Your health business relies entirely on your clients. No clients – no business.
So how do you ensure a steady flow of customers? Start with your current client base and start building out your referral network. After all, your clients already trust you and have clearly decided you are worth their money. Use this to your advantage and invite some referrals…
1) Build a great business reputation
Harsh but true.
Really, though, your reputation is your primary referral tool and it’s hard to fake this bit. You need to build a personality and business profile that is linked with great service and demonstratable results.
Good personal trainers, physio’s and yoga instructors will automatically entice their clients to recommend them on their own time without prompting. Use this.
Poor experiences, weak results, low quality service and a sense of apathy will ensure nobody in their right mind would recommend you and further than that, your client base will shrink and your business could fail.
You can’t cheat your way through this – you need to be simply on top of your game and exceeding expectations. You should also be doing so visibly to ensure your clients are aware of the lengths you go to to provide a quality service.
2) Don’t be a clone, have a unique selling point
You need to be different.
Are you offering a carbon-copy experience of other businesses? Why would you be recommended above them? If you are a clone, you won’t be front and centre when it comes to referrals and word of mouth.
This ‘edge’ as it were needs to be something genuine and not a cheap gimmick. Think about what you can do to add a new dimension to your services, with a lot of thought into how you can market this difference and make it visible and tangible to the casual observer.
By making your services unique or exclusive, you will naturally lead your clients to send their friends and family your way because they feel happy staking their credibility against the quality and uniqueness of your services.
3) Increase brand presence
Now that you are no longer sucking at your job and have developed a discernible edge you need to look at your marketing and brand presence. For your clients to recommend you, you need to be visible, well branded and attractive.
Put some time into your brand and really make it pop. Set your brand colours, logo and taglines and ensure you have consistency across your channels.
Make your website attractive, simple and ensure contacts and booking options are front and centre. follow suit with your social channels and make sure to feature attractive imagery of your services or practice.
All of this ensures that when/if you are mentioned or recommended by a client, they can google you and discover for themselves that you are a professional, attractive and trustworthy option.
4) Use incentive programs
Now for the direct approach – incentive programs!
Now that you are offering high quality, stand out services which are well packaged, communicated and branded, you can start being more direct. Knowing you have a solid base is paramount before starting an incentive program. Jumping straight into referral initiatives is a bit like inviting people to your house before you have cleaned up and mowed the lawn.
What form can this take? There are a variety of options out there and they are only limited by your imagination. Suggestions include:
- Social media campaigns and competitions
- Cash incentives for bringing along a buddy.
- Free sessions for referrals
- Freebies and giveaways that match your services
- Promotional discount codes to share