Automatic Client Referrals: Train Your Clients to Send You New Business

If you have landed on this blog post, chances are you are in search of ways to generate more client referrals.

Generating referrals can definitely grow your personal training business and can generate a large amount of revenue that you would not have otherwise. The question is though, "How do I get my clients to refer?"

Client Referrals

Whether you like it or not, you condition your clients to act or think in a certain way. If your clients are not referring new potential clients on to you, it is because you have conditioned your clients to not feel the need or urgency to do so.

Begin Conditioning Your Clients from the Get-Go

Passing along referrals should be a condition of doing business with you. By you helping them reach their goals, they can help you reach your goals by referring new potential clients on to you.

The way to do this is in the after-sell (or immediate follow-up). Immediately after you sell a client on one of your programs, this is when you plant the seed for referrals. It can sound like this:

"Mrs Jones, I am so excited to help you reach your goal of _______. I too have a goal - my goal is to help more people like you succeed! During the time that you and I spend together, as you begin to see results, would you be willing to recommend your friends, family members, and colleagues to me so I can help them too?"

Once your clients agrees, shake her hand. The deal is done, and you have now conditioned your client to refer in the future, simply by planting this initial seed.

Now 3 weeks down the line when you ask if they know someone who can benefit from your service, it is not going to be weird or awkward since your client has already agreed to help you.

Referral Competitions: Level up Your Referrals

This is a strategy that has produced consistent results every time it's implemented properly.

A referral competition not only creates a competitive spirit between your clients, it also allows you to easily identify the clients who refer the most. These are your "A-list" clients who you want to showcase by posting videos about them, mentioning their name, awarding them with certificates, and putting their photo on the wall of your training studio.

Treat your top-referring clients like royalty. They deserve discounts and perks more than anyone else.

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Giving them recognition will make them feel like a star and will entice them to keep on referring others to you. It's a major win-win!

This is the simple format for a successful referral competition launch:

Step #1. Incentivize your members to refer

When you create incentives for referrals, you want to keep it simple! For example, one incentive that I have found to be very effective is, "Get 1/2 price training next month when you refer a new client."

​This incentive will likely be valuable enough to your clients to excite them about referring others. Offering something smaller, say 10% off, might not be exciting enough of an offer, so don't be stingy here. Offer valuable rewards for valuable referrals.

Don't be stingy. Offer BIG incentives in exchange for awesome referrals!

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Most importantly, be sure to follow through with those rewards as soon as you gain a new client from a referral. The last thing you want is to have clients doubt your sincerity if they refer someone to you, and then don't hear back about their referral reward. Be prompt.​

Step #2. Use the "Plus Two" challenge sheet to capture referral names

This is a simple referral sheet that you can give to your clients. It encourages each member to refer two new clients.

Why two?

​If you don't ask, you won't receive. You can make a similar sheet that asks for just a single referral from each client, but why sell yourself short? If your clients are truly happy with the service you've provided, you can bet they'll have at least two friends or family members who they'd be willing to refer.

Always ask for at least two referrals.

Step #3. Call your leads to book them for a "Free Transformation Session"

​Don't settle for email follow-up. A new client can be worth thousands and thousands of dollars over the years, so you can afford to make a phone call to get the ball rolling.

What you include in your "​Free Transformation Session" is really up to you, but be sure that you give yourself a chance to prove your value and to build some rapport with this prospective client. They will only want to work with you if they believe you can help AND if they like you!

Promoting Your Referral Competition

You can launch this competition in two ways:

The Facebook Launch

First, you can promote it through your Facebook Page. What you want to do is record a video telling your clients about the referral competition and what they get for each person they refer.

Next, explain that you will help them get started by passing out a "Plus Two Challenge" form where they can write down the first two people who come to mind. Inform your clients that you will then get in contact with their referrals to offer a "Free Transformation Session" with you.

​You can even upload your referral sheet online - this will allow your clients to instantly download a copy, instead of having to wait for you to hand them a physical copy.

Once your Facebook launch is online, ask your clients to "like" it ​or to tag their friends who might be interested in training with you. Tagging is a great "soft" referral that helps potential clients learn a bit about who you are and why they might get a referral phone call from you.

The In-Person Launch

If you do not launch this through your Facebook page, you can just follow the same process when your clients come in for their training sessions.

  • ​Explain the competition.
  • Explain the rewards referrers will get.
  • Tell them how to get started.
  • Give them a referral sheet to fill out.

If you do a group training class or boot-camp, even better! Tell your class about the referral competition before and after the class to make sure your message hits home.

Implement these referral strategies for your personal training business and I guarantee that you will see an increase of referrals. These are tested and proven techniques - start implementing them today!

Want Extra Help Attracting Even More New Clients?

If you are struggling with gaining new clients and would like to follow proven systems that will raise your monthly revenue, click this link to schedule a free strategy session with myself.

Or, email me directly to ask any questions with regards to getting more clients and raising your monthly revenue.

About the author

Dave Smith

Dave has been a personal trainer and weight-loss coach since 2001. He knows how to get fat-loss results and was chosen as Canada's Top Fitness Professional for his dedication to his clients' success.