- A referral-driven business is a great business
- Offline – 1 referred guest per client is ideal
- How – direct invitations to FEOs, intros to strategic alliance programs
- Charity events bring in guests and build goodwill
- Referrals can also be directly into a program
- Not all referrals will buy, but its a good start to selling
- Reviews are part 1 of referrals, part 2 is social proof
- Next up is client-based introductions
- Intros are far too commonly overlooked
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here and today we’re gonna continue our series of what I would do if I were your business coach, and we’re gonna talk about referrals, we’ve got a lot to unpack, so let’s get to it.
Welcome to The Fitness Business School podcast – the show for fitness business owners who want to grow their income, increase their impact and improve their lifestyle. Be sure to listen til the end of this episode, because we have a brand new special offer exclusive for listeners. So stay tuned.
I think for most of our businesses, we would all love to be kind of driven entirely by referrals. All of our leads from referrals, all of our prospects, being people that already are kind of predisposed to doing business with us. And so I want to give you a little bit of a framework to make referrals happen with more consistency in your business. So, first of all, let me tell you, I think a realistic goal for an offline training business would be one referred guest to experience your program annually for each active client. Now not every client’s gonna refer, but if you have a hundred clients, then I think you could have a hundred guests walk through your door to you, try out what you do over the course of a year that are directly attributed to those hundred clients.
Now how’s this gonna happen? It, I think it’s gonna be a combination of a few things. The first would be like direct invitations to short term things like challenges, front end offers, workshops, bring a friend days that sort of stuff. The second would be introductions to like business of the month or strategic Alliance type programs where you’re going to have a client basically introduce you to a group of people at once, rather than just an individual one at a time. The third would be some sort of charity event where you can create some Goodwill and you can get people to invite others in to be part of what you are doing. Kind of centered around a cause. Not necessarily because they’re seeking out a gym or a fitness experience, but because they’re interested in being part of something that serves this other, you know, this other outside entity and then fourth would be referrals directly into a program. Now, when I say guests keep in mind that not every guest that walks through your doors going to become a client. I, I get that. But I, I think for most of the people that I work with, the, the guests that come through the door, like the dynamic just changes, right? Like once they’ve come in to experience what you do, how you help, what you have to offer everything kind of shifts and that’s most business owners, sweet spot. Like they feel like, Hey, if I could just get people to come through the door, then there’s a pretty good chance I’m gonna be successful. So, you know, that’s where we I, I think that’s, that’s where we’re kind of shooting for, but most people don’t track this.
My recommendation to you would be track how many guests you get that are directly attributed, have a variety of ways to you know, get your clients to spread the word. And I think that just by having this kind of multifaceted approach and tracking it, you’ll see your referral numbers grow. Another thing that I think is realistic is half of your active clients providing some sort of social proof in one format or another. See, I, I think referrals basically are, are a piece of the puzzle, but really what we’re trying to do is get our clients to, to help us attract new people. So think about the different levels that this can happen. The, the first level is they provide a, a review on somewhere like Google and then people that don’t know you, you don’t know the client, they’re just searching around for a, a solution. They find your business in part because of the referrals and they, they gain interest in your business in part, because of this review, because it enhances your credibility. It, it makes you a more appealing solution. I mean, if you think about restaurants that, that you choose by looking online, if you think about purchases that you make on Amazon reviews definitely play a part for most of us. I know they do for me. And so the, the review part of this is kind of like the first level of what I would call the referral umbrella.
The second level is what we usually think of like you creating like what we usually think of as social proof, you creating some sort of documented before and after case study testimonial and sharing it with your, your audience, the people that already know of you, the, the email list you have the social media following, you have you know, putting it up on your website, any of that sort of thing, where somebody who, who knows you, this serves to kind of move them along that pipeline from lead to client. And then the third level of referrals is clients introducing us to the people that they know. We don’t know them, but the clients are essentially kind of serving almost as this little conveyor belt and bringing people to us. So I think that if we wanna really kind of close the circle here on referrals, 50% of our active clients should be willing to provide us some sort of testimonial or social proof or write a review online. And if you think about this kind of vault of social proof, your creating, I mean, I, if you think about those three different types of kind of referral driven mechanisms, this is really the lifeblood of a lot of it. Plus if I give somebody a review, I’m kind of leaning into that, that business. I’m saying, you know what, I’m an ambassador for this business.
I wanna see this business win. So it probably makes them more likely to bring people in on their, you know, of their own volition, not just provide a review and feel like I’m done. And then, you know, the, the most common overlooked opportunity that I see or growth through referrals is this idea of introductions. See virtually all referrals are invitations to programs, but there’s definitely a greater kind of broader opportunity to get your clients, to introduce your business to the people that they know. And it, it can be as simple as your clients kind of coach to share your content on social media or pass your newsletter along to the other people in their lives to share your lead magnets, to give away your books, by making direct introductions to other people as a favor to you. So, you know, this sort of a introduction based approach, you could probably ask for that three to four times, as often as you can just say, Hey, would you like to bring a friend to, or bring a friend event Saturday? Or would you like to bring a guest to our charity event next week? So, so if you see the, the, the overarching theme here, when it comes to referrals, if I I’m coaching you to, to, to really build a stronger referral program, the number one thing here is you have to have a multifaceted approach. It’s not enough to just say, well, you know what? I ask every client to, to refer.
And some of them won’t, well, you need to have of this, th this approach that me teach client where they are. Some people, they, they don’t want to bring a friend to something because maybe they feel like that’s being salesy to their friend, but they’d be happy to give a review. Some people won’t do the typical referral stuff or some sort of incentive, but they’ll be happy to bring a guest to a charity event. So, so if you have this multifaceted approach where you’re getting people to share your content, you’re getting people to write reviews or provide case studies. You’re providing different opportunities for people to introduce your business. By bringing them in as a guest, you’re gonna see your referral numbers jump, and you’re gonna also see this become potentially your number one lead source, which I, if your business is growing and your number one lead source is referrals really doing something well, now a lot of people say, well, my number one lead source is referrals, but their business is stagnant and they’re not getting a whole lot of new clients in. And that’s just because they’re not doing anything else.
But if you’re doing the other things we’ve talked about in the other episodes, plus this man, I, I mean the sky’s the limit, and you’re gonna be attracting a lot of people. We’re pre-sold to do business with you and have a high likelihood of being your ideal client. So if I’m coaching you, this is how we approach referrals.
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