3 Ways to Get Your Clients to Refer You to Others

When done right, I consider referral marketing to be a High-Octane marketing strategy. One of the best ways to generate leads that actually turn into paying clients is getting referrals from existing clients.  Referrals are more likely to doGiving a business card business with you because you have a head start in building the “Know, Like, and Trust Factor,” as well as social proof.

In addition to that, your referral has already been through a bit of pre-qualifying by your existing client who understands your work and also has some level of insight into this person’s situation.

Your existing clients can be a very valuable asset in generating new business. No other marketing method is as compelling as a happy client.

So how do you get your clients to tell others about you?

Here are my top 3 ways to get your clients to refer you to others:

1) Make sure your clients have a great experience.

You’ve probably heard that people are more likely to complain about a service than they are to say something positive.  While this may be true, ensuring that your clients are happy will increase the liklihood that they will share a positive message about you.  It’s unrealistic to believe that everything will go smoothly all the time, after all, you’re only human, but the quicker you address a problem, the more happy your clients will be. Always make a point to ask about your client’s experiences and address any issues promptly.

2) Let your clients know you love referrals.

While you don’t ever want to beg for referrals, it is beneficial to be proactive about getting referrals.  Don’t be afraid to ask clients for referrals.  In fact, you should make this a part of your sales process.  Once you’ve delivered your service and made sure that your client is happy, ask them if they know anyone else with a similar problem that could use your services.

You don’t necessarily have to wait to the end of your work to do this either.  If during the course of you work together you hear your client mention that a friend needs help or is in some similar situation, by all means, offer to reach out to them and help. Remember, selling is all about serving the people you are meant to serve. Speaking up and offering to help someone in need is your duty.

3) Show your generostiy and your gratitude.

Have you heard the saying, “Give a little,  get a lot?” Well, it applies in the case of referrals. If you have clients who are business owners, consider giving them referrals, they will likely return the favor for you one day.  If you’re in a profession that allows it, you can also give your clients tokens of appreciation for referring others to you, such as gift certificates, referral fees, or bonus services. Even if you can’t show your appreciation with items that have monetary value, you can always send a simple thank you note or card.  People love to help out, especially when they know you appreciate their efforts.

You can also show your gratitude and genrosity by giving your clients gift certificates that they can give out to their friends or relatives.  This is a great way to get new people to experience your services and deepen your relationship with current clients.

This is really just a few of the possible ways that you can be proactive about generating referrals and increasing your sales.

I would love to hear some of the ways you have encouraged your clients to refer others to you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.





About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Referrals are critical, I think, to the success of any business. You’ve outlines a few great tips. Creating an amazing experience for your clients is by far the most important because no one will refer their friend sand family to someone that didn’t have a great experience with!

    But I love the give first approach you mentioned too! An receiving an unexpected referral is such a good feeling. As a service provider, often you’re in a position to really know the ins and outs of your clients businesses the best … so really you are hugely qualified to know who would be a great referral to them!

    I also will forward on HARO opportunities etc that may be a good fit for them when they come across my desk. It doesn’t take much effort, but it shows them I am thinking about them and still care!

  2. I so agree that word of mouth referrals are the absolute best you can have. Great tips, Tiffany.

  3. Heidi Alexandra says:

    Love these tips for increasing referrals – I agree that one of the best things is to let your clients, colleagues and contacts know that you build your business through referrals – people definitely do like helping out. And if you refer to them the effect is often reciprocal.

  4. This is one of the first business tools I teach my clients. Cold calls are such a gamble whereas referrals are a connection through a mutual contact. A much better way to Go! Great 3 tips for getting referrals!

  5. I agree that referrals are key and agree with all these tips! They have always been a big part of my business – together with speaking and being an author

  6. A solid and quick review of the best way to keep your business running along with a full calendar – referrals!

  7. I love these ideas. Another great way is to simply make a list of 25-50 strategic partners and then keep in touch with them every month in a fun and friendly way. When you stay in touch with them, they are more likely to remember you when it comes time to give a referral. If you combine a keep in touch strategy with an appropriate thank you for each referral received, you will see your referrals increase.

    • Thank you, Deb! You’re absolutely right. There are tons of ways that you can increase your referrals, especially when you include strategic partners in the scenario. Your suggestion is a good strategy to use with existing or past clients, as well.

  8. I love referrals! It’s great to get them, but I also love giving them. I want my clients to know that I am well networked and can help them find what they need. By referring to others I find that it does come back to me as well. Plus coming with a personal recommendation makes it that much more powerful.

  9. Excellent post. My preferred referral partners are still my biggest source of revenue. I believe that gratitude and appreciation are key in keeping these relationships alive. Good service is vital, too.
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  10. Really sound advice. I’ve been working on getting more referrals for our business and am finding it’s not as easy as I thought. Your tips were most helpful. Thank you!

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