Companies that ask for referrals from their customers (and promptly thank them for those referrals) receive more than ten times the referrals of companies that do not ask. In Part 1, we discussed the best time to request a referral from a current or previous client.
Before you ask, however, let’s talk about who you should seek out when asking for a referral and how to ask them.
Who to Ask
This may seem obvious, but the best people to ask for referrals are the ideal customers who you enjoy working with. They will give you the most favorable review when asked and will often refer clients to you who are similar to themselves. These “ideal clients” come with a higher profit margin and much less stress and their referrals convert to customers at a much higher rate.
Next to ideal clients, the best people to ask are those in your social and business network that most mirror your ideal client. This cannot be done outright without having invested some major social capital in to these individuals. Make sure you invest your time, interest and attention in these people before you make any requests of them.
How to Ask
There are dozens of ways to ask for referrals both directly and indirectly. The key is to go about it a way that your ideal client will respond to and you feel comfortable with. Letters, emails and phone calls are appropriate as are invitations to special events.
Always follow up referrals with a handwritten thank you note. Again, if you do not have the time to do this, there are dozens of services that will take care of this for you. A personalized touch is always appreciated.
For more information on creating a referral program, Download our “7 Steps to Creating a Referral System” one sheet for an easy start guide.