Our past clients are our best proof, so it’s no surprise that customers who are referred by a friend are four times more likely to convert (Neilsen, 2018). So how do we leverage this pool of good press without coming across as awkward, or even worse, desperate?
1) Be Direct
If you’re going to be direct you’ve got to do it right. Time it so you ask when your client is in the midst of experiencing the utmost value of your work. There is no need to feel awkward or insecure when asking at this time. You’ve done a great job, you’ve saved your client the hassle and heartache of working with someone who might not have done the same – so go for it. Especially in the case of B2B or a niche service, in fact, see what you’re doing as a favour for your client; they’ll look good in their networks too if they have the scoop on some high-quality services.
2) Know your Value
This is an extension of the above point. Be sure of yourself and the value that you offer. Value comes in many forms: think of all the intangible ways you provide value to your clients. This is an exercise just for yourself, to see why it’s okay to ask for a referral. Next time you get nervous about asking for a referral, think about all the value you provide to your clients and what that means to them.
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Whether it’s a discount on services or a thoughtful gift, you’ll make people feel extra special for passing your details along to a friend. Maybe you’re thinking, but won’t this look desperate, like trying to ‘buy’ referrals? The art of giving is doing it without expectation. Don’t lead with, ‘I’ll give you something for a referral,’ instead ask for the referral and then say, ‘As a sign of my appreciation I wanted you to have…’.
4) Refer your clients too
It’s a two-way street. Show people you are committed to building a network and helping each other out. What’s great is that this is the most genuine way to show you’re open to referrals. Unspoken convention goes a long way in relationships, leverage this and create a sincere two-way flow of referrals.
5) Make sure they have your number
Sounds simple, but is your number in clients’ phones? You can make sure it is by sending them a message sometime during the sales cycle with a remainder to save your number in their phone in case they need it at any point. It’s how you know your info is always on hand in case they want to share it with someone. Business cards and emails just don’t have the same immediacy as a contact saved in the phone, also it represents a level of closeness and confidence between you and your client.
We believe that your clients are your best spokespeople; treat them well and they’ll do the same for you. To become a smooth operator, finessed at asking for referrals – Hunt and Hawk are specialists at coaching and up-skilling professionals in growing their networks through referral-based strategies. From delivering a great result to leveraging that for more business, we can help you make this process as smooth as possible, as well as a lot of fun. Reach out today.