How to Get Referrals From Your Gym Clients

A closeup of a white keyboard with a bright red button labeled "refer."

You and I both know that the best new clients come from your current clients. That’s not a secret.

But if you’re just sitting around, praying and hoping that your clients will refer their friends, you’ll starve to death.

You have to ask for referrals. And the best time is during a Goal Review Session.

Here’s the process:

1. You measure the client’s progress.

2. You ask if they’re completely happy with the progress.

3A. If they haven’t made much progress, make a new prescription. Like this: “Well, Jane, in your shoes, here’s what I’d do … .”

3B. If they’ve made great progress, make them famous. Like this:

  • “Jane, I’m so proud of you! I think your story could inspire a lot of people!”
  • Jane (humbly): “Well, I dunno … .”
  • You: “Of course! Do you have any idea how special you are?”
  • <Jane blushes>
  • You: “Look, I have my camera right here. I know it’s a lot to ask, but could you give some wisdom to those who are just starting their fitness journey? Maybe just something you wish you’d been told when you started here six months ago?” (Hold up the camera and press record.)

4. Thank them and ask them to bring in a specific person. You’ll need to know the client well before you do this. (Two-Brain clients can follow the Affinity Marketing process to prepare for Goal Review Sessions and 10x their results by clicking here.) Example: “Jane, I know your spouse loves to golf. He’s never going to want to come in and hit hard workouts—he’s told both of us that already! But as a ‘thank you,’ what if we invited him in to do some golf exercises and stretches? Just a little bonus from me to you. You think he’d go for it?” Then get the spouse’s contact info, text him an invite, and set him up with an appointment.

The Prescriptive Model and “Help First”

The Prescriptive Model starts the conversation and creates the environment that makes asking for referrals very natural. It’s not selling. It’s helping your clients by helping the people around them.

I wrote a whole book about this concept: It’s called “Help First.” When you truly believe in your service, it’s your responsibility to share it with the world—even if that means being uncomfortable when talking about it at first.

Practice asking for referrals on your dog, your spouse or your staff members if you need to. Get the reps so you’re comfortable when you have a real client in your office.

Remember: You can’t save anyone if you don’t get people in the door first!


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.