Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Get More Referrals, and Better Referrals (Sales & Retention Convention pt3)

Referrals have been a key topic at the last two Sales and Retention Conventions, for good reason. 45% of new memberships sales can come from direct member referral. So, the case for sales is obvious, but how do referrals help retention? 

Put simply, members who join with friends stay longer. If you reward your member for referring friends, and keep reminding them to refer, with more rewards, then members can get into the referral habit, as well as the exercise habit.

Ask members early in their member journey… as they join, after their induction, and at the end of their first month. The member will get used to being asked, and will (eventually) bring friends or family down to your club in the hope that they join too.

How to get more referrals

If you have a referral programme at your club, it is important to change it regularly. The same reward, month after month, will soon become flat, and will not interest many members. Perhaps you have a specific new member referral offer, which could be the same, but other ‘regular’ referral programmes should be more varied.

One example we discussed at length at the last Sales & Retention Convention was the concept of 1 month free for every member referred, versus a single prize draw for 12 months’ free membership for one person who referred in the month. The first case brought in 18 members and gave away 18 months membership. The second version only gave one referrer a free 12 month membership, but because the ‘reward’ (potential) was bigger, that month saw 28 referrals come in. (The General Manager was initially against giving away a 12-month membership, but actually ‘saved’ 16 months, and got 10 more sales into the bargain, so was very happy with the outcome!)

Other rewards could include vouchers for PT, additional Guest Passes (not FREE PT or FREE Passes… always attach a value to your rewards). Active Points or other gym rewards, or special “money can’t buy” referral t-shirts. Finally, use kudos… perhaps a “referred the most” trophy or leader board.

Finally, link in your challenges to your referral programmes – we’ve seen great success when asking members to bring guests to join team challenges, and back to sales… there’s always a great sign-up ratio following the event.

These are a series of short summary articles on the sessions from the Sales and Retention Convention in November 2016. To read more click here, or to find out about our forthcoming events, go to ggfit.com/events

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