You have done a great job for your client and are sure he will come back when he needs another job done.
But wouldn’t it be great if people from his network also come to you. That can happen, if he refers himself or his people ask him seeing the work.
Why not ask him yourself to refer you to his people?
A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.
It may feel a bit awkward. You do not want to look like someone who takes advantage. But when done right, it can grow your clientele 3-5x.
Use the Referral Golden Phrase! “Could you do me a favor….?”
6 simple words and you’re on your way. You could make it even better by following up with the kind of referral you’re looking for. This wont be necessary, if they already know what you do.
Here’s a good template:
Can you do me a favor? If you know of any (target customer profile, i.e. CEOs) that would like to (benefit / your services), could you let me know who they are so that I can reach out to them?
So now that you know what to say, when should you ask?
This is subjective to the relationship. A good rule to follow is that you should only ask after giving something. How many times you give depends on how well you know the person and the gift doesn’t have to be an actual item. Maybe you sent them an online article that you thought they would like. Or maybe you made a phone call recently to let them know you were thinking about them and wanted to catch up. Those all count as ‘gives’.
The formal term is called the ‘rule of reciprocity’. It’s based on human psychology where people naturally want to give back when you give to them first. It’s the natural rhythm of a relationship!
Next question you’re probably thinking of is how often can I ask?
A good rule of thumb is to ask after every 3-4 ‘gives’. Make sure they’re spaced out appropriately. And again, use your best judgement when deciding. Only you know when it feels right.
Now that you know how, when and how often to ask for referrals, give it a try this week. Doing it the first time is the hardest part. And before you know it, you will get more referrals and will be a referral-asking machine!
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