Getting referrals

Many businesses don’t ask their customers to recommend them – but this is a wasted opportunity. People like to “show off” by telling other people about something great they have done, found or experienced. This means that happy customers will be willing to recommend you – as long as you ask in the right way and thank them.

First, you need to explain why you are asking for recommendations. The key messages are that you want to grow your business and so need more customers like them.

At first, try just asking for referrals and recommendations. Be clear about what type of customer you are looking for (ideally someone just like your existing customers!).

When you get a referral or recommendation, make sure you thank the customer who referred you. Often, a quick phone call or e-mail works well. To make it extra special, send them a handwritten note. You may also want to send a small gift – this can create a “wow” moment which will generate further referrals, but most people will recommend you because they want to, not because they expect some small reward.

If this doesn’t generate enough extra business for you, consider offering a small reward. As an example, including a note with a customer’s first order thanking them for their business and including an offer code which gives them or anyone they refer a discount can work very well.