Tag: Member referrals

Exakt Fitness Marketing | Picture of Gym Staff

Remember Jared? The twenty-something membership sales rep I talked about in my last post The A.B.C.’s of Asking for Member Referrals?

You know. The one who didn’t really listen. Who was more concerned with getting me signed up than SETTING ME UP FOR SUCCESS. Who was more interested in making sure I signed in all the right places than he was about MY FITNESS GOALS.

And then he asked for the names and numbers of three of my friends. Yeah, right.

THAT Jared.

In this post, I’m going to point out things that Jared could have done to achieve trust, build relationship capital and create incentive before asking me for referrals.

Follow these 5 tips and I promise you’ll have far better luck getting member referrals than Jared does!

1. Pay attention to the basics. Greet me by name. [Truly] Listen when I speak. Find common ground (do our children go to the same school? do we both like sushi?). Most importantly: show genuine interest IN ME! (P.S. You can’t fake genuine interest. It comes off as insincere and condescending at best).

2. Explain what is going to take place during my visit so that I know what to expect. I fear the unknown! Tell me that you’d like to get to know me, what I’m trying to accomplish, show me the club and get me started off on the right path so that I ACHIEVE MY FITNESS GOALS!

3. Give me SOMETHING VALUABLE in every interaction. When we meet at the door, ask if I’d like some coffee or some water. During the tour, introduce me to a few other members. Volunteer to meet me before my first group fit class so you can introduce me to the instructor.

4. SHOW ME how you’re going to treat my friends and family. Be kind, passionate, caring, engaging and fun! Through our discussion, calm my fears, reduce my anxiety and get me pumped up about joining your health club!

5. Talk more about me and my goals than about the facility and the process. SO WHAT that your club is 25,000 square feet?! SO WHAT that you have 300 classes per week?! SO WHAT that you have a pool and a basketball court?! WIIFM (what’s in it FOR ME)? That’s what you need to focus on.

Do you have any other tips to on building rapport with potential gym members? Please leave them in the comments below!

Furious brunette looking at camera on white backgroundI remember the last time I joined a gym (about a year ago). Jared, a twenty-something college student and part-time membership sales rep was nice enough. He showed me the facility, had me sign the contract & release and smile for my mug shot.

I had already decided that I was going to sign up before walking through the door, so I was a pretty easy win for him. Our interaction was polite, but very process-oriented (vs. “me-oriented”; remember, it’s ALL ABOUT THE MEMBER!).

There was no rapport established. No trust. It was simply a transaction.

As Jared worked through his checklist for signing me up, he got to that dreaded last step and popped the question: “Would you like to suggest the names of three friends or family members that might be interested in joining the gym? You know, research shows that people who work out with a buddy are more likely to get results. So this would really help YOU.”


Ah yes … the “member referrals mantra” touted as gospel by so many fitness marketing professionals.

And it’s true. But that is NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH!

Trust me … in my case, Jared asked but he DID NOT receive!

Just asking is not enough. The “asking” has to happen at the right time.

The dialogue during the entire sales process needs be focused on:

BUILDING relationship capital
CREATING incentive

Otherwise, you risk a reaction like the one I had in both cases:

“I don’t know you. And I certainly don’t know you like that. So No. No YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE NAMES AND NUMBERS OF THREE OF MY FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS.”

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll share some tips on developing the rapport I mentioned above – specific steps you can take to implement the A.B.C.’s of member referrals.