It’s very important to have a network of professionals that you can refer your people to. All of those things that they need that you do not do. This could be a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a registered dietician, or even a good car mechanic.
Being able to help your members/clients solve a problem that they have is a great way to build social currency (being held in higher esteem). Which equals greater loyalty. So, yea! However, be careful who you refer people to. Every referral that you make is a reflection on you and your brand. As said, a successful referral increases the positive feelings that people have for you, but, a negative experience can have the opposite effect. You lose respect and loyalty.
Build your referral network by getting to know the people you intend on referring people to. Chiropractor? Go talk with them and get an adjustment. Massage therapist? Get a massage. Don’t refer unless you know what they can do. Sure, it will take longer to build that network, but your clients, the people you referring your clients to, and your brand will thank you.
Note: What got me going on this was that I was talked into joining this online referral group. As I made connections to other businesses, I kept getting asked to refer them when I really didn’t know anything about them. Referrals are precious. Use them only when you know that they will serve your people well.
So, you want to give something to your clients for the holidays, and/or you’re thinking about running a holiday special to attract new customers in the new year. One great way to cover both is to give the gift of a gift.
First, your best members and clients love you. They are your evangelists. You don’t need to give them gifts to endear them to you.
Second, offering specials, discounts, and sales could be perceived as devaluing your service or membership.
However, if you give your best members the gift of a gift certificate to give to a friend or family member, that changes things. You are giving your member something that they are actually able to give as a present to others. They want to share their passion with their friends anyway and, as for acquiring new members, there’s no better way to get them than referrals. You are also not discounting, you’re giving a gift that has a value of $X. (perception is everything)
Here’s some thoughts on the details:
(gift recipient name) ____________________________________ has received the gift of ________________________ (something of real value, not 10% off or a 1 week free membership. Maybe a personal training starter package or a month of group fitness)
valued at $________ (list the real price, show the value) from (member’s name) ________________________________________________
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha (adding a little health quote never hurts)
Give it a try. Give the gift of a gift and have a happy holiday season.
A huge part of building your business is getting referrals from your existing clients and/or members. Referrals don’t stop there, though. You should be creating a network of other professionals that you can refer your clients to.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, when you refer a client to another professional that can further enhance your client’s health and/or wellness, they get even better results and will appreciate you all the more.
Second, when another professional receives a referral from you, they will feel compelled to reciprocate (as long as you are good at what you do). These professional referrals are a low-cost way to get qualified (someone that’s already interested) leads.
Start by finding other professionals that don’t offer what you do, but complement it. Look for them in the areas of health (medical doctors, physical therapists), fitness (maybe yoga or a swim coach), nutrition (RDs, personal chefs), bodywork (chiropractors, massage therapists), beauty (hair, nails), etc. Meet with them and explain what you do and that you are looking for other professionals that you can refer your clients to. Ask about their qualifications, philosophies, and references to make sure you feel confident in referring to them.
Refer your clients when appropriate and review their experience afterward. Their experience will either support your use of this professional or let you know to look for someone else. The right professional referral network will benefit everyone involved.
One of the best ways to gain new clients is to get referrals. An advertisement that you may see in the paper, on the news, or hear on the radio, will never carry the weight of a friend or someone you trust making a recommendation to you.
Some people will refer others to you on their own (we love those people), but often times you will need to ask for referrals. Many Personal Trainers hesitate to ask for referrals for the same reasons they don’t like to sell. They feel it is seedy to ask, that they shouldn’t have to ask, or that they don’t view it as a way to help more people.
There are times that are more appropriate to ask than others. In spite of some “systems” preaching to get referrals at the point of sale (POS), I believe it is not the time you should ask. At POS, you haven’t yet had the opportunity to create enough value for the client to send their friends and family to you. The perfect time to ask is when your client is feeling successful and happy about their workouts and/or their results. You can prompt this as well by doing periodic assessments and pointing out their achievements, or by simply asking them how they are feeling about their progress and the workouts in general. When they express their happiness in how it’s going, then is the time to ask, “Is there anyone else you know that you think would benefit from training with me?” “I’d love the opportunity to sit down with them and see how I might be able to help them reach their goals.” You can also get them to help promote new programs, classes, and/or small group training. “I’m starting a new _______. Do you know anyone that might be interested in that?” People that are happy with their progress, the program, and like and trust you, will be thrilled to refer their friends and family to you, but sometimes they may need a little nudge to remember to do that.
You should also look to getting referrals from other health/fitness/beauty (yes, beauty) professionals, such as doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists, hair stylists, etc. And, like with your clients, you need to build value and trust with these professionals before you can ask for referrals. We’ll discuss those in more detail in a later post.
Successful Personal Trainers get referrals. Are you getting yours?