Ask for Referrals: How to Break the Habit of Forgetting
Do you struggle with remembering to ask for referrals at your health club?
We have all been there. You spend a lot of time with a new lead, nurturing them throughout the sales funnel. Understanding a customer’s needs and wants, as well as taking them through a trial of yours. Afterwards, you sit down and pitch the membership.
“Yes” they say, and internally you jump for joy. You sign them up and off they go. Although you feel great about what just happened, you realized you never asked for a referral. In this article, we will look at why this happens more than people realize and how to break that habit.
I think it’s safe to say if there was ever a time to ask for a referral, it would be at point of sale. In other words, trust is at its greatest peak with a lead when they pull out their credit card and join your gym. So why then do we forget about asking them for a referral? Here are two main reasons:
1. We are Nervous
Trying to make a sale is a nerve-wracking process in the fitness industry filled with a lot of anxiety. There are a lot of steps you must remember to follow, like what questions to ask and how to overcome objections if the customer says no. It is because you have this level of nervousness we forget to ask for referrals. Firstly, because we are scared to start an entire new sales process out, and secondly, maybe we just don’t have the best method to do so.
2. No Role Play
My favorite task to do in fitness is to role play with staff. This is the most effective way to get good at remembering what you need to do once you make a sale. It is no different than a basketball player shooting free throws during practice. Once it becomes second nature it will come to you every time. Most people in the fitness industry, in my experience, do not build role play into their daily schedules.
Now that we know why we don’t ask for referrals most of the time, let us look at a best practice on how to ask. In my early career, I would always say something like:
“Do you have anyone you know that might want to try out the gym?”
On the face of it, this question seems OK, but in sales you need to make it as easy as possible for someone to answer a question. Try being more direct and challenge the new member at this point to give you a referral.
“Congrats on becoming a new member. With your membership you get to choose three of your friends or family to try us out. Which three people do you want to put down?”
The reason you ask for more than one is because the chances of getting at least one is much higher. If you always ask for just one you will often get zero.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals – they are the easiest type of membership you will ever get and ones that will stay with you for a long time.