By: First Union
5 Ways to Ask for a Business Referral
Referrals are great—a pipeline to new business, a potential new client, and yet asking for a referral can be somewhat of an embarrassing scenario. However, it stands to note that people who get referred to a company are more likely to use that particular company. So you most definitely want to get those referrals—the question is how to ask for them without all the awkwardness. Below are five ways to ask for referrals that won't make you look desperate…
1. Just ask.
There's a lot to be said for directness. Tiptoeing around the question can make it far more awkward than just coming right out and simply asking. You can do it in person, via email, even print it on the invoice.
2. Target your best clients.
You probably have a stronger relationship with some clients versus others. Leverage this relationship as opposed to just randomly asking a broad array of customers for referrals. They probably trust you and can thus vouch for what your company offers.
3. Offer some value.
You can always start the conversation by first offering your client something of value—an interesting article perhaps, something you found entertaining that you wanted to share with them. You're demonstrating that you are thinking about them which in turn may make them more open to referring you.
4. Remember to thank your referral sources.
When clients do go out of their way and refer to your company, you want to make sure to thank them. A handwritten note is a thoughtful and personal way to do this. Or of course, you can also call them and thank them directly. You want to keep them referring you to others.
5. Ask before completion.
You don't have to wait until your dealings are done to ask for a referral. If all is going along smoothly and your engagement is good, why not ask even before you complete the project. This way too, everything is fresh in their minds and they can talk more in-depth about your interaction.