Referrals are the best form of free advertising and are often referred to as word of mouth marketing. People like to do business with people that are recommended by someone they know, like, and trust. In this day and age of automation it is easy to find online reviews for just about everything, but a good referral from a friend will trump a 5 star rating every time.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral. After weeks of trying to find a reliable contractor, I recently turned to social media and was overwhelmed by the responses I received and now have a list of wonderful referrals that I can pick and choose from. Asking “Who do you know?” makes all the difference not only when looking for services but also when looking for clients. Ask your network “Who do you know…” “Who do you know that I can help?” Who do you know that would benefit from my services?” “Who do you know that likes to save money?” “Who do you know that needs my help?”

Don’t rely solely on social media, especially when looking for client referrals. Think outside the box, the computer box that is. Ask your clients, ask your referral network, ask your friendly neighborhood barista, ask people you know and trust “Who do you know?” People like to be asked, they are honored that you value their opinion. They may not always have someone in mind the moment you ask but you have now planted a seed and they will start looking for people to send your way.

Be sure to act on those referrals, the quickest way to get more referrals is to act on the ones you do receive. It amazes me how often I have followed up on a referral I’ve given only to learn that it was never acted upon. If I’ve taken the time to give a referral or make an introduction I expect the person receiving the referral to at least follow up with a phone call. A good practice would be to get the name, contact info, and as much information about the referral and reach out to them within 24 hours and have a conversation. Then email, text, or call the person giving the referral with a quick update and a thank you.

When working with a referral and as you build a relationship be sure to ask them “Who do you know?” They understand and hopefully appreciate that someone referred them and will in turn want to do the same for others and for you. Ask for the referral, follow up on the referral, and acknowledge the person giving the referral and your business will grow by word of mouth.


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