“I’m going to tell my friend about you!” As trainers, we hear this all the time. But how do we take these nice words and turn them into big business?
Referrals are one of the top methods personal trainers can use to get new and continuous business. Asking for referrals is essential to bringing in valuable new clients. People would much rather do business with people they know or people recommended to them.
Just think of it as a five-star review, written directly to a prospective client who would be a perfect fit for your personal training business.
However, many trainers struggle with, first, getting referrals, and second, turning them into part of their lead generation machine.
Why Do Client Referrals Matter?
A client referral is a huge vote of confidence for you and your business. And in a world where reading online reviews or testimonies has become a common habit before making a decision, referrals—which are sourced from people prospective customers actually know—are king!
Just think, when a client of yours tells a friend or acquaintance about you and your services, it means you already have a leg up establishing the “know, like and trust” factor with that prospective client. They’re receiving positive information about your business straight from a trusted source, and that can play an important factor in their decision-making process.
According to Nielsen’s 2016 survey about referral marketing, 82% of Americans say, “they look to friends and family for advice when considering a purchase of any kind” and 67% said,” they’re at least a little more likely to purchase a product after a friend or family member shared it via email or social media.”
I know you’re probably thinking, “I don’t feel comfortable asking for referrals!” and, yes, it can be a somewhat awkward exchange for you and your client. After all, you don’t want to appear like the “sleazy salesman” or desperate to find a new client(s). But you if you’re choosing the right clients to approach and are encouraging referrals in a genuine no-pressure way, chances are your clients will be more than happy to oblige.
Below are 4 ways you can get over that awkward feeling as get more client referrals/
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3 Ways to Generate More Referrals
1. Ask for a testimonial via email
The first and most obvious approach to generating client referrals is to cut out all the face-to-face stuff and ask for them via email. I found this method to be the easiest for both clients and trainers. You can easily send your client an email with something like this:
I’m launching a new program and I would love to show everyone out there how—just like you—they can actually get results and make a positive change in their health and fitness.
The best way we can share that with others is through your story and experience!
Would you be willing to answer the following questions for me? It’ll only take 2 minutes of your time.
- Before finding us, what were your biggest frustrations?
- How did these frustrations affect your life?
- How did our _____ program help you?
- How is life different for you now?
If you don’t want to write them out, I’d be happy to record you responding to them orally, or you can even video yourself with your phone telling your story and send it over to me. (If you choose the video option, please make sure to introduce yourself at the start.)
I really appreciate you being willing to help!
With this polished and professional message, you’ll show your clients how you’re trying to grow your business and help as many clients as possible—and most people are happy to help with that. Plus, by giving them question prompts, you make the process easier for them.
2. Develop a customer loyalty program
Clients who are loyal to your business are amazing brand ambassadors and they are more likely to refer others to your business.
What I’ve done in the past is offer my client(s) a discount (10-20%) on their training package if they refer others to purchase a package. This method actually incentivizes clients to help you out and offers them a nice little thank you for their referral.
They save some money and in return, help you and a friend. It’s a win/win for everyone involved.
3. Ask Your Clients to Follow You on Social Media
If your clients are paying you, it’s safe to say they like what you are doing. So why not get them to validate that by following you on social media!
All you have to do is ask them to give you a follow, and if you want to throw in a little incentive, let them know what kind of content you share. Whether it’s recipes, motivational quotes, fitness tips, or updates on new programs or offers, your clients will enjoy staying connected with you on social media, and if they really love what you’re putting out, they might just share it. The more people who share your posts, the more people you can reach.
Best part? It’s free! All it takes is a little bit of creativity and some time on your part. Talk about a winning marketing tactic!
#TZ TIP: Make sure your social media has the following:
1. Interesting Title
2. Useful Facts
3. A Call to Action
4. Eye-Catching Graphics
When dealing with face-to-face or online training clients, referrals should be at the forefront of your personal training business. Referrals can easily increase traffic to your site, land more clients and most importantly help to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Practice these methods in your daily marketing efforts and you’ll quickly find it to become second nature. Watch the referrals start pouring in with this organic style of marketing.