Too often, people are frightened of asking for referrals. Is it the fear of rejection, or are they concerned about annoying their prized clients? If you’re providing truly exemplary service, you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for the opportunity to provide that same service to other people your clients know! In fact, it should be the next natural step after asking a client how the service was.
The way you ask this question, however is very important. Open-ended questions help people to brainstorm, instead of giving them the chance for a simple “Yes” or “No” answer. Instead of asking, “Do you know anyone else who could use my services?” ask, “Who do you know who could use my services?” The difference is how they respond is amazing!
And the best time to ask for a referral is when a client compliments you. Respond with a sincere thank you and then quickly follow it up with a referral request. For example, "I'm so pleased you're happy with my work. Who do you know that could benefit from my services?"
It’s also critical to expect the referral. When you tone or facial expressions show that you don’t really believe your client will have a good answer, they won’t have one! Don’t let your body language change your question into, “I Don’t suppose you have any referrals for me, do you?” Instead, expect the referral like its’ the most natural thing in the world. With enough practice, it will be!
You can also use this language in the signature of your email, below your name and contact information. Every email becomes a mini-billboard, even when you’re out of the office and have your auto-responder set.
And so I close this blog with a simple question for you: "who do you know that could benefit from my service?"