3 Easy Ways to Generate Referral Business

3 Easy Ways to Generate Referral Business

written by Derek Weber

What if I told you I had a secret business formula that would greatly increase your closing ratio, decrease your sales cycle, and would position you and your company in a way that you wouldn’t have to compete on price?  How much would that be worth to you?  A pretty large number, I bet.  Well, here’s the deal, the secret business formula, is no secret at all.  Most of us are sitting on this gold mine of potential revenue that we inevitably leave untapped…referral business.

Think about it for a second.  When was the last time you were looking for a product or service and someone you trusted said, “I’ve got the perfect person for you.  Call this guy and he’ll take care of you.”  Now, think through your buying process on this one.  Did you call that person ready and willing to buy or were you guarded?  Did you shop that service around to 5 different companies to compare services and pricing or did you trust this person would give you what you needed at a fair cost?  I know when I get a strong referral from a person I trust, the business they refer just has to not lose the sale as opposed to having to win the sale….and that’s a great place for you to be.

Now the secret to generating consistent referral business is really fairly simple; simple but not necessarily easy.  There are 3 main ways to ensure your referral business will remain strong:

1) Have an expectation to receive referrals:

  • Many of us are afraid to ask for referrals, but as John Jantsch says in his book “Referral Engine”, “If you truly believe that your products and services offer world-class solutions, then you are doing your customers a disservice by not making it very easy for them to introduce these benefits to their friends.”

Think about that for a second, if you believe in your product or service, you are doing a disservice by not asking for referrals.  When you get in the right mindset, and set the expectations with your customers early on that referrals are part of how you do business, they will come more freely.

2) Make yourself referable:

  • In that magical moment when someone asks your customer, “do you know anyone who does…” you want your name, and even better a way to get in contact with you, to immediately come to mind of your customer.  Believe it or not, you have a great deal of control on what happens in this interaction.  The important aspects of accomplishing this are:
    • Keeping top of mind awareness
    • Creating multiple, easy ways to contact you
    • Educating your customers on who is a good referral

3) Keep your referrers in the loop:

  • I know there are only a few things that bug me more than when I refer a nice piece of business to someone, and I never hear a peep about it from the person I referred to.  Not an update on how the buying process is going or even a simple thank you for sending the person their way.  When this happens, I am hesitant to refer any more business to that person, because I don’t feel as if they appreciated my efforts.  It is vitally important to create a repeatable system to update those that refer business to you:

1) At first contact 

2) Once you know you’ll be doing business or not

3) Upon the outcome of the referral

If you can do just these 3 things, you’ll find your referral business will become the engine that truly controls your revenue.  If you need help in implementing these programs, feel free to give us a call and we can walk you through some of the referral programs we have helped implement for other clients.  At the end of the day, if you don’t ask for a referral, the answer will always be no…so, I challenge you to call three of your clients today, tell them what type of customer you are looking for, and if they know of any people that fit that mold…and if they don’t, ask them to keep your eyes and ears open for them.  Doing something as simple as this, will lead to more referrals, increased revenue, and happier clients.


Derek Weber



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