If your company needs to start growing faster and gaining new business, referrals have a lot to offer. With that said, it can feel awkward or potentially nerve-wracking to ask for a referral. Don’t worry, you won’t feel strange or nervous after you learn how to ask for a referral. Let’s go over our favorite tips to help you ask for referrals and start getting them!

How to Ask for a Referral: 7 Simple Tips

Referral marketing is great for many reasons. One reason is because of referral marketing’s effectiveness. Another reason is because it works well for everything from small businesses to large corporations.

So, let’s get started by jumping right into how to start asking for referrals. By following these upcoming five tips, your company is going to start seeing lots of improvements with its referral program. Here are five great tips to follow when you ask for a referral.

1. Start With the Strongest Relationships First

how to ask for a referral

Your company likely has a list of customers and clients. With that in mind, you might start getting more positive responses from those who are already big fans of your business. If you’ve built up exceptionally great relationships with certain clients, this is who you want to start asking for referrals.

Since they know your business and how well it operates, these clients should be happy to start referring out your company.

2. Don’t Be Afraid of “No” When You Ask for a Referral

One of the main reasons why so many business owners and employees struggle to ask for referrals is because they’re afraid of hearing a negative response. With that said, companies sometimes have to hear lots of no’s before they start hearing yes.

So, how do you get rid of this fear? By directly asking your clients or customers. If your company is providing top-notch services or products, you’ve earned the right to ask.

3. Personalize Your Message

In 2019, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day. With clients and customers receiving so many emails, you’ll want to ensure your company’s message stands out. An easy way to do this is by personalizing your message.

This could be something as simple as including their first name or business name in an email. You can make this even better by including something about a topic you’ve spoken to them about in the past.

4. Always Keep Contact Information Easily Available

When you’re trying to refer a business to someone, what’s the one thing you make sure to include? If you’re like most people, you would include this company’s contact information. If it’s not easy for someone to find this information, they’re probably not going to refer your business to anyone. Most people also won’t want to refer out a business that doesn’t have its information readily available.

Whether you’re asking for a referral through email, phone, or another source, it’s imperative to include your company’s contact information. Even a simple phone number or website URL can give most referrals everything they need to get started.

5. Sweeten the Deal With Incentives

referral incentives

Let’s be honest, most people want to know they’re getting some type of reward for completing a task. This is why incentivizing referrals works so well. If your company’s referral program is not getting great results, it’s time to start rolling out incentives.

Incentives are types of gifts your company can give out to those who start making successful referrals. Examples of typical referral program incentives can include gift cards, discounts, small gifts, or even charitable donations. If the incentives your business offers are enticing, you should start seeing referral increase quickly.

Want to know more about content marketing? I’ve made a recent post to help you learn more about content marketing vs inbound marketing and other types of advertising.

6. Understand That Customer Referrals Take Time

As with anything in life, it often takes time to get positive results. The same holds true as we look at referral programs. Unfortunately, many companies believe that they must get referrals right away. If not, everything is a failure. You don’t want to think this way.

Business owners understand that sometimes things don’t happen quickly. Most likely,  you had to endure your fair share of difficult times and challenges to get your company off the ground. Apply this same grit and determination to getting referrals and you’ll have a much easier time succeeding.

If you can apply patience when seeking out referrals from customers, and stick with it, you should start seeing more people spread the word about your business.

7. Always Work to Keep Connections Strong

One of the main reasons people don’t want to ask for referrals is because it feels awkward. It’s understandably strange for some people to ask for something from the customers they spend time serving throughout the week.

However, you can take the “awkwardness out of your ask” by working to build connections with your customers. Certain companies (whether intentionally or not) seems to only reach out to customers when they want something. Instead of doing that, spend time each week researching what’s going on in your customer’s life.

Has a customer recently celebrated a major win or an expansion? Drop them a line to congratulate them.

Did a client just post a link to a new blog post on social media? Leave a quick comment on this post.

By putting in a little bit of extra work, you’re taking the awkwardness out of interacting with customers. When you go to ask about a referral, customers aren’t thinking about how they haven’t heard from you. Instead, they’re speaking about one topic with someone they have a dialogue with.

To wrap things up, it’s understandable to not be sure how to ask for referrals. By following the previous tips, you’ll start noticing that asking for a referral becomes much easier than normal. With these tips, it’s tough for a potential client to say no to your request for a referral.

Wanting to learn more about content marketing? Don’t miss our recent post on how content marketing drives sales for your business.