their referrals and make it easy for them to share their recommendations with plenty of business or referral cards. Finally, show your appreciation through hand-written thank you notes, personal phone calls, appreciation events, or small gifts. Grow your word-of-mouth referral program strategically and expand your trusted referral sources.


Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT, is president and consultant of Steffes & Associates, a national rehabilitation consulting group focused on marketing and program development for private practices nationwide. She is an instructor in five physical therapy programs and has actively presented, consulted, and taught in 40 states. She can be reached at steffbiz@gmail.com.



1. Nielsen Report Global Trust in Advertising & Brand Messages. Website: www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/reports-downloads/2013%20Reports/Nielsen-Global-Trust-in-Advertising-Report-September-2013.pdf. Posted September 2013. Accessed October 2014.

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