As fitness professionals we know that word of mouth referrals are going to be the source of most of our new clients. I am sure many of you have even read about different ways to verbally ask for referrals, but verbally asking for a referral is only 1 way to get referrals. There are lots of ways to ask for referrals and you should be doing them all! It is a numbers game. The more ways you ask for referrals the more likely you are to see those primed potential new clients walking through your doors!
Here are a couple creative ways we ask for and encourage referrals:
High Profile Referral Funnels:
If there are people in your community who know a lot of people, have charismatic personalities and would be great ambassadors for your business, consider offering them free and/or seriously discounted training rates. Perfect candidates for this type of program may be local politicians, TV and/or radio personalities, high-level athletes, high-profile business owners who have a lot of customers (salon or spa owners/managers, massage therapists, chiropractors, sporting good store managers/owners, restaurant owners etc). At our business, we offer these people complimentary group training classes offered six days per week ($130 monthly value) as well as VIP rates on all additional services (15-30% off). In return, we ask that these people display all of our marketing materials and promotional brochures and hand out our Gift Cards regularly. We also ask that they do not tell anyone that we are offering them Free services so that it does not upset any of our paying clients. In addition, a referral comes off much more genuinely if others aren’t aware of any type of arrangement.
Include “request for referral” statements on your client feedback forms, client information packages, website and social media initiatives. Prepare stand alone “Give the Gift of Fitness” post cards. Learn a lesson from the real?estate or financial advisory industries and ask each new client for three referrals. Here’s an example of wording that may work for you.
“Since you are such a valued client of XYZ Personal Training, we would like to give you the opportunity to offer one complimentary session and 2 week trial pass to your loved ones. You may be the inspiration for them to start moving and experiencing many of the results that you’ve achieved! Since it’s a busy time for us, we’d like you to please limit the gift to three of your closest friends or family members.”
Thank You Gift:
If you want to keep Word of Mouth referrals coming in strong, you will want to heavily celebrate the client who refers to you and ideally offer them a gift to thank them for bragging about you and helping to build your business. At our business, our clients receive a Free Personal Training or Massage for any new client they refer to us. The small investment in the gift is worth it to show our clients our gratitude and ensure they continue to regularly refer new clients to us. Remember to follow up and send a personal thank?you note and inform your client of the results that the new client has achieved since starting working with you and acknowledge that he/she was the catalyst for helping the new client take action towards their fitness goals. They will feel really good about the fact that they were the one that got the client started and will be more likely to want to inspire others too!
Promote Your Referral Campaigns:
Post fliers and posters throughout your facility highlighting your campaign, what a new client gets and what a referring client receives as a Thank you. We definitely want our clients to be aware at all times and keep NWPT at the forefront of their mind when someone expresses an interest in fitness and training.
“A great product is of no use if no one knows about it!” Mark Twain
Give these ideas a try and let us know what you think!
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