Referrals are one of the most potent forms of marketing. To grow your client base, you must ask for referrals. But you need to be aware of a couple of things to do this the right way and get the best results possible. Confident freelancers understand that the best way to get new work is to build relationships with people who have already used your services. The problem is that it can be hard to make those connections when you don’t have a list of past clients on hand. That’s where asking for referrals comes in. Here we’ll talk about successful and innovative ways to ask for referrals from previous clients and leave them with nothing but a positive impression.
14 Tips on How To Ask For Referrals
1. Be humble
In life, you are not going to win every battle. You need to accept that and still always give 100% in your interactions. You cannot simply assume that all your past clients will automatically refer you to anyone they know or will be compelled to leave a positive review for your business. You need to accept that. Treating people with respect and dignity is the best way to earn trust and find support.
2. Don’t be pushy
Here is the worst way to ask for referrals: “I need another client. It looks like you guys are my best bet for getting one. Can you help me out?” No, no, and no again! You need to engage them in a conversation and find out if they have anyone you can contact. You may not even need a referral from your past clients. Sometimes it’s enough to get them to spread the word about your exceptional service on their own. Don’t be pushy when asking for referrals. That will only turn people off, and you may completely ruin your chances of getting any referrals in the future.
It would be best to wait until you have a good relationship with your client before asking for anything. Round up your past clients, so you have an easily accessible list of people. You need to work on building a relationship first with your clients and make them feel comfortable. It’s not hard to do and quite beneficial in the long run. This is how you’ll find out if they are interested in referring you, willing to give you a testimonial, or simply happy with your service.
4. Don’t ask for referrals too early
Asking for referrals too soon is a big mistake. It would help if you waited until the client was entirely sure they were happy with your work. Asking for a referral when the client thinks you haven’t done a good job will only make them defensive. This is not how you want to start your relationship with a potential new customer.
5. Have a conversation
Get to know your clients. Talk about their businesses, about yours, about the industry in general. Get on their good side and understand their perspective so you can approach them with an intelligent proposition and suggestions that they might find helpful. It would be best if you were transparent regarding your intentions and motivations. Don’t try to manipulate them in any way. Being transparent will help you build trust, and once they trust you, they will consider giving you a referral.
6. Ask via Email
Via Email is a great way to get referrals from your client. You can set up your Email and include a link where you will automatically send them to your referral form and message their clients about the service or product you provide. The client will be very grateful for this, as they know you care about providing a quality service. And if they value your work, they will likely refer someone else to you too.
Template: How To Ask For Referrals via Email
I hope things are going well.
I wanted to let you know that it was a pleasure working with you during the [Service]. I appreciate your business. If you know of someone who could use my help, would you be so kind and forward my contact information?
Again, thank you for choosing to work with me.
7. Ask politely
It would help if you always were polite when asking for referrals from your past clients. The best way is to let them know how highly you value their opinion and how grateful you are that they used your services in the first place. Then ask if they could refer someone else, leave a review, or give a testimonial about your services. Let them know that you value their opinion and will always try to work hard for them to make them happy.
8. Become a Social Media Star
Social media isn’t just for communicating with other people in the digital age anymore. It’s also a great place to reach out to people who may be interested in your services and products. Set up Facebook and Twitter accounts and ensure you use them properly. Participate in conversations, comment on topics of interest, and share links to other social media sites that provide value. Be an active participant in your accounts daily.
9. Be grateful
After you get a new client from a referral, do not forget to send your gratitude to the person that referred you. If possible, give them a little gift or surprise them somehow. Sending a thank you or a gift can help demonstrate how grateful you are for the referral and that you want to keep building trust with that client and their network.
10. Be prepared
One of the most important tips is to be prepared for every situation. This means having all your contact information on hand and available. Include a quick note of gratitude in your message, especially if it was hard to get a referral in the first place, so your client knows you have done what you could to make it happen.
11. Provide value first
You will be far more likely to get referrals from your clients if you provide value first. This cannot always be accomplished promptly, so don’t stress too much. Provide excellent service and products, invest time into understanding them and their needs, learn everything you can about their industry to suit their needs better, and offer the best possible solutions to their problems.
12. Offer incentives
Offering incentives for referrals is a great way to keep your clients happy. It’s a great motivator. You can offer anything from discounts to special services.
13. Create Referral Marketing Materials
You should create some promotional materials that you can send to your clients and customers. If you have a brochure or other marketing material, include a note about your referral program. Also, include a small card with your contact information and website address that the client can easily toss into their wallet or purse. This way, all they have to do is give it to someone they know who may need your services.
14. Provide Referral Discounts
If your business is a service or product-based business, offering referral discounts is another great way to get more clients. Make sure that any discounts you provide are significant enough to reward the client for their efforts.
The best way to request a referral from a client and to keep building trust with current customers is to treat them well from day one. Be always polite and professional. Be attentive and invested in their needs as well as their business. This can be accomplished by sending a quick thank you note via Email when the referral comes through. Make sure that your clients know that you value referrals.
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