The SECRET to asking for Endless Referrals – Personal Trainers

There Is No Secret

Today we are going to talk about the secret to getting referrals from your clients. The way I see it, the ultimate secret is that there is no secret: you just have to ask! When it comes down to asking about referrals, there is no wrong time to do so. If somebody decides to get started with you and their emotions are elevated, it is a great time to ask for referrals—right as they are signing up for training. One simple action would be to ask, “Do you know anybody who is looking for a free assessment” or “Do you know anybody who can benefit from a free fitness assessment?” If they have gotten started and you are unsure if they are willing to refer people, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Testing the Waters

Firstly, if they experience no personal results after training with you for a long time, chances are, they are probably not going to refer people to you. Furthermore, if there is no trust, they are definitely not going to refer anybody to you. One key thing to remember is that when you are asking people for referrals, there are certain ways that you can test them for their willingness to refer. One of the ways you can do this is to ask them if they have someone to invite for a free workout. For each of your clients, you can remind them every month that they are able to invite one person per month, totaling to 12 passes for the year. This reminder should be sent out by email to make certain that every client has received the promotion. The addition of a partner places a commitment on the client to continue working out, leading to better overall routine retention for the client. A simple question you can ask is, “Do you know anyone else who would be interested in starting a fitness program, receiving a free fitness assessment, or joining you in a workout?”

Wetting Their Appetite

Another method to actively generate referrals is to create an incentive based program. In the client’s first or second session, you can mention that you offer an incentive-based referral program. This can involve cash bonuses, free sessions, or any significant incentive to get them to refer others to your services. There are varied opinions on this subject; some say that giving away free money is harmful, while others say giving away free sessions is equally bad. In the end, the choice is up to you. If you are just getting started and do not have the money to hand out, offer a free session. Not only are you saving money out of your pocket, the free session might be more valuable to the client. Ultimately, even though you hold the choice in the matter, it all comes down to what the customers want. If the customers want free sessions, you are currently offering money, and you are not getting referrals, then switch to free sessions—it is that simple.


In the end, the four things to keep in mind are:

1) If you are unsure, test them by asking if they know anyone that would be interested in your program.

2) Offer an incentive to generate referrals.

3) Tell everyone you know about your program, not just your clients.

4) There is no ultimate secret to referrals: You just have to ask!

 If you want to know exactly what to say, send us a message and let us know, we may just put it into another post 😉

Questions? Comments? Let’s hear them! Get involved in the conversation below.