Referrals are one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to grow your business. You may not have realised it, but by asking for a referral, it can dramatically increase your client base. It is unlikely the client will think to give your business a referral, so unless you ask them it is unlikely you will get one from that client. It is also highly important you ask for referrals face to face and stay direct and sincere. These few things will have a huge impact on your cliental base and increase your sales drastically.
In most cases the client will not be thinking about the well-being of your business and will be unlikely to offer a referral. Yet that being said, people do like to help other people whenever possible and will in most circumstances, want to help your business if you have given them a good service or they have liked your friendly professionalism. When asking a client for a referral, it may seem like the scariest thing to do, especially for a small business owner; but really the worst thing that can occur is for them to say ‘no’. This may happen from time to time, depending on the customers you ask, yet the more customers you ask, the better the odds are for a ‘yes’ to be their answer.
When asking for a referral it is important not to overthink it. You need to keep in mind you aren’t writing an Oscar acceptance speech. When asking for a referral it is best to keep it sincere and direct. A good example of what to say would be,
“I’m really glad you are pleased with our work. I’d really appreciate it if you passed on our name to anyone else you think would be interested. May I leave these extra business cards with you?”
This example explains the few key points you would need to include. This keeps it all short, simple and sincere and they will be more likely to pass your details onto others. Also by giving them the extra business cards, it will make it easier for them to do so.
It is also important to ask for referrals face to face. It is generally more successful and respectful of the client. People will always feel more inclined to do something for you if you are standing in front of them. This may vary depending on your working environment. It is acceptable to ask over the phone or via email if you work in an environment where it is rare you are face to face with your client. For example, a web designer may create a website for someone on the other side of the world. In this case it is unlikely they will be face to face with their clients and in this case, a polite email request will suffice.
In conclusion, it is very important for you to ask your clients for referrals as they bring in a massive amount of cliental base. It is also unlikely a client will be thinking of how to help out your business, yet when the chance is given its important to do it face to face and very calmly, don’t over think it. Referrals have the potential to drastically improve your business.