Jim Rohn, one of the greatest sales trainers and motivational speakers I have ever come across once said:
“One customer, well taken care of, could be worth more than $10,000.00 worth of advertising”
He went on to talk about two more things:
- A happy customer will be a life long customer (so they will continue to buy from you for life, which will amount to many thousands of dollars)
- A happy customer will be a life long referral machine for you (which will result in many more thousands of dollars)
Referrals are one of the BEST ways for fitness professionals to get clients because:
- They don’t cost you money
- They don’t cost you time
- They already trust you
- You have no “ice to break” between you since you have a mutual friend
The bottom line here is that referrals are some of the lowest hanging fruit any fitness entrepreneur could maximize in their business, it also doesn’t hurt that they generate revenue at the highest possible profit margins.
But… how do you go about maximizing this low hanging fruit?
Easy, here are four strategies you can use right now to start making more money and creating a bigger income in your market.
#1: Professional Referrals
If you want to set yourself apart from the other fitness professionals in your community, you can do two things:
- Send a health and fitness report to your client’s physician. This will cement you as an expert in the physician’s eyes, and also create a line of communication between the two of you so he/she can refer you their patients.
- Contact non-competitive health professionals in your area to create a referral network with. Doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapy specialists, yoga instructors – anybody whom you could refer people to and who they could refer people back to you. Since you are non-competitive, everyone wins.
These are two action steps you can accomplish within the next week and will cement your position as the go-to professional that the medical community trusts in your area.
#2: Send Referral-Request E-mails to Your Clients
If you have got your client results and you have a good relationship with one another, not asking them for referrals is one of the dumbest things you could ever do.
People like to help people, especially people that they know/like/trust. Once you have delivered on your promise to one of your current clients, shoot them over an e-mail that says:
Subject Line: Could You Do Me A Favor?
Email: Hey *NAME*,
I just wanted to shoot you over a quick e-mail and say thank you very much for being such a great client.
I take a lot of pride in the service I provide for my clientele and I hope that you feel I have delivered in every way you were expecting when you started up this journey with me.
If you do feel like we’ve done some great work together and you know somebody in your life who could benefit from this same process, would you be kind enough to let them know about me?
You might have a:
- Family member
Or anybody in your circle who could benefit from a program like mine, and by telling them about myself and how much great work we did together, that means I am going to be able to spend more time and resources on continually delivering more and more for my clients and not have to put so much effort into the marketing and advertising side of things.
So, if anybody comes to mind, let them know about me and feel free to provide them my contact information as well.
#3: Offer an Incentive
Getting into the gift-giving strategy for more referrals is something that can both give you more clients and build your brand at the same time.
Use your most loyal clients and customers as your starting point and spark the conversation with a gift incentive for each referral they provide you.
You could offer commission.
You could offer a free training session.
You could offer a free nutritional consult.
You could offer a coffee mug, workout journal, gym bag, or T-Shirt with your branding on it.
There are so many options here, and if you really want people to love you, send them a whole basket of healthy snacks.
Whenever one of your current friends, family members, co-workers, or clients send you a referral – hit them up with a gift right away.
Although, be mindful of what you use as a gift. It should represent your brand, be truly usable or enjoyable, and not contradict your vision/mission.
#4: “Bring A Friend”
If you run a boot-camp, this is the easiest way you could ever get more paying customers. Simply announce that you are running a “bring a friend” week in your group class, and your clients can bring any friend they want 100% free of charge for the day.
Announce the event 1-2 weeks prior to the day and continue to promote the event right up to when it happens it get as many new people in there as you can.
You can combine this with the above referral systems as well, you could:
- Offer a gift to those who bring a friend
- Send an e-mail to your professional referral network about the event
Among many other ways you could spin it, another example could include you offering the guest a “preferred rate” if they become a client after their free class.
It’s vital here that you have some way in which to capture the contact information of the free attendees, so you can continue to market to them and follow up with them after the free class (some people need a little nudging before they jump on board).
BONUS TIP: Send a “Thank You” Letter
There’s no doubt that getting a gift for your client or giving them a financial commission reward will incentivize them to get you referrals, but, taking advantage of the old-fashioned thank you card shouldn’t be overlooked.
When people receive a hand-written thank you card in the mail, they feel appreciated – and appreciated people will happily throw business your way.
Plus, since it’s a physical hand-written letter, you have the possibility of them posting it online for many people to see.
Make the thank you very genuine and real, and it will reward you without even having to ask.
Getting referrals is one of the easiest and most underutilized ways in which fitness professionals can start getting more leads and making more money.
Above you have five different strategies you can use in order to start building a bigger business and network, pick three strategies and systematize them into your business so we can get rolling on this thing!