I recently heard someone talking about the best referral strategy ever.
The strategy was to ask a client who signs up for a membership to give you 3 names in exchange for a $5 t-shirt.
I kindly disagree.
First off, I cannot say it’s totally off base. They did have down that you should ask for a referral at the point of sale, this is just smart business.
The strategy is what’s weak and terrible advice for people selling personal training.
Have you ever heard the expression, “The dog that picks up 2 bones (3 in this case) gets none?”
This is what’s going on here.
Instead of asking for one very quality referral that could be worth thousands, people just fill out the 3 names for the shirt and hope you never ask them again.
Second, the value of a personal training membership varies. In my experience, it ranges from $2K-10K per year, depending on many factors.
So here you are, asking clients for potentially $30K worth of value to you in exchange for a crappy $5 t-shirt!
The other mistake is they ask for the names and numbers.
Now, this leaves the gym to contact them instead of the client making the connection, which is the key.
Spending $5 on a t-shirt is another thing I disagree on.
If you pony up and spend a little more, people may actually wear it, which would build omnipresence instead of using it as a dish rag (I made this mistake for years).
The problem with this whole thing is, it’s based on “You do this for me. I give you this (crappy) t-shirt.”
That’s not how great referrals are created in this business.
Assuming you do a great job and have earned it, great referrals are created when you give the client something of value for them to give to their friend. Then, reward them for it after, not before.
The ultimate success we’ve seen is giving members a free month membership in the form of a metal credit card. This has created more referrals for my gym and for my Mastermind members than I can count.
Instead of them reluctantly putting their friends name on the line, they give them a gift, of extreme value.
It’s much more likely to get them in the door than some sales guy calling them saying their friend put them on the chopping block for a t-shirt.