Referrals. We all recognize the need for them. Our businesses do not grow without them. Networking groups like BNI exist, in part, to help us get more referrals. They can be the lifeblood of a business. They should be the lifeblood of your business. But – are they? Do you ask your existing customer base for them? Or does fear keep you from the potential feeling of rejection, like that time I asked my crush to prom and she said no? 

What about the prospects you don’t end up doing business with? Is it possible to even ask them for a referral? 

Okay, enough with the onslaught of questions. Dictionary.com states the simple definition of the word ‘referral’ like this:

noun

an act of referring; the state of being referred.
an instance of referring.
a person recommended to someone or for something.”

By definition, it’s pretty simple, it seems. So hopefully these points in our Ultimate Guide to Generating Referrals will get you started on the path of making the most out of the relationships you have.

 

1. Just Ask Already

The best way to ask for a referral is to just ask directly for them. It never hurts to ask for anything, does it? If the ask is too much for the person, they will just simply refuse. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can ask customers through an email, online through a web form you create and post, or even at the bottom of invoices or receipts.

 

2. Provide Relational Value

No one likes to feel like they are being leveraged for another person’s gain. Recently someone I haven’t spoken to in years reached out to share a “ground floor opportunity” with a network marketing company. It made me feel leveraged and devalued. So if you want to be able to gain from a business relationship, show your customer they mean more to you than just a paycheck.

For example, did you just read an article that your client/customer would benefit from? Send them the link to it. Do you have a helpful life or business lesson, or a series of them, you can record on a video and share with them? These things should appear to have no monetary value to you or them. It’s just a way of you investing yourself into the relationship.

 

3. Over-Deliver on the Project Deliverables

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and impactful ways to generate referrals for your company. While its power is generally thought to be helpful for positive growth, it has the ability to be harnessed negatively too. So it’s important to be ever mindful to exceed expectations. You’ve heard it before – under-promise, over-deliver! 

If you want to get your customers raving about you like the team at Southwest Airlines did, go beyond their expectations in helping them achieve their goals! Share their posts on social media, link them in your blog posts, and settle the notion in their mind that you are not just there for their money. 

 

4. Become Their Friend

It’s impossible to expect your clients/customers to refer you to their circles if your contact information is not on their phones. Be sure that you trade your email address and mobile number with your best, most loyal customers. You can simply add those to your email signatures or invoices. Yet imagine the power of asking your client for their contact information. As an average joe type of guy, I love the idea of feeling special to someone I esteem. And having the contact information of a business owner makes me feel like a member of an “A-List.”

Pass that euphoria on to others and let them know they are welcome to reach out whenever they’d like to. The connection will most assuredly breed referrals!

 

5. Give Incentives for Their Loyalty

Recently I was talking to my barber about needing a massage. He passionately told me about the place he goes to and about his massage therapist. I asked him if he (and I) got referral bonuses for using his name when I booked. He told me that he gets 20% off his next booking and I would get a $99 massage for $59.00! Now that is a great example of how to incentivize a client. 

Think of something that works for your business, make it known to your clientele, and get it out there! 

Clearly, this post could go on and on. But rather than making this any longer, please reach out to us today to set up a no-obligation call. We would love to talk with you about your current referral strategy and how working with Imphasis can help take this resource to the next level!

John Boghos

Chief Wordsmith