Have you ever gone out to eat and were so blown away with how delicious the food was that you rave about it to your friends? Have you ever taken a workout class and got such a killer butt kicking (this is a good thing) that you told your friends they should go try a class? Do you go to a spa that is so relaxing that it’s actually life changing and you want everyone to experience your zen? This is why referrals are so important for your business. If you have a quality product or service with a top-notch customer experience, asking for referrals is a no brainer. Referrals are a key component in the growth and retention strategy of any successful businesses. This article will outline different types of referrals and the steps you can take to implement systems to maximize lead generation with little to no budget.
A referral is when someone sends a new lead to your business. Short and sweet, referrals are pretty much free or low-cost leads. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different ways to approach referrals and you should always identify if your goal is to get leads, intro offers, or consistent paying members, because each can entail a different structure.
A member referral program incentivizes your members to not just generate a lead but actually generate a paying client. Incentives should be structured to get your members excited about earning something special. No, socks and water bottles probably aren’t going to get someone to bring you a new 12-month member. A typical member referral program will incentives clients based on what the new clients sign up for.
When you refer someone who becomes a 12-Month Member, you get 1 FREE MONTH added onto the end of your membership.
Think about what you are getting vs what you are giving. Big picture, if you have ten members who each refer one new 12-month member, vs giving away 10 free months at the end of each membership, you’ve done pretty good.
In order for Member Referral Programs to be successful, they have to be ingrained in your studio culture. Your team should be well informed of the incentives and the program should be talked about often.
Hosting a friends & family event is not only great for community building but it can also drive in a ton of quality referrals. One approach to these events is hosting a Friends & Family Month. Each paying member gets 1 FREE Intro Offer Pass to gift to to someone to use within the month. To ensure you have a steady stream of referrals coming in during this month you have to get your whole team involved and talk about it everyday in the studio. “Don’t forget that our Friends and Family Month allows you to bring 1 special person into the studio for some fun AND you can earn something special if they join our fitFAM. Ask us about our Member Referral Program.”
So, when do you ask for referrals? The answer… ALWAYS be asking. From the point someone purchases an intro offer to their journey as a long-term member, and everywhere in between. Referrals should be asked for at all points of contact.
When a new client purchases your intro offer you can reach out by text to see if they have someone they may want to bring with them. “Hey Sally Jo, we are so excited to see you tomorrow for your first class with us. We actually have one spot available for a new client so we wanted to reach out and offer a FREE class to someone that may want to join you. Please let us know or have them contact us by tomorrow morning. We can’t wait to meet you.”
When a new client becomes a consistent paying member, you can extend a FREE intro offer on the day they sign up. “Sally Jo, we are so excited you joined our fitFAM and we’d love to give you 1 FREE Intro Offer to gift to someone special.” (There should be a 1 Month Expiration on this.)
Remember, it can take a few asks before a client actually refers someone. This doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, sometimes it just doesn’t happen right away. So, make sure referrals are an ongoing conversation within your community.
*fitDEGREE’s software allows studios to post announcements within the app to their community which is a great place to talk about referrals on a consistent basis.
Referrals should be a top priority for your business. If you currently don’t have a Member Referral Program or haven’t done a Friends & Family Month, you’ve got some quality strategies to implement ASAP. Referrals can and should be your highest lead generating strategy so take some time to audit where your leads are coming from and get to work.