How to Grow Your Business By Asking Clients for Referrals
Asking clients for referrals is one of the easiest ways to grow your business. Don’t believe us? According to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania, referred customers are both more loyal and more profitable than other customers. However, asking for a referral is easier said than done, and it can be an intimidating task if you’ve never had to do it before. Luckily, the team at Vision Marketing has much experience with this, and we want to share our best advice with you. Use the following tips as a guide to asking your current clients or customers for a referral, and you’ll be on your way to expanding your client list in no time.
Narrow Your Focus
The first step to successfully asking clients for referrals is to identify which of your clients are most likely to give you a good reference. It’s crucial that you be strategic and ask clients with whom you have a stable relationship with, as opposed to asking everyone you know. Typically, it’s easier to ask long-term clients for referrals since you’ve proven your value to them over time and they’re clearly benefiting from your work (or else they wouldn’t still be working with you!).
While bribes should be off the table, don’t be afraid to offer some valuable incentives to your clients in exchange for a referral. For example, you could let your clients know that you’ll provide a 15% discount on a future project if given a reliable reference. As business owners, your clients are likely looking to save money where they can, so an incentive like this can be a big motivator for them.
Make it Easy
Your clients are busy, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to refer you. If it takes too much of their time, they may not want to be bothered. Instead of merely asking a client for a referral and leaving the legwork up to them, create marketing materials and make the process turnkey. These materials could come in the form of email templates, sample content, or graphics that they can send along to others effortlessly. Another easy way to streamline the referral process is to add a reference button or link on your website. There are many great tools available for this, such as Ambassador or ReferralCandy for this.
Always Say Thank You
Just like with any other business interaction, it’s imperative that you thank your clients for any referrals they give to you, no matter what the outcome is. Failing to show your appreciation is a quick way to kill your chances of getting any additional referrals in the future. Remember, your client took time out of their life to do you a favor; show your gratitude, and they’ll be more likely to refer you again and again.
It may take some practice, but asking clients for referrals is a proven way to grow your client list and expand your business. People want to work with companies they can rely on, and a reference from a trusted source minimizes some of the risk involved in working with someone new. Build up trust with your current clients, prove your value to them, and it’s likely that they’ll happily refer you to other businesses and brands.