What You’ll Learn In this lesson, we are going to dive deep into referrals. We will look at how to ask your clients for referrals without it being awkward so you can increase the number of clients you have, in a straightforward and polite way.
Why It’s Important If you don’t ask for referrals, it’s unlikely you will get them. You might get a few over time, sporadically, however, your clients don’t usually know your ambitions, whether you are taking on clients or how busy you currently are, so if you need more clients it’s important to ask.
What are referrals?
Now, if someone recommends you to go to a restaurant, watch a certain movie or read a certain book, the likelihood of you doing it increases dramatically. The same can be said for personal trainers.
Getting referrals is a matter of simply asking your current clients to introduce your personal training service to people they know. It’s a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Now, that might seem like quite a bold move - however, if you are providing an excellent training service at a fair and reasonable price, your clients won’t have an issue with it.
That being said, personal training is all about building relationships. With the rise of social media influencers selling programs and nutrition plans for $50.00, people don’t just invest in your service because of your plan - they buy into you as professionals.
The best personal trainers don’t just think of their clients as customers - they treat their clients like family. If you have developed a solid relationship with your clients, asking them referrals will be the same as asking a family member if they can recommend someone to you. It will be natural, easy and polite.
Why do you need to create a referral system?
We are advocates of building systems in your personal training business. A system can be thought of as a framework in your business to keep things well organised and ensure you don’t miss vital stuff.
We will now look at how you can systemise your referral process to gain new clients.
1. Point of Purchase Referral Request
Once you’ve finished your initial consultation with your client, you can simply ask them if they have any friends that have also been considering a trainer. This is incredibly effective if you are selling semi-private sessions, as they can have their friends as one of their partners. Once you’ve finished the consultation, you may simply say:
“Mrs. Taylor, we really appreciate you’ve decided to invest in our training services. Do you have a friend that is also looking at hiring a trainer to help them achieve a fitness goal?”
2. Point of Purchase “Free Taster” Printed Vouchers
If your business model includes giving free taster/trial sessions to potential clients, after you’ve had the initial taster session with your potential client and they’ve decided to hire you as a trainer, you can hand them a handful of vouchers to give out to their friends.
If you are looking to have some branded vouchers created to give out, we offer design as a service through our sister company, My Personal Trainer Website.
3. Compliment Campaign
Every time you hear a compliment about your coaching business, you should be grabbing the opportunity to ask for a referral. Simply ask:
“Mr Johnson, I appreciate the kind words! Now, do you have any other friends that are currently thinking of hiring a trainer?”
4. Progress Check-In Campaigns
If you are doing monthly measurements and pictures with your clients and they have made substantial progress, this is a great time to ask for referrals. The client will be on an emotional high and now start to understand the value from hiring a coach as opposed to doing it alone.
Compliment your client on their progress, and see if they know anyone that is interested in hiring a coach.
5. Referral “Tools” Campaign
2 weeks after your client has started training with you, hand write a thank-you card and either post it to their address or give it to them in person. This is a great touch-point for your business and shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond as a coach.
Write a personalised note, congratulating them on their success over their first 2 weeks, and include your “Free Taster” or “Free Consultation” vouchers for your client to give to their friends.
Referrals should be a natural part of doing business with you. We recommend using all these 5 opportunities to ask your clients for them. If you follow these systems and key frameworks, referrals will help you to grow your business and generate additional clients without having to spend time writing social media posts, doing advertisements or being on the gym floor.