Your most qualified prospects to become your customer are those that come from referral.
What are you doing to elicit referrals?
Recognise referring members?
And improving your referral process?
Traditionally, the first time we ask for referrals and for many businesses this is the only time, is at point of sale. Theory says this is when I am most excited about your product, so that’s when I want to share it with my friends. And in some markets, I would totally suggest you do this!
I would encourage you to script up and have the collateral to ask for point of sale referrals if you know your market has not been ‘burnt’ by this strategy. There are pockets in every community or city, where referrals have been harassed & now no one wants to hand over their mate’s details. If this hasn’t occurred where you are, then definitely start asking at point of sale.
If you know your competitors ask at point of sale or your market has been burnt, then turn this negative into a feature of your business.
Consider saying something like, “Now you’re a member you’ve the opportunity to invite up to 5 friends into the club for a free (whatever you’re giving away: 7 day pass, PT session, etc). Now most gyms ask you for those names now but here at Active we believe we have to prove ourselves you. So in 30 days time, when you’ve experienced the club, starting to get your results and loving us, is it OK if I ask you then for the names of people you’d like to introduce to the club?” Of course they’ll say yes and you follow up with “Great! And if you want them to come in sooner, just let me know and I’ll arrange it for you.”
To be honest, this is exactly how I’d like to be asked – once I’ve experienced you, trusted you & feel comfortable with you then I am happy to tell my friends about you.
If you only take one thing from me, the key about referrals at point of sale is you ask!!! You need a system to ensure every new member is asked – whether that is at point of sale or in 30 days.
I am also a fan of an ongoing referral strategy: whenever someone introduces a new member they receive a gift. Ensure the gift is personal & valuable to them! This could be a free month, free session or a discount voucher.
Interweaved in this are daily promotions like Free Friend Friday … Bestie Week … Train with a Buddy or whatever else you can come up with. These are not massive, highly expensive campaigns. They are more grass roots and quick to roll out.
If you want referrals from your customers in the first 30 to 3000 days – deliver what you promise in your sales pitch; on board them so they feel part of the community; and ensure they are using your product.
If you want referrals from customers ensure they are using your product and getting results.
If you tick these boxes, I guarantee referrals and there will be no need for campaigns or incentives!
Justin is the Managing Director of Active Management, which he began January 2004. He offers coaching to businesses worldwide in everything from start up and design to marketing and sales systems. Justin also facilitates four Australian and New Zealand ‘fitness industry roundtables’ events, which allows him to see a huge cross section of business models.