How to Ask For a Referral

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DSC02765 - CopyLast week I told you about our most recent referral incentive and this week I want to give you an example of how to comfortably ask for a referral. Some personal trainers feel uncomfortable asking for referrals so share this example script with your team and show them how simple asking for referrals can be!

  1. Inform your clients of your present situation. For example:

“Joe, I have really enjoyed our training relationship and you have achieved so many amazing results.  Anyways, I wanted to let you know that I’ve had a few time slots open up in my schedule and before I open them up to everyone, I would love to offer you the first right of refusal and the opportunity to offer a complimentary session to someone that you care about.  If it works out, I’d give them those time slots.  I enjoy training you so much so I know anyone you associate with will be just as fun!


John, I’ve just had a time-slot open up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Do you know anyone who might be interested in getting some help with their exercise program?”


Sue, I’ve just started accepting new clients.  Do you know anyone I could call and offer a complimentary initial session to?”

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  1. Listen for an opening. Many of your clients will mention people in their lives who are struggling with their health and fitness.  For example:

Client:  My husband’s back has been killing him.

Trainer:  Really, well why don’t I call him and offer him a complimentary session.  I could show him some exercises to strengthen his back and abdominals.

  1. Ask for the referral. Get the potential client’s name and number.

    Inform your client of the process and ask them what they would feel most comfortable with. The conversation might go like this:

Trainer:  This is so great.  John will be so pleased that you have thought of him. Here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to call John and let him know that you’ve arranged a complimentary Personal Training session for him and book him for an appointment.  Are you comfortable with that?

 Client:  That sounds great.  But let me tell him first.

Trainer:  Good idea.  I’ll write it in my day-planner to ask you about it at our next session and then I’ll call him once you’ve informed him to expect my call.

Also be prepared to just send a package to the potential client.  Some of your clients will not feel comfortable with you calling their friends and may feel a package sent in the mail will be less intrusive.

  1. Show your gratitude:

Your client has just helped you grow your client-base and you will want to display your appreciation.  A thank you card is a really nice idea – plus at Northwest Personal Training we often provide referral gifts.  Make sure your client gets their gift.

So start asking for referrals today! You will be surprised at how receptive your clients are!

Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan

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