Has your partner just suggested you ‘ask for a referral?’ or you would get more leads if you pro-actively asked for referrals? Or, maybe, you know you need to get better at asking for referrals. Maybe you just want to know the best way to ask for referral?

But, what is the best way of asking for a referral?

The best way to ask for a referral

1. Ask for an introduction

LinkedIn has given us the ability to see into the little black books of our clients and introducers. You shouldn’t need to ask, who do you know, because if you are connected on LinkedIn, you can get to know most of ┬átheir contacts.

Your aim when asking for an introduction is to have a genuine reason which will benefit the other person. Therefore, saying ‘it ‘s because I believe they have need of my services’ isn’t going to work. However, if this is rephrased to, ‘I believe that I could help them save a significant amount of inheritance tax’, this will be more effective.

Therefore, the next time a client is singing your praises, ask them how well they know ‘person x’ and whether they will give you an introduction.

2. Provide a valuable piece of content to facilitate the introduction

Now, just because you have got the introduction, it doesn’t mean to say it will work. After all, if the person to be introduced to is as cynical as me, they may not play ball because they don’t want to be sold to. Therefore, you need to provide value and credibility before you actually meet, and not assume that the other person will take up you up on the introduction.

For example,

  • Could you write a report or article which demonstrates your credibility and is seen to be valuable content? Rather than self-serving marketing literature?
  • Is your LinkedIn profile and website up to date?
  • Have you got a paragraph about you which the other person can use in the introduction?
  • What blog posts or articles have you written which can be shared with the other person and help facilitate a meeting?

3. Ask for their advice

People making referrals because they wanted to be helpful, rather than because you have asked them for a referral. When you can tap into this desire to be helpful, you can often get a referral. So, instead of saying the cliche phrase,

“I love working with people like you, who do you know similar to you that I should be working with?’

Turn this into:

“I love working with people like you, particularly ones which have x challenge, if you were in my position, what would you do to find more clients like you?

Then stop, listen and brainstorm with your client (or introducer) with your ideas. You may find that coming out of this conversation is a suggestion about introducing you to a potential prospect.

In summary, next time you have a client or member of your network singing your praises, stop asking for the referral and ask their advice.

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