I speak to many groups on the topic of referral marketing. Ranging from big national companies with thousands of employees, to a brand-new start up business, everyone wants to know how to save time and attract better clients through word-of-mouth marketing.  One of my most timely in-demand sessions I share is titled, Referral Magic. It’s amazing that what we often take for granted, people are seeking to learn or know more about. This is the case with referrals. I get them daily from clients and give them to others as well.

Here’s why I believe most people miss out on getting them: they don’t have a plan for acquiring them. As my central mentor Dan Kennedy teaches and said to me years ago, “Most people play blind archery when it comes to marketing.” This same wisdom is true when it comes to having a proactive game plan in relation to referrals.

When I survey Mind Capture audiences online and offline the biggest concerns in relation to getting referrals I get a wide variety of responses. However, here are five of the most common questions I receive:

  1. How do I even ask for referrals?
  2. What do I say when I reach out to the person I was sent to?
  3. I don’t want to appear to be pushy, how do I avoid this?
  4. How do I even remember to even ask for them in the sales process?
  5. What are the best ways to follow up with a referral?

These five questions in relation to referrals are quite common and here’s why: when something is new, we often perceive that it’s difficult to grasp or figure out. What I love about having a system to ask for and follow up with referrals is that it removes doubt and creates consistency.

Let me quickly address the #1 concern I hear when teaching others how to get more referrals: the fear of sounding pushy. This is a valid point and it often goes back to both fear of rejection and not having the right language and proper question ready when the time is right.

One of the most overlooked areas to ask for a referral without any appearance of being pushy is when I client gives you a compliment. At this point you have earned the right to ask. Your best customers know other people. Your mission is to get them to introduce you to a few more people just like them that you can help and “wow” with your product or service. Here’s a powerful example that you can study, quickly adapt, and use each day with happy customers.

Thank you so much for the compliment Bruce! Quick question: I get a lot of referrals. Who are a couple of people that you work with that might be interested in what I provide?

You must be specific when asking for referrals. The mind thinks in pictures and groups. In the example above, I’m trying to get Bruce to imagine a person or two he knows from work that may be a good fit for what I do. Does this approach work every time? No. However, you don’t get, unless you even ask. If you make this a daily habit, and ask often, you are almost certain to receive a few introductions of value, that with quick and timely follow up will eventually become new customers. 00

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