The 5-Step Process for Building A Referral System

The 5-Step Process for Building A Referral System
By FRNation

By FRNation

Everybody wants leads, but most independent gym owners are missing a golden source right in front of them: referrals that are highly valuable and mostly pre-qualified.


Too many fitness pros take a passive approach to gaining referrals from clients, employees, and other contacts. 


“If you know anybody who needs help with training, tell them to call me,” they say.


But it takes more than that. You need a system to keep referrals coming all the time. And don’t be afraid to ask for them. It’s not too much to ask. Just think how happy you are to tell a friend about a great service or product. 


This simple, five-step process will get you the referrals you need to grow your business.


The 5 Steps


  1.     Consider Your Cost Per Acquisition. To learn what that is, take your marketing budget (let’s say it’s $500), divide it by the number of closed sales (let’s say 20), and you see what you spent to get each new client (in this case, $25). This gives you a starting place to see how much you can spend on incentives.
  2.     Identify Your Incentives. You can provide gift cards, swag, a percentage off your services, or a donation to a philanthropic cause (theirs or yours). Maybe offer a tiered system, with better stuff coming with each new referral from the same person. The incentives should motivate people to refer you to others, so make sure they align with what they want.
  3.     Outline Your Opportunities. These can be people (high-value clients, employees, clients with large social circles); actions (point of sale, when someone shares or likes your content on social media); client achievements; events and promotions like open houses or referral contests.
  4.     Entice With Ease. How do you talk about this? Don’t leave it to chance, which leads to weak language and requests. Don’t let the burden of outreach fall on your client. You want to take control of the conversation to get and develop the lead. Make sure your messages are consistent and clear.
  5.     Systemize For Success. Set up this process so it operates with ease. Commit to asking for a certain number of referrals within a certain time. Keep track of who you’ve asked for what, so you don’t wear them out. Monitor results and adjust based on performance.


We’ve created a cheat-sheet that goes into much greater detail about this five-step process. Click here to get it now, review it at your own pace, and let us know if you have any questions.


Remember that referrals are some of the most valuable and qualified leads you can get in your business.


Be intentional with your messaging. 


And train your team so everyone has the tools and skills to capitalize on opportunities.

Fitness Revolution helps fitness business owners build and scale successful businesses they love running. Through Strategic Business Coaching, powerful tools and metrics, and live training events, FR is able to help these studio owners tackle their biggest, most pressing challenge. For more information, visit

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