If you’re like most business owners, you might be at a loss about how to get more referrals for your business. For many organizations, referrals are a passive way of bringing in new clients when they should, in fact, be a regular part of your business strategy.
Luckily, I have a few tactics to help you get more referrals now, no matter what your referral policy has been in the past.
We’ll talk about how to get more referrals for your business in a moment, but before that, why are they even necessary?
Why Do Referrals Matter?
Referrals are the easiest and cheapest way to grow your business. I have several books on my recommended reading list that explain this further, but you don’t need a whole book to learn how to get more referrals for your business. Here’s the basic breakdown:
The acquisition costs of attracting new clients are five times more expensive than harvesting recommendations from your current clients. You don’t have to spend time building trust with a new customer: they already trust their friends and relatives who refer them. With referrals, you’re saving time, money, and energy while building a reliable client base.
On top of that, think about the lifetime value of your clients beyond the first year. If your customer buys $1,000 worth of product per year and they stay with you for five years, consider how this figure will increase if they bring on their friends, family, or colleagues. If you get more referrals now, you can capitalize on this value as soon as possible.
It can feel awkward to ask for referrals, but at the end of the day, people want to buy from businesses that others endorse. Everyone wants to do what the cool kids are doing (social proof), and if their friends or respected colleagues recommend a product or service, they’re much more likely to rely on that than to seek out a new, untried company to work with.
How to Get More Referrals for Your Business
The first step in determining how to get more referrals for your business is to create an incentive for your clients to refer others to you. As this article from Inc suggests, asking for referrals without offering anything in return is uncomfortable because it feels like you’re asking for a favor. If you provide them something of value in return, suddenly you’re the one doing them a favor.
This usually means offering a deal where if the client successfully refers a friend, they both get preferential treatment or a premium offer. You can also create some product to share, such as a booklet or samples of your work. To get more referrals now, you want to provide something worthwhile that establishes who you are as a business.
After that, it’s all about how and when you ask. Make it known at the beginning that you appreciate and reward referrals. You should add this to your website along with whatever product or offer you’re giving in return.
You can even make this part of your agreement with the client by letting them know you expect referrals in return for a job well done. Referrals are usually stronger and more natural to harvest earlier in the relationship, so don’t be afraid to ask earlier than you’d imagine.
One way to get more referrals now is by providing a sheet for clients to write down anyone they know who might be interested in your product or service. Ask for more referrals than you think you’ll get. If you ask for three, you’ll get one. If you ask for one, you’ll get none.
You should ask again with a follow-up call, email, or text, depending on your relationship with the client. Something as simple as “I enjoyed working with you. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in our product/service, I’d appreciate you sending them my contact information.” To get more referrals now, you have to be proactive.
Finally, make asking for referrals a natural part of your business process. Reach out to past clients to pick their brains for potential clients and approach every networking opportunity as a chance to solicit more. If you make it a habit to seek out referrals, your business will blossom in return.
I’m sure you want to get more referrals now, but you might still wonder what that looks like for your business. I can coach you through the process to harvest referrals from your clients. Click here and let’s have a video call to discuss how to get more referrals for your business.