Tag Archives: asking for referrals

How to ask your contacts for referrals

Do you often ponder about how to ask your contacts for referrals?  Are you aware that many of your happy customers would be really pleased to pass on referrals to you if you simply asked.  Why not let them do the hard work on your behalf!   When initially working with your prospective customer you can make it even easier, to ask for referrals, by ‘sowing the seed early’ with them.

Asking for referrals
Making asking for referrals easy

Referrals, without doubt, is one of the top ways to grow your business exponentially once you start collecting happy customers. Many of you will know this already, but how many of you are actually prepared to ask for referrals?

So are you afraid? This is one of the main reasons small business owners do not ask for referrals – due to the fear of ‘shedding themselves in a bad light’ or from being told ‘NO’. If this applies to you, you need to get over this and force yourself to step-out of your comfort zone and get into the habit of asking for referrals from every satisfied customer. Once you start doing this it will then become second nature over time.


  • Generally people like to help others especially if there is no cost involved to them.
  • The worst that can happen to you – someone says “No”. But this isn’t the end of the world, be prepared that not everyone will help you with referrals, but there will be many who will, so just remind yourself of this upon receiving a “No”. The book Go for No by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz is testament to this – the more “Nos” you receive, get you closer to a “Yes”!
  • Make asking for a referral part of your customer close routine. DO NOT ASK FOR A REFERRAL WHEN PRESENTING YOUR INVOICE. A great time to ask is when asking for feedback.

THE KEY IS not to ask everyone for referrals just the customers who you know are really happy with the product/service you have provided them. So how do you do this seamlessly I here you ask!

Great salesman, for example Tom Hopkins, always follow-up to make sure that their customers are happy with the level of service provided through feedback and to find out when they would like to be contacted again. If they are happy with your services this is the perfect time to ask for a testimonial and/or referrals. This is best done in person. However, if this isn’t possible, over the phone, via e-mail, text or LinkedIn/Facebook message are other methods that can be used.


When asking don’t be vague, be sincere and direct. You need to make a clear statement describing what type of clients you are looking for. You need the person you ask to have a clear idea of what type of referral you are looking for.

You could say something like:

“I’m really happy that you’re pleased with the product/service I provide. I am always looking for more people [to be specific you could include a profession here, i.e. solicitors, accountants, estate agents, etc.] just like you and wonder if you know of anyone else who might be interested in what I do?”

At this point pause and wait for their response

If they confirm that they are happy to provide you with a referral/referrals ascertain if there is anyone they know straight away and if they would like you to contact them direct or if they would prefer to pass your name on. At the same time you could also provide them with a small supply of business cards for them to use to pass your details on to anyone in the future. You might also like to let them know the benefits of passing a referral to you if you offer a referral program to your customers, i.e. every referral passed they will receive a £25 voucher from a major retailer of your choice or a bottle of champagne.

Just keep reminding yourself that the more referrals you ask for the more you will get!  I’d love to hear what you think on using this type of strategy for your business so do comment below.

Until next time

Nicky @NickyClaydon












Asking for referrals early!

Many sales professionals know the importance of asking for referrals but, more often than not, ask far too late along the sales process – you need to sow the seeds for referrals early!

asking for referrals
Ask for referrals early!

Do you use the reverse of your business card to convey your sales message as well as the front of the card? Have you ever thought about including something like the following on the reverse of your business card to encourage people to pass your details on?

 “I grow my business through referrals. Is there anyone you know that you think would appreciate the services I provide? If so, I would really appreciate you passing my details on to them.”

This wording needn’t only be put on the reverse of your business card but could also be included in your e-mail signature or at the top or bottom of your headed paper. The more times this referral message is seen by your contacts the better.

If there is someone at a Networking Meeting who you feel has lots of connections who would be of benefit to you, why not provide them with a small supply of business cards and ask them to hand them to anyone they feel would benefit from your product/service. Offer to do the same for them in return and you will, no doubt, guarantee they will take more than one card from you.

At your initial meeting with a new prospect why not talk to them about referrals so that they are already aware that this is something you expect from your happy customers. You might say it in person or you could send a greeting card including a wording along the following lines:

You will be aware that I grow my business by referrals from delighted customers. By obtaining business in this way this, very much, enables me to concentrate more of my efforts looking after my existing customers rather than looking for new ones. So, I am sending a short note just to check that this is something you would be happy to do.

 I am going to ask you for a couple of referrals from the people you think would benefit from the product/service (delete as appropriate) that I provide. However, I’m not going to do this straight away, I’m going to give you the ‘white glove’ service you deserve and then I will ask later. In the meantime, please do have a think about the people you might be happy to refer to me.

 With thanks in advance.

Once you have concluded your business with your customer you can then go back to them 2 to 3 months later and ask for the referral(s) and it will not come as a surprise to them to be asked as you have already pre-qualified that you are going to approach them on this matter.

When you go back to them you would remind them of the conversation you had/card you sent, which mentioned that you grow your business through referrals through the exemplary service you provide. Then ask them how happy they were with the service on a scale of 1-10 and wait for their comments.

Once they have confirmed how happy they are with the way you operate you would then ask who they might know who would benefit from the same type of service. You could remind them of your ideal customer too in order to jog their memory of the type of referral you are looking for.

Once they give you the names it is good to then get them to contact their referral (prior to you making contact) to say you will be calling which creates the introduction on your behalf.

If asking for the referral is something you know you should be doing to grow your business, but feel uncomfortable about, I do hope that some of these tips are helpful. If you are using this type of referral marketing strategy in your business already, with great success, is there anything that you do differently to this? Would love to hear your comments below.

Until next time,

Nicky @NickyClaydon.